# difference between a half step and a semi-tone

#### chopin7

##### Senior Member
Hello

A teacher is listening his pupil playing Chopin on piano.
He is not happy with her interpretation and says to her,
"I usually insist that you let the music take you somewhere.
Let it surprise you. Even on occasion, let it overwhelm you."

After saying all this, he adds
"Now, that’s just as important as knowing the difference between a half step and a semi-tone."

As far as I know, half step and semitone are the same thing.
So, I don't see any sense here.
Do you? Movie "Love is Strange".

Thank you

• #### owlman5

##### Senior Member
They are the same thing in our tuning system*, Chopin7. I'm not sure what point the teacher is trying to make. This could well be a "difference" that a screenwriter invented for the dialog.

#### chopin7

##### Senior Member
Thank you, Owlman.
I really don't know.
I can only repeat his words.
Maybe screenwriter is going for something deep.
In the script, it is written semi-tone.
I think that normally it is written just semitone.
Maybe that got something to do with it?

#### owlman5

##### Senior Member
That doesn't sound likely to me, Chopin7.

#### mausim

##### Senior Member
Hello

A teacher is listening his pupil playing Chopin on piano.
He is not happy with her interpretation and says to her,
"I usually insist that you let the music take you somewhere.
Let it surprise you. Even on occasion, let it overwhelm you."

After saying all this, he adds
"Now, that’s just as important as knowing the difference between a half step and a semi-tone."

As far as I know, half step and semitone are the same thing.
So, I don't see any sense here.
Do you? Movie "Love is Strange".

Thank you
I am not sure, but among musicians and physicists there is a slight difference between tones intervals considering the instruments on sight. There is semi-tones and commas, as so speak.
In piano, a tempered one, a sharp and a flat note have the same intonation, but not the same occurs in violins for instance.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythagorean_comma

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#### chopin7

##### Senior Member
Thanks again, Owlman.
Just wondering.