The name given to the distance between two pitches. Can be expressed in terms of relative scale degrees (minor 3rd, tritone, unison, octave) or exact ratios (3:2, 16:9, 5:4).

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32
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6answers
3k views

What notes are optional in jazz chords?

I have a question on jazz chords, and what notes can be removed from the chord. My understanding is fairly superficial - mostly from what I've read in books. This is what I understand: In some ...
18
votes
11answers
793 views

Can a chord contain both the C and C♯ notes? (as opposed to containing C and D♭ notes)

Can a chord contain both the C and C♯ notes? Or do you always have to use D♭ rather than C♯ in a chord that already contains the note C? I'm guessing the answer is no, both C and C♯ should not be ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

Why are thirds used to construct chords?

I am (slowly) learning music theory on the guitar. I've begun learning about scales and chords, and it seems that all chords are built using some combination of thirds. For example, a minor triad is ...
16
votes
9answers
918 views

Musical Aids to Memorize Intervals

As the tutor for my school's music department, I spend a lot of time helping students drill intervals. However, I only have a handful of songs to recommend recognition. P8 — Somewhere Over the ...
15
votes
8answers
3k views

What makes an interval “Perfect”?

I've been trying to find an answer, but to no avail. Is what we call a perfect interval somewhat arbitrary? It seems as if the modern definition is "perfect under inversion". I know the other thing ...
15
votes
2answers
502 views

What is the name of the interval Db - D#?

I know that Db - Eb is a major second/diminished third. What is the interval Db - D# called (and why)? EDIT: oops, Db - Eb is NOT a diminished third.
15
votes
4answers
341 views

Are octaves, fifths, fourths and thirds considered as “consonant” in all music cultures?

Our western music culture revolves around the rule that certain intervals are very consonant, and others (such as the interval between a B and F) are dissonant. The octave is the most consonant ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Are doubly augmented and doubly diminished intervals practical?

In music theory when naming intervals, a lowered diminished interval is a doubly diminished interval (dd) and a raised augmented interval is a doubly augmented interval (AA). Ex a C# to a Gb would be ...
13
votes
6answers
759 views

Having trouble memorizing intervals in ear training

I've been using some of those interval training games like this one and I have tried some on my phone as well. The problem is that I don't think I'm making any progress. Right now (on the website I ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do notes have multiple names?

I've seen the same note called different names for example the note F# can also be written as Gb. Why is this the case and are there times to use one name over another?
12
votes
10answers
4k views

What is the full list of possible chord names? Are there chords that don't have a name in chord theory?

My chord book covers 35 different chord types. When I look on the web or in other tools, all the same types of chords come up. But I don't think this is the "full" set of possible chords. I'm not ...
12
votes
3answers
257 views

What is this scale? [Root , +1 , +3 , +1 , +2 , +1 , +3 , +1 (Root again)]

Intervals (relative to previous note): Root , +1 , +3 , +1 , +2 , +1 , +3 , +1 (Root again) Example: A, Bb, C#, D, E, F, G# This scale is used often in Turkish Music. But I don't know if it has a ...
12
votes
2answers
734 views

Does a diminished first exist?

Are there any instances where the first note in a scale/chord is "diminished"? For instance, could a Db occur in a D chord, where the context explicitly requires that this is a Db (diminished first) ...
12
votes
3answers
408 views

Interval of a 4th above the bass

As I was studying music theory (harmonizing a melody in particular) I got confused with the statement: The interval of a 4th above the bass is considered dissonant and must resolve down by ...
10
votes
6answers
256 views

Why aren't intervals zero-indexed?

Note: italics such as "2nd" refer to my proposed notation; existing notation is written without italics: "2nd". Why is the interval between C and D called a 2nd, as they are 1 note apart? Surely this ...
10
votes
3answers
646 views

What are some useful ear training exercises for moving beyond two-note interval training?

I've practiced enough that I can recognize two-note intervals in isolation (sequentially), but this doesn't seem to help that much for understanding actual songs. What exercises would help to go ...
9
votes
1answer
516 views

Is i-V a stronger progression than I-V?

I'm just starting to learn a little music theory (in connection with learning to play the ukelele), and I repeatedly see I-V as basically the strongest chord progression (in whatever sense "strongest" ...
9
votes
2answers
164 views

What are the characteristic intervals or scales of 13-limit harmony and beyond?

I've been studying and really getting into the Extended Just Intonation music of composers like Ben Johnston and Kyle Gann. I've started trying to explore the sort of intervals and scales that are ...
8
votes
4answers
981 views

Why is a minor 3rd consonant but an augmented 2nd dissonant?

I am currently reading the Jazzology and on the chapter per the consonant and dissonant intervals I came across this statement: while a minor 3rd is consonant, an augmented 2nd is dissonant. ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Exercises for quickly identifying intervals on the staff

In order to improve my piano sight-reading, I want to practice recognizing intervals on the staff faster. If possible I'd like to combine the interval-recognition with a training for my finger memory, ...
8
votes
2answers
186 views

Why in the study of counterpoint by johan fux are minor sixths allowed but not augmented fifth?

If augmented fifths and minor sixths are enharmonically equivalent why does johan fux in his book study of counterpoint allow minor sixths but not augmented fifths if they sound the same? How does one ...
7
votes
5answers
334 views

Chords and Intervals - Unison

Just trying to wrap my head around intervals but I'm confused by Unison. If I am playing a chord on a piano, how do you play a Unison chord if you can't press the same key twice at the same time? ...
7
votes
3answers
369 views

More dissonant chords/intervals in the bass clef when frequency proportions are the same?

Take for example C augmented. It sounds more consonant in the treble clef above middle C and more dissonant in the bass clef. However the proportions of the frequencies are exactly the same. This ...
7
votes
5answers
3k views

How to differentiate between a diminished fifth and an augmented fourth interval?

Both are a tritone appart, both sound the same. How can we differentiate when an interval is an augmented fourth or a diminished fifth? Context: In voice leading we learn that when the spelling of ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Does the bass note in a “slash” chord really have an associated interval?

I have a question about "slash" chords. Look at the chord E/G: E G♯ B G 1 3 5 ? G is the minor 3rd interval (♭3) in the key of E. However, I would have thought by definition chords cannot ...
6
votes
4answers
340 views

Recognizing downwards intervals by humming corresponding upwards interval - bad practice?

Originally I tried to recognize intervals by ear through the use of songs (e.g. m3 = first two notes in Greensleeves). This worked until I got to m6-M7, where the songs I had for downwards intervals ...
6
votes
3answers
320 views

What makes augmented fourths and the diminished fifths so hard to sing/remember?

I've always wondered what makes these particular intervals so difficult.
6
votes
1answer
145 views

What is a parallel seventh?

Does anyone know what this is? I was reading a book and they mentioned this. It might be something to do with scales but I am completely unsure.
5
votes
2answers
133 views

Are these parallel octaves?

I am writing a chorale in C flat major and I currently have a 3 chord going to a I6 chord. Stacked, the chords are EGEB to EGEC. Is this considered parallel octaves? HELP.
5
votes
2answers
389 views

What's the term for the intervals between notes within a scale that produces a chord

I probably described that poorly in the title, and I'm not even sure there is a word for what I'm thinking. Lets say you're playing on just the white keys on a keyboard. C E G is C major, and D F A ...
5
votes
2answers
167 views

What is the savart unit in Persian music theory?

i was heard about savart unit in persian music that divides a chromatic interval into smaller units. persian musicians using an interval smaller than the chromatic intervals, called: kron. they ...
5
votes
3answers
131 views

“Tritone” intervals in n-tone equal temperament

In 12-tone equal temperament, the tritone interval is made of three whole tones (six semitones) and is considered, if I am not mistaken totally, as the most dissonant interval. I have two questions: ...
5
votes
3answers
317 views

General procedure for determining the name of an interval given a major key / diatonic collection

I'm attempting to program a library that lets one make use of concepts from Peter Westergaard's tonal theory. The current problem I'm trying to solve is to determine the specific name of an interval ...
5
votes
2answers
244 views

Tips on identifying intervals by ear?

So, I'm a guitar player, and I'm taking a music theory class. All of the theory we're learning about sort of revolves around the piano. And I've never really had any formal training with theory, I ...
4
votes
4answers
141 views

Still Major Intervals?

I have a worksheet to prepare me for my A level music; however I'm confused when being asked to name these intervals: My logic is that as both the tonic and above note are both flat meaning the ...
4
votes
5answers
161 views

How to create an interval from a note which doesn't start a major scale

When constructing an interval, e.g. a major third from A I work like this: Count three notes including the starting one, so A, B, C Now check on the circle of fifths whether A major scale has an ...
4
votes
1answer
178 views

How should I write a 2nd interval between two voices?

I've written two voices, and as you can see here, they are seperated by a 2nd, so the notes intersect. This is, obviously, unacceptable. So how should I handle this? If I move the note heads, it ...
4
votes
2answers
284 views

What note(s) are a diminished 3rd above D-flat?

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
68 views

Are same interval leaps consented in second species counterpoint?

I've been told that, in second species counterpoint, presenting the same interval in 2 consecutive bars is an error. What then if the intervals skips in opposite directions? Like this: Is this ...
4
votes
2answers
354 views

How do you label a sequential interval when the second note is lower in pitch than the first?

Consider the interval D3 G3. This would form a perfect fourth. In a sequential interval, say a quarter note D3 followed by quarter note G3, this still "sounds" like a perfect fourth so using that ...
4
votes
3answers
192 views

Distinguishing intervals

I've been practicing on an Ear Trainer program for my iPhone, and I've noticed a distinct pattern. The way the program works you tell it what intervals/scales/chords you want to practice, and it'll ...
3
votes
8answers
780 views

Confusion about major and minor second intervals

Why is a major second interval different from a minor second interval considering that in the natural scales formulae they are both one whole step?
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Theory of Major and Minor Chord Sounds

Since a major triad is comprised of a minor-third stacked on top of a major-third, and a minor triad is comprised of a major-third stacked on top of a minor-third, they should, in "theory", have the ...
3
votes
3answers
434 views

Changing compound intervals into simple intervals to simplify a piano arrangement

I am learning to play "raindrop keep falling on my head". In the sheet I have there are in the base line there are tenth interval that I simplified into thirds: My questions are: Is it very ...
3
votes
3answers
268 views

How often does each interval appear in the harmonic series (relative to the fundamental)?

For practical purposes, lets assume a limited harmonic series. How many harmonics are a fifth? How many a minor third? And so on. What intervals are commonly found in the harmonic series? What ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

I need help to understand chord intervals (not single note intervals)

I understand intervals between notes. Each number of steps between two notes has a particular name. Like this: But some times I see people refering to intervals between chords, not single notes. ...
3
votes
3answers
215 views

Ranking Interval Complexity

I would like to know the order of complexity of musical intervals (in a melody). I learned about this from an exposure to the Kodaly method, although I have not learned from nor taught using the ...
3
votes
1answer
150 views

leaps: small vs. large (learning counterpoint)

I'm reading Harmony in Context by Roig-Francoli as a first theory text to teach myself composition. In his Introduction to Species Counterpoint chapter, he mentions that the melody should consist of ...
2
votes
2answers
115 views

What interval do all the modes have in common?

I was watching a video exercise to play all of the modes you can over a power chord A5 in this case. Is there an interval that all modes share over a particular tonic (A in this example)?
2
votes
2answers
898 views

Perfect pitch and tuning forks

Ok. So I consider myself to have pretty good pitch. If you give me a few seconds after you sound a note, I can tell you what the note is. I can also tune a timpani to any pitch using only my mouth ...