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A semitone is a half tone step. On the piano, this is often black-to-white or white-to-black (except for 2 places where they're both white).

Some examples:

  • C > C#
  • Bb > B
  • E > F

Sheet music will add accidentals sometimes to show semitones not in the key signature - eg: the opening notes of Für Elise

A chromatic scale is made from entirely semitones.

Also see Intervals