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I like @Dan04's answer re. simple ratios, but the other ones are very dense. I want to add a more straight forward answer: The distinction is based on how the interval classes relate to the tonal center. The 4th, 5th, and octave above a tonic are the tonal degrees they determine the tonal center. These tonal degrees are qualified with perfect, ...


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Perfect intervals are called that because there is a purity to there sound that is not present in the other intervals. Second intervals have a distinct dissonant quality to them that is really very different to the perfect intervals. This idea is most evident when you hear a modulation pedal in effect. Listen to the seconds it has a distinct uneasy quality ...


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Music theory is an evaluation. The ratio's (the nomenclature of the intervals) were developed by Pythagoras with his string. Perfect are only three unison/octave, fifth, and fourth. That is due to ratios. The more the ratios are dessonsonant they stop from getting the nomenclature of a perfect.


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The minor intervals are not minor because they are found in the minor scale and the same goes for major intervals. The intervals are concepts based on the distance between two notes based on letter name and absolute distance in semitones. It should also be noted that the term major and minor is used a lot in music and when applied to interval major means ...



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