I created this for my kids and thought it would be fun to put on the blog:
Western music uses various intervals. The smallest one is the “half-step.” A half-step is the distance between the notes sounded by any two keys on the piano that are right next to each other. If the key to the right of the one you start on is a white key, then the difference between the two notes is a half-step. If it is a black key, that is a half-step, too. The distance between two white keys is usually a whole step (two half-steps), but B and C are a half-step apart. E and F are also. See this:
So the distance between F and the black key right next to it is also a half-step. That note is called “F-sharp” or “G-flat.” We will go into the reason for two names later. You should notice on the diagram above that there is a deeper “C” and a higher “C.” The series CDEFGABC repeats over and over again if you look at a whole piano keyboard. Sing the same melody in high voce and then a deep voice. A piano can do this in about 7 “voices.” Staff paper uses the same notes as a piano keyboard, but the system is a little different. Here is an example:
Notice that some notes are written on lines and some are written on the spaces in between. On a musical staff, the distance between a space and next line or a line and the next space is usually a whole-step, but sometimes a half-step. Between which two notes does the half-step occur? You guessed it, E and F and also B and C. If this information was new to you, it would be worth your while to spend some time digesting it before trying to go on.
Source for staff-image: http://www.music-mind.com/Music/indexlrm.HTM