I play the piano for two years now and I would like to focus much more on ear training from now on. I'm able to know if a wrong note has been played, but do not have the ability to identify what note should be played instead. My goal is to find the melody of a song by ear and eventually to play songs my ear.

I'm busy to make a list of 25 famous songs where each of the 25 intervals in an octave (12 ascending, 12 descending + perfect unison) occur in the first two notes of the song. But memorizing 25 songs and it's corresponding intervals would be a big task for me. It could cause confusion and too much thinking and checking. Compressing and bringing the 25 back down to a lower number would be more helpful.

So I was wondering if there is a list with as few as possible songs that covers up all the 25 intervals? Or more easy to answer: what (easy, slow and famous) songs (with lyrics) are there that contains a lot of intervals?

  • This question could be a classic if fleshed out some more. Many intervals taught as mnemonics turn out to be almost right. For instance, My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean is a famous song whose first interval is often taught as a 6th, for convenience, but it is really the addition of an inverted 5th and a straight 3rd. To list famous examples of true intervals would be a service to musicology.
    – lauir
    Jun 5 '17 at 3:54

Might I suggest that if your aim is to be able to play by ear then this method of learning intervals is not the best way to go about it. I think that you should find a teacher and see what other options are available that might work better.

I'm sure other answers will go into more detail; what you are aiming to do is marvellous and you would end up with a great skill but please get some professional advice first.

Good luck.

  • 1
    Thank you for your answer. I do have a piano teacher, and I will ask her about it the next lesson. I've asked this question so that I can also repeat the intervals when I do not have access to a piano (when I'm outside for example). I've been making self-made compressed mnemonics and tricks for things such as the order of flats and sharps, the circle of fifth, the scales, the modes and finding the types of chords on piano, and I've been using it a lot. Now, I do not need many of these because I've automatised it. But, I do agree with you that aural training could be a whole different story.
    – Stacker
    Jun 4 '17 at 11:01

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