Questions tagged [intervals]

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

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3answers
98 views

Renaming intervals to avoid fractions

Any two consecutive piano keys make an interval of 1/2 step (e.g. C to C#, or E to F). Why not just rename that to be a whole step, and avoid having to use fractions? Then, for example, C to F would ...
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2answers
543 views

Interval calculation (Eb-B#)

I'm trying to name the interval Eb-B#. We know that E-B is a perfect fifth. And by taking Eb-B, it becomes an augmented fifth. But what about Eb-B#? I cannot find a suitable name for this one. Thank ...
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2answers
383 views

Double Augmented 4th?

This is from page 106 of The Complete Elementary Music Rudiments, 2nd Edition by Mark Sarnecki. It is in the section about enharmonic intervals The question is asking for the interval from A# to E# (a ...
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3answers
60 views

Does tonality require consonance?

It seems like tonality and consonance go hand in hand, but I’m still unsure if consonance is necessary to establish a tonal center, or if consonance is just the preferred sound against a tonal center. ...
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5answers
145 views

Is it correct to refer to a third/fifth/etc even if they're on black keys?

As I understand it, the terms "third", "fifth", "seventh", etc. all refer to the n-th white key relative to the root note. To demonstrate this, let's observe a C major ...
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6answers
667 views

How does the tonic establish itself in a melody?

Whenever I hear an explanation about what the tonic or root note is, it’s about how it creates some kind of gravitational pull in the music. How does it do that exactly? How does our brain piece ...
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2answers
118 views

Do intervals contain a variable number of steps? Are they absolute, or linked to C-major? [duplicate]

An interval is the distance between two pitches. We name the major intervals based on the number of note names they contain. Since the note letter names have been assigned such that in the C-major ...
6
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4answers
385 views

Why do major and minor triads sound different both harmonically and melodically?

Sorry if the wording is odd, but basically my question is, why do the major and minor triads have two distinct sounds, if they share all of the same intervals? Not only when they’re stacked ...
29
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11answers
2k views

Advantage of 7-note based theory over 12-note alternative

I'm a beginner at music, so I apologize if this is a dumb question. I've been trying to figure out why (in a 21/12 equal temperament tuning) music theory is based on 7 distinct notes (A,B,C,D,E,F,G) ...
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0answers
41 views

Inverted pedal tones but intervals

What is the correct term when you play melodic intervals in higher pitch than primary melody? As for the rhythmic support for primary melody. If it was pedal tones played that way, it would be called ...
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2answers
338 views

why are ukuleles not tuned ascending? [duplicate]

I am a guitar player and trying to figure out how a Ukelele is tuned. From what I understand, the Concert, Tenor and Soprano Ukeleles are tuned G4, C4, E4 and A4. So the lowest string is actually ...
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1answer
31 views

How important is consonance/dissonance in suspensions?

It’s difficult for me to really hear any (harmonic) consonance or dissonance value when two notes are heard at the same time, but do NOT begin at the same time. As a listener, I find myself more drawn ...
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3answers
58 views

Finding intervals on an instrument vs. naming them

I would like to piggyback on this question: If someone can sing a melody, why can they not also recognize the intervals within that melody? The OP is asking why it is easy to sing a song we know, ...
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6answers
731 views

How come modern modes are based on the same set of intervals?

I couldn't find any answer regarding this specifically, so I assume there's some basic concept behind this that I missed. So, as far as I know: Modern modes are based on the same set of intervals, ...
5
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4answers
316 views

Is the bottom note of an interval favored?

I was practicing counterpoint (2nd species) and decided to experiment with ending on a perfect 5th except the top line was a C and the bottom an F. I know this isn't technically allowed in 2nd species,...
4
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4answers
165 views

Why does A minor scale sound the “best” over Dm and C chord progression?

I created a little loop with the following two intervals: D A and C G Listen here: https://tinyurl.com/ybsukagd In looking at what scale to use to solo over that simple progression, I thought D ...
29
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10answers
4k views

If someone can sing a melody, why can they not also recognize the intervals within that melody?

Surely everyone who struggles with relative pitch already has in-built relative pitch, so why is it so hard to actually recognise intervals? What I mean is from a child I (and most other people I ...
4
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2answers
295 views

What is the correct way to notate a no3/sus chord?

If I have a chord made up of the root, 5th, 7th and 9th intervals, what would be the correct way of notating this? I have seen two different conventions that are as follows: CMaj9 (sus) or CMaj9 (...
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3answers
3k views

Is B♯ to F an impossible interval? [duplicate]

What is the quality of the interval B♯ to F? If you count from B to F, you get the generic interval 5th. So it must be some kind of 5th. B ♮ to F♯ is a P5. By lowering the upper ...
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5answers
4k views

Why is a doubling of frequency called an octave?

I understand that when two frequencies have a ratio of 2^n:1 for any natural number n, they are said to be n octaves apart. Moreover, they sound "essentially the same" to our ear. However, why do we ...
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2answers
286 views

What are these octave like shapes used in popular indie rock?

I've got 2 octave(?) related questions. One about starting on the A string and one about starting on the E string. Regarding the A string: there's a specific part of a Strokes song called "Reptilia". ...
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1answer
78 views

Notation for Equal Division of an Interval?

In an interview, Jacob Collier talks about microtonal voice leading (dividing a minor 3rd into 4 equal parts): June Lee notates this with a horizontal bracket and a ...
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5answers
123 views

Learning minor scale notes on guitar

this is a basic question but I can't wrap my head around it : when you are using the interval formula for the minor scale (or any scale) how do you know if you should use flat or shaps as the ...
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3answers
93 views

Why do we use geometric Progression?

It seems what's important in the progression of the frequencies in notes is...the difference in frequency of any two notes is not the same, but the ratio between any two notes of the same distance is ...
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3answers
116 views

Pinpointing intervals: Perfect fifth or Perfect fourth?

a shower thought occurred to me and as a non-formally trained musician I wonder if someone could quell my queries regarding this. Say I have an interval, a G note followed by a C note, where the C ...
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2answers
152 views

Why is Eb to A# not a perfect 5th?

I read a mock question that asked if Eb to A# was a perfect 5th. I counted up 7 semitones, and concluded it was. The answer says that it’s not, but not why. Is it simply because the enharmonic ...
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2answers
110 views

What does it mean to play an interval “below”?

If someone tells me to play a D power chord a fifth "below", what am I to play and why?
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4answers
128 views

Term for conversion between different tonalities (C major to C minor, etc.)

(Inspired by this recent question:) If we theorists reserve "transposition" for shifting everything by specific intervals, like every note goes down by a minor 3rd, what do we say when someone ...
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3answers
181 views

How is the ninth a fifth below a fifth?

I am reading Vincent Persichetti's "Twentieth Century Harmony" and in the first chapter he mentions that The most effective support tones are the fifth and the ninth, the fifth because it's a ...
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2answers
95 views

Why does a sixth sound so harsh below C3? [closed]

I have noticed that a sixth, particularly a harmonic sixth, sounds very harsh when the lowest note is below C3 and especially harsh if the sixth is minor. In fact, a minor sixth below C3 sounds to my ...
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3answers
163 views

Grade 5 ABRSM Music theory: Intervals in transposition

Does it matter whether the interval is diminished, minor, major or augmented in transposing THE KEY SIGNATURE? of course it is crucial in the transposition of notes but is it important in key ...
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7answers
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Why is the interval between G and F in C Major a minor 7th?

I am working through a music theory workbook and one interval question is giving me trouble. The question shows a treble clef in C major with a G and F above it. I am asked to name the interval and ...
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1answer
75 views

Best guide to consonance?

It is said that lower fractions = greater consonance. 3/2, The Perfect Fifth, being the smallest fraction, has the highest consonance. However it is also said that 12TET has nice fifths, because they ...
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4answers
2k views

Converting hertz to cents

I have encountered some unexpected results converting hertz to cents, and would like to know where the issue lies. The formulas are as entered in Excel. Cents = 1200*LOG(Hertz,2) Hertz = 2^(Cents/...
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1answer
63 views

Rules for Adding Specific Intervals

Is there a set of rules determining the quality after adding specific intervals? For example, m3 + M3 = P5. It seems obvious that the number of the interval is addition but minus 1 because the bottom ...
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2answers
219 views

Is the Tritone the most dissonant interval? [duplicate]

I have seen a lot of people say that the minor second is more dissonant than the tritone. I however don't think of it that way. Don't get me wrong, the minor second is quite dissonant but to put it ...
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1answer
121 views

Identify the major key as given by the key signature, as well as the interval provided [closed]

I am trying to solve some practice questions and was wondering if they are right My answers :- Key: D Major 4th Interval Key: A-Flat Major 2nd Interval Key: G-flat Major 3rd Interval Key: B-...
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4answers
299 views

Are intervals the same as chords?

So are harmonic intervals the same as chords? I understand that an interval is the difference between two notes (pitches?), and to get them you have to play these two notes simultaneously. Isn't that ...
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2answers
1k views

Mistake with Whole/Half step intervals problem

I took a beginner music theory class and there was a quiz on reading music notation. H W H W H W W W W W I got 8 of them right. I got the 4th and 10th bar wrong. I wrote it's a whole step (W) for ...
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2answers
388 views

What is the difference between diminished fifth and augmented fourth? [duplicate]

Are diminished fifth and augmented fourth the same intervals? They both consist of six semi-tones but why do they have different names?
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7answers
268 views

Do you need to look at keys for intervals?

Say you have a starting note that is written on B. Would you have to fill out all of the sharps that the key of B has to find out the interval? Like if you had one note on B and the other was on D ...
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1answer
75 views

How long before dissonance appears in contrary motion scales?

Just to make things clear, let's set some limits: The scale is F major and the tonic is F One of the scales has to start and end on F The other note can start from any note in the F major scale up to ...
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4answers
419 views

What set of notes can be used as a scale?

There are many different scales. As far as I understand, a scale is defined by intervals between notes. For example, for major scale it should be: tone-tone-semitone-tone-tone-tone-semitone I know ...
9
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10answers
3k views

If equal temperament divides an octave into 12 equal parts, why are the hertz differences not the same but 12ths of two?

Let's take a 440Hz A pitch and the 880Hz A an octave higher. If we divide space between 440Hz and 880Hz into 12 equal parts, we would have: [440Hz, 476.6, 513.2 ... 880Hz.] And this looks ...
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1answer
113 views

Given that an Octatonic Scale has 8 notes, what are the names of the scale intervals e.g. for a diminished scale?

Assuming the C° (half/whole) scale (C D♭ E♭ E G♭ G A B♭ C) comprises the intervals P1, m2, m3, d4, d5, d6, and m7, what is the correct name/interval descriptions for B♭ & C (the 8th & 9th ...
2
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3answers
598 views

Accounting for intervals not present within the chord ratio?

Here are a selection of chord ratios.. Minor Chord - 10:12:15 Root (1:1) - Major 3rd (4:5) - Perfect 5th (2:3) Major 7th Chord - 8:10:12:15 Root (1:1) - Major 3rd (4:5) - Perfect 5th (2:3) - Major 7th ...
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4answers
146 views

Does the name of an interval change if the notes are in different octaves?

The interval between C and G is a perfect fifth (P5). But if the G is in a different octave does the interval name stay the same?
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5answers
4k views

Is there a relationship between prime numbers and music?

Is there a relationship between prime numbers and the series of overtones and their frequencies? I've found links to Euler's research about math and about music, and I got goose bumps when I found ...
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2answers
98 views

History of standardization of pitch and tuning: measuring waves

The velocity of a traveling wave in a stretched string is determined by the tension and the mass per unit length of the string. for a string of length cm and mass/length = gm/m. For such a string, the ...
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6answers
2k views

Do interval ratios take overtones into account or solely the fundamental frequency?

An interval holds two pitches (C an G). Those two pitches have a fundamental frequency which represents their pitch names, along with their harmonic series/overtones. When we turn that interval into ...

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