Black keys: who are they?
Why are there white and black keys on the piano? This is one of the most common questions beginners ask during their first piano lesson.
Let me just tell you something about them:
- In music there are Natural, Flat and Sharp notes.
- A Natural note, at the piano, corresponds to a white key. Natural notes are the "basic" notes: A-B-C-D-E-F-G.
- The smallest interval (distance) between two notes, in our music system, is a semitone (also called half step or half tone).
- The Sharp note is the key at the right of the correspondant white key and it is a semitone higher than its natural parent note. For istance, a C Sharp key will be the black one located at the right of the C, between the C and the D.
- The Flat note is the key at the left of the correspondant white key and it is a semitone lower than its natural parent note. For istance, a G Flat key will be the black one located at the left of the G, beetween the F and the G.
- There are two exceptions and an explanation for that:
- There is no key between the B and C.
- There is no key between E and F.
- That means that, regarding white keys, a C Flat is a B, a B Sharp is a C, an F flat is an E, an E flat is an F.
- A black key can be either a Flat or a Sharp at the same time. For instance, a C Sharp and a D Flat are represented by the same key on the piano. You will understand why sometimes we call it Flat and some other times we call il Sharp we you will study the concept of