# Questions tagged [intervals]

For questions centered around the ideas about and classification of distances between two pitch.

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### Why are the perfect fifth and fourth called "perfect" in 12-ET when they differ by approximately 2 cents from just intonation? [duplicate]

The terms "perfect fifth" and "perfect fourth" are commonly used in music theory to describe these intervals in both 12-tone equal temperament (12-ET) and just intonation. However, ...
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### Ear training - really struggling with intervals [closed]

My family is 75% professional musicians but I've had a scattered education. I'm trying isolate what I'm missing and what exactly is the issue. I can read basic sheet music, I can sing well, and I can ...
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### Are there dedicated symbols for interval qualities?

I want to describe harmonic intervals between two notes in text. Given that key and mode are not specified in this context, are there dedicated symbols to signify a major, minor, perfect, diminished ...
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### How to convert Interval Difference to Circle of Fifths segments and position [closed]

I'm designing a numeric decimal notation code model for exploring math relations between notes on chromatic scales and circle of fifths. The model uses numeric identifiers instead of letters. So for ...
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### Interval exercise gone wrong?

Reading "Music Theory for Guitar An Introduction to the Essentials", I’ve tried to do the interval exercises. I am pretty sure there are two errors in the following: It should be M7 not m7. ...
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### The transition from G to C in guitar chord progressions

I'm now learning chord progressions and melodic intervals. The way in which I learn chord progressions is by identifying the intervals between the bass notes, so when I play the chord C and then G , ...
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### Why should tritones not be counted from "both ends"

In compiling an interval-class vector (where an interval class is an ascending interval less-than-or-equal-to one tritone), it seems that tritones should be counted (ascending) from both ends of that ...
1 vote
121 views

### Can we shift the diatonic scale "one fifth" to the left?

The seven-note Pythagorean scale is obtain by completing the cycle of fifths until we get to the eighth fifth. The diatonic scale is obtained by starting with the fourth and then running the cycle of ...
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### 3:1 (or 1:3) interval, does it exist ? How to perform it from a C?

Given that a composed sound is composed of a fundamental frequency and its harmonics (multiples of the fundamental), we could easily image that a pitch (with a fundamenal frequency f) is played and ...
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1 vote
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### What is the size of a doubly diminished second

What is the size of a doubly diminished second? Let's take E# and Fb as an example. One argument, courtesy @Divizna, is as follows. A doubly diminished n-th should be smaller by two semitones than the ...
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### Augmented intervals

Every interval can also have an augmented (and diminished) version. Is that true about augmented (and diminished?) unisons? As in C>C♯, and C>C♭? I ask, as C>D♭ is m2, as is C>B, but that'...
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### How did minor 2nd get its name?

In the natural, or harmonic or melodic minor scale, we do not find the minor 2nd note which is rather found in Phrygian or Locrian Mode, or maybe Ionian#1. Then why is this note called minor 2nd if it ...
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### Confusion regarding intervals

In my study of intervals I learned that two notes separated by one semitone is a minor 2nd interval. This feels quite intuitive to me and I readily accepted this fact a long time ago. Just recently, ...
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### figuring out 3rd of a note

I am having a hard time just to figure out 3rd of a given note, in fact in backward. For example, G's 3rd in backward is E and F's is D. It does not come out as naturally as I wish it to. Is there a ...
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I am having a hard time practicing triads. Just figuring out 3rd or 5th of a given note, or 4th(from 5th down to 1st) of a given note takes really long time. Is there a good way to speeding up ...
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### Playing a scale with a flat 10 across multiple octaves

Let's say I'm playing a keyboard solo and I'm using a C major scale with a flat 10. So I play an E in the first octave and an E flat in the second octave, but then I get very, showy prog-rocky and I ...
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1 vote
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### How do I use moveable solfege to play songs by ear? [duplicate]

I've been told solfege will help me play a melody by ear and have been learning about it. One thing that really confuses me, is do I approach it by using intervals to remake the song? For example when ...
157 views

### How to find the parent scale (prime form?) for a group of sibling modes?

Reminder: I know just enough theory to be really annoying. this is everything I know about it. so far. I've calculated all the possible modes and recently learned they all have names but what eludes ...
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1 vote
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### An example of a triply diminished interval in a specific piece of music [closed]

The thought spurred from a question I had for my music theory teacher. I asked her, “can doubly diminished intervals exist without double sharps or double flats?” We hadn’t gotten into double d or A, ...
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1 vote
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### Minor third interval in minor scales: From tonic to?

Major scales have a major third interval from the tonic of the scale to the 3rd scale degree. I would expect the same to be true in minor with a minor third interval but, for example, in the ...
231 views

### Different meanings of "third"?

Third can refer to: an interval (major or minor third) the pitch class that is one third away from the tonic the third scale degree In case of the meaning 2., the pitch class that is one third away ...
648 views

### How to do just intonation interval ear training?

I've been trying to train my ear to distinguish intervals for quite some time but I don't get very good at it. I've got a hypothesis that it's because ask the interval training programs, websites and ...
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### What do the notes represent if their relationships are different in different tuning systems?

The relationship between an A and a B is different in say, just intonation and equal temprement. I understand that the absolute frequencies aren't important but instead the relative difference between ...
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1 vote
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### Term for two notes played together only a half step apart

What is the term for two notes played on a piano that are only a half step apart, such as a C and a C# being played together?
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### Perfect Pitch: Are tones recognizable by themselves or only in comparison with another tone?

Are the frequencies C4 = 260 Hz and A4 = 440 Hz actually noticeably different to someone with “perfect pitch”? I ask myself, what did they learn differently growing up to notice the difference in ...
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### How did tetrachords become whole and half steps?

How did the ancient Greek concept of tetrachords evolve into the whole- and half-step model familiar today?
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### Typical pitch interval of the exclamation "uh-oh!" [closed]

When one encounters a problem, one might exclaim "uh-oh!" What is the typical pitch interval between "uh" and "oh"? The absolute pitches of "uh" and "oh&...
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### What does this counterpoint rule mean?

I'm using a Musescore extension called Counterpoint Analyzer 0.4, and I am not sure what one of the warning messages refers to. Please see numbers 1 and 2 in the following: Any thoughts as to what ...
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### Difference between perfect 4th and perfect 5th

I've recently been learning about interval ratios and about why some intervals are more consonant or dissonant than others. I was trying to find out about the order of intervals by consonance/...
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### Are the intervals in the pentatonic scale all considered steps?

When studying non-chord tones all the definitions use steps in the diatonic sense, but what about non-chord tones in pentatonic melodies? Are melodies written in pentatonic scales considered "...
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### How do I name the inversion of an augmented octave?

Say we have D flat going up an augmented octave to D natural. The inversion would be D flat adjacent to D natural, or D natural adjacent to D flat. We know that when an augmented interval is inverted, ...
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### Using song for interval training or not [duplicate]

When learning the intervals, is it bad using song as a reference? I mean I wanna get as good as possible and get them on instinct rather than a song reference. It would be also be less work if can ...
1 vote
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### Do chord voicings matter for the intervals

If I'm playing in C Major the C Major open guitar chord and then I want to play the 5th to this chord, what chord should I play ? I know there's a rule that says "to determine interval between 2 ...
1 vote
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### How to distinguish two notes played harmonically [duplicate]

I have been practicing intervals for some time now. I have gotten good at recognizing ascending melodic intervals and I am currently trying to learn harmonic intervals. From my knowledge, there are 2 ...
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### Can competent brass players play large leaps?

This is a passage for Horn in F in a moderato tempo (the key is 4 sharps): Though it mostly moves by step, there are several leaps, one of which is by a dissonant melodic interval (diminished third). ...
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### Do difference in octaves matter for the intervals?

Should I account difference in octaves between different guitar strings, like between 5th (octave A2) string and 4th string (octave D3), when I'm looking for intervals (for example perfect 4th) ? I ...
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### Usage of sharpened subdominant in minor key: what is the diatonic function?

The piece Für Elise uses a D♯ in the key of A minor in the first bar, which is the sharpened subdominant. (I'm focusing on the first part, up to halfway through bar 23 in this score.) D♯ and G♯ are ...
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### Semitones vs perfect fifth

This website: https://www.musictheoryacademy.com/understanding-music/intervals/perfect-fifth/) is saying that: "A perfect fifth is an interval of 7 semitones between 2 notes." The ...
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### Consonant vs. Dissonant Major Thirds: Historical Process and Significance of Tuning System

In the comments to the question Why is the fourth against the bass considered a dissonance?, I wrote A 5:4 third was considered dissonant until musical tastes changed and declared it consonant. To ...
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### Why is the fourth against the bass considered a dissonance? [duplicate]

The consonance or dissonance of an interval is determined by the simplicity of the ratio between their frequencies. An octave(most consonant interval), has a ratio of 2/1, the perfect fifth has a ...
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### Why are diminished fifths called tritones?

The word "tritone" basically means three whole tones. In the C major scale, we find this between F and B as F-G-A-B. This interval is also called an augmented fourth. However, a diminished ...
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### Why can't we spell a diminished 3rd or an augmented 5th using only the notes in a major scale?

This might be a silly question, but why can't we spell a diminished 3rd or an augmented 5th using only the notes in a major scale? I think what I'm really confused is that, for example, A to F has 8 ...
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### Historically, what is the difference between the interval qualities "perfect" and "major"? [duplicate]

So I'm trying to wrap my head around intervals. I know that, for instance, a major chord is made up by the fundamental (I), a perfect third (III) and a perfect fifth (V). So, the "important" ...
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### Question on the formation of the Harmonic field in general

Given a key note, you can build up any sort of scale, for scales are just patterns of whole and half steps. The minor and major are examples. Now, if the scale is the set of notes, the harmonic field ...
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### Are there optimal intervals for major and minor 3rds?

I've been reading an excellent book on the mathematics and history of scales called "The Arithmetic of Listening". Based on what I have read, I am thinking that both the 4th and 5th have an ...
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### Can my scale have two whole steps of distance?

I want to create scales. I would like to do that to create the most original music as possible. Now, as a beginner, I don't see why the scales that I studied are composed just by whole steps (W) and ...
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### Why was the melodic augmented second forbidden?

When voice leading in the eighteenth-century style, why is the melodic augmented second (e.g., B♮ to A♭ in the same voice) forbidden? Over the years I've heard reasons ranging from "it's awkward&...
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### Functional ear training vs interval ear training for singers

Do singers use functional (scale degree) ear training method or interval ear training method to find a reference pitch from the accompaniments to start singing in key? for example, the accompaniment ...
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