When I do ear training, I like to use mnemonics, in the form of a short snippet from a well-known song, to help me memorize certain aural patterns. I can share some of the ones I have so far, but I think it would be nice if we could collectively compile with as many as possible. If this is successful, I'm willing to turn it into an organized chart and share it with everyone.

The mnemonics can come from anywhere, but I think they're especially helpful when they come from well-known sources. High up the list are things like folk songs, nursery rhymes, Christmas carols, and jingles.

Here are some of the mnemonics I use:

  • Major 3rd, ascending: Kumbaya
  • Perfect 4th, ascending: Auld Lang Syne
  • Major 6th, ascending: My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean
  • Octave: Somewhere Over The Rainbow
  • Major triad, root position, ascending: Kumbaya
  • Major triad, root position, descending: US National Anthem
  • Major triad, 1st inversion, ascending: theme from Beethoven's Appassionata sonata (there must be a better one!)
  • Dominant 7th chord, root position, ascending: Twist and Shout, by The Beatles
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    The only problem I have with this idea is that some don't really work absolutely, because they don't use the root (or perceived 1st note) as the first note. Auld Lang Syne is one - it takes an anacrucis going to the root to form it. My Bonnie does the same sort of idea. Yes, of course each one produces the 'correct' interval, but on an 'incorrect' emphasis. There will be those who understand, and those who disagree. Just a thought...
    – Tim
    Jul 6 '19 at 18:02