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In What is the interval between Db and D# some of the comments indicate that the interval Db->Eb can be considered as a diminished third. I would think that Fbb (double-flatted F) is a diminished third above Db.

Is there more than one (name for the) note that is a diminished 3rd above Db?

If so, wouldn't this ambiguity exist for all of the other intervals?

Note: I'm aware that in a world of equal temperament, this is kind of moot, but that formally there is a difference between Eb and Fbb.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 11 down vote accepted

There is exactly one note that is a diminished 3rd above Db: Fb.

Db to Eb is not a diminished third, it is a major second. Those comments are wrong. This question explains the difference between two enharmonically equivalent notes.

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+1 I agree. A lot of those comments were plainly wrong. This is when I wish I could downvote a comment. –  American Luke Aug 8 '12 at 23:11
1  
@Luke: If a comment is wrong please answer in the correct question/thread and not in this one. –  nilsge Aug 9 '12 at 18:10

Is there more than one (name for the) note that is a diminished 3rd above Db?

Nope only one correct answer. D to F is a minor third. Db to Fb is also a minor third. An Diminished interval is one semitone below the minor interval (In this case) while still being a third away from the root note ie F double flat.

If so, wouldn't this ambiguity exist for all of the other intervals?

No ambiguity only one correct answer.

Notes may be played in the same place and have different names. D to E is a second. It cannot be a third even if the notes are played at the same key as some third interval. To determine what a second is you start on the bottom (Bottom being one) and count until you get to the number two. D(1) - E(2).

If you start on a D both a Augmented Unison and a Minor Second will both be played at the same place on the piano but that does not make an Augmented Unison or a Minor Second the same interval.

This confusion often arises from teachers who try and cut corners when teaching intervals by just making it an exercise in counting semitones. This is absolutely the wrong way to teach it as D# and Eb are both three semitones from the note C but are in now way the same interval.

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