difference between a half step and a semi-tone

chopin7

Senior Member
Albanian
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
    English-US
    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.

    Linked to Wikipedia: Semitone
     

    chopin7

    Senior Member
    Albanian
    Thank you, Owlman.
    I really don't know.
    I can only repeat his words.
    Maybe screenwriter is going for something deep.
    But I can't follow him.
    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?
     

    mausim

    Senior Member
    Portuguese-Brazil
    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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