• Two Half-Step Types: Diatonic Half-Step and Chromatic Half-Step

    in Beginners,Piano,Theory

    Post image for Two Half-Step Types: Diatonic Half-Step and Chromatic Half-Step

    In today’s lesson, we’ll be looking at two half-step types: the diatonic and the chromatic half steps.

    Although this lesson is written with beginners in mind, it’s also essential for musicians of other skill levels to know the clear distinction between the two half-step types.

    Therefore, it’s important for every serious musician to invest the next 10 minutes in reading through this blog.

    Two Half Step Types – Explained

    There are two half-step types:

    Diatonic half-step

    Chromatic half-step

    …and we’ll be focusing on them in this segment

    A Short Note On The Diatonic Half-Step

    A half-step is said to be diatonic when it consists of two notes that differ in letter name. For example, C and Db:

    …or C# and D:

    …are diatonic half-steps.

    “Let Me Tell You Why…”

    The reason why C and Db:

    …is considered to be diatonic is because C and Db differ in letter name and so is the half-step between C# and D:

    …which consists of two notes that differ in letter name.

    C is a C note while Db is a D note. The Hence, the interval between C and Db is a diatonic half-step.

    C# is a C note while D is a D note. Hence, the interval between C# and D is a diatonic half-step.

    “In A Nutshell…”

    Any half-step between two notes that differ alphabetically is a diatonic half-step.

    “What Is A Chromatic Half-Step?”

    A chromatic half-step is a half-step formed by two notes that are identical in letter name. For example, C and C#:

    …or Db and D:

    …are chromatic half-steps.

    “Give Me You Undivided Attention…”

    C and C#:

    …is considered to be a chromatic half-step because C and C# are identical in letter name and so is the half-step between Db and D:

    …which consists of two notes that are identical in letter name.

    C is a C note and so is C#. Hence, the interval between C and C# is a chromatic half-step.

    Db is a D note and so is D. Hence, the interval between Db and D is a chromatic half-step.

    “In A Nutshell…”

    Any half-step between two notes that are alphabetically identical is a chromatic half-step.

    Final Words

    I’m sure you’ve learned the two half-step types – the diatonic and chromatic half-step – and the characteristic difference between both of them.

    I’ll see you in another exciting lesson.

    Thank you for your time!

    The following two tabs change content below.
    Hello, I'm Chuku Onyemachi (aka - "Dr. Pokey") - a musicologist, pianist, author, clinician and Nigerian. Inspired by my role model Jermaine Griggs, I started teaching musicians in my neighborhood in April 2005. Today, I'm privileged to work as a music consultant and content creator with HearandPlay Music Group sharing my wealth of knowledge with thousands of musicians across the world.

    songtutor600x314-3jpg



    { 0 comments… add one now }

    Leave a Comment

    Previous post:

    Next post: