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Questions tagged [intervals]

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

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What is a good app, software or other efficient method to type out staff notations? [on hold]

I’m asking for suggestions and recommendations from music theory educators who often need to prepare music lesson notes and set tests that will require a lot of staff notation images, for e.g. an ...
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3answers
326 views

Maximum interval between Alto & Tenor, & intervals when writing for SATB

What is the maximum interval permitted between the Alto & Tenor when writing for SATB? I have read it should not be more than a 10th, whereas another source said it should not be more than an 8th. ...
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3answers
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Mikrokosmos, BB 105, Vol. 1: No. 17 Contrary Motion (1) - Can't understand the structure

Can somebody explain how the harmony works in this piece? It seems that the right hand plays on C key and the left hand alternates between G and D. Why when played in opposite direction do the ...
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2answers
44 views

What does it mean to “outline an interval”?

Here, for example, I see the following rule: Consecutive leaps should outline a triad What does it exactly mean? My assumption was that, if we have a sequence of tones that leaps-wise go in one ...
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3answers
71 views

Is it ok to practice naming intervals with a guitar or keyboard in hand?

I am not formally trained in music but was wondering if it is better to try and learn intervals without looking at an instrument or if it doesn't matter really? I suppose on written tests you wouldn't ...
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4answers
146 views

when is a perfect fifth interval a diminished 6th and why? [duplicate]

I did a music theory test where I was asked the interval between F# and Db. I called the interval a perfect fifth but I was wrong. It was a diminished 6th. Can someone please can explain why this ...
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Augmented Second Created from Raised Lower Pitch

I’m working through a Barrons AP Music Theory book and was very confused by one of the diagrams. The diagram begins with a major second created by a G to an A, or a M2 due to it being a whole step. It ...
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900 views

How can a perfect fourth interval be considered either consonant or dissonant?

I've been reading Ralph Denyer's book, The Guitar Handbook, and in the section on intervals he states that the perfect fourth can be either consonant or dissonant but it's not explained as how or why. ...
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Are there any chords other than the dim7 and Fr. 6 that have two overlapping tritones?

On my question Why does the French sixth sound more dissonant than the others?, I got this answer from Ben I.: It's because the French 6th chord has an extra tritone. If we take an A♭ ...
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1answer
832 views

Is it true that “The augmented fourth (A4) and the diminished fifth (d5) are the only aug and dim intervals that appear in diatonic scales”

According to a source that I found, A4 & d5 are 2 types of tritones, and there are 1 or 2 tritones in a diatonic scale, depending on the definition. I cannot see how A4 and d5 are the only 2 ...
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393 views

What's the point of interval inversion?

The rules for inverting intervals are well documented (for example on Wikipedia), but I'm having a hard time figuring out why this operation is of interest: How does interval inversion help us in ...
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3answers
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Is there a way of measuring the distance between notes indepedently of tuning? [closed]

I am trying to understand how much of music theory can be done independently of a specific tuning system. In equal temperament, all semitones have the same size, but that is not the case in other ...
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2answers
195 views

Perfect 4th is dissonant?

Why is the perfect fourth dissonant in some cases when it does not sound dissonant? When I play it in closed position, it does not sound dissonant at all. When I play it as a compound interval, I ...
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4answers
2k views

Identifying the interval from A♭ to D♯

This is a very theoretical question but it's confusing me a little. So intervals overlap - That's why I can call a major 3rd a diminished 4th, and such. However, from what I understand, a perfect ...
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2answers
376 views

what does the apostrophe mean in this notation?

Found this whilst reading some basic theory on wikipedia, but am trying to figure out what the supposed meaning is. example: b-c' kleine secunde 16:15 source: Wikipedia link with interval table ( ...
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3answers
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Having learnt all the intervals by ear, how does one learn whole melodies? [duplicate]

This might seem like an easy step, but having learned how to recognise all the intervals upto an octave: ascending, descending and harmonically, how does one figure out a melody by ear? I can pick out ...
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4answers
178 views

Tritone or Minor 2nd as the most dissonant interval?

I'm trying to establish which interval is more dissonant, the tritone or the minor 2nd. Both are obviously very dissonant intervals. Math seems to prove that a minor 2nd should sound more consonant ...
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2answers
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Why are consecutive P4s okay to use while P1s, P5s, P8s are not?

Consecutive P1s, P5s, and P8s are not okay to be used while P4s are allowed. What's the reason?
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1answer
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How can I construct the E7 only with theory?

I have a hard time with the following description of what a E7 consists of: What does the intervall relate to here? I try to apply it to the Notes (Töne) above it (E B d gis b e`) but that can't fit....
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3answers
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Is the tritone (A4 / d5 / DA3 / Dd6) still banned in Roman Catholic music?

The tritone is one of the most dissonant intervals in music. It is also known as the "Augmented 4th", "Diminished 5th", "Doubly Augmented 3rd" or "Doubly Diminished 6th", and it is composed of three ...
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2answers
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Is a doubly augmented seventh a compound interval?

I'm reading about the theory behind intervals, and Wikipedia says: A compound interval is an interval spanning more than one octave. Does "spanning" in this case refer to the number of staff ...
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4answers
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Term for distinguishing dim/perfect/aug intervals from dim/min/maj/aug ones

There are two types of intervals, distinguished by their possible qualities: Unisons, fourths, fifths, and octaves (and their compound variants) may be of perfect or (multiply) diminished/augmented ...
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5answers
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Why do 7 chords use minor 7th while 6 chords use major 6ths?

If you play the chord C7, you would play the root, major third, fifth, and minor seventh (C - E - G - B♭), but if you play C6, you play the root, major third, fifth, and major sixth (C - E - G - ...
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2answers
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Why is the interval between C# and F a diminished 4th?

Wouldn't it be the major third as well?
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2answers
188 views

How to properly unresolve melodies to achieve dissonance and darkness in music [closed]

I'm looking to understand music theory behind dissonance, unresolved dark music. What makes a song sound serious and not "rainbows". When writing a bassline or melodies, is it possible to achieve ...
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3answers
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Classification of 9th, 11th, and 13th intervals by consonance and dissonance

An interval is classified by its consonance or dissonance: as an open consonance (unison, perfect fifth, octave), a soft consonance (major and minor third and sixth), mild dissonance (major second ...
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4answers
379 views

Why do we start from the bottom note when counting intervals?

Say if I play G to C descending, my intuition tells me to start from the note that came first. But I've been told that's not correct. You start from the bass note and count up no matter what.
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8answers
671 views

Confused about intervals and keys, does the former depends on the latter?

Sorry if my question is too trivial, I'm trying to understand intervals and keys. I've read on Wikipedia that a third "is a musical interval encompassing three staff positions and the major third is a ...
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5answers
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Which are all the musical intervals that are valid?

I have been reading around many sources, but it seems there is not a full standardized way in naming intervals, some sources say that such a thing as a diminished first exist. So I started making an ...
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4answers
592 views

How do I aurally differentiate the tritone, min 6th and major 7th intervals?

I have made good progress in identifying most ascending intervals up to the octave, but am really struggling with the tritone, min 6th and maj 7th. All three sound dissonant and very similar. Is ...
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1answer
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Statistics about the frequency of different type of intervals

Do you know if any statistics about the frequency of different type of intervals in music (of a certain period or by a specific composer) exist? For instance, suppose you have this piece of music in ...
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4answers
188 views

Melody And Intervals [closed]

How do composers think about intervals like minor, major,etc to compose melody? Eg I know playing major third will invoke happy mood....that is if we play C and then E creates happier environment......
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2answers
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Melodic Criticism - Exercise 3.16G, Laitz The Complete Musician 2nd Edition

The question asks to find the weaknesses or problems (based on the general guidelines for melody writing presented in the preceding section) in the following melodic contour (tunes without rhythm or ...
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2answers
753 views

Transcribing as music and relative pitch practice?

I've read some good transcriptions recently and watched transcribe videos from 8-Bit Music Theory on YouTube and I was thinking if it's considered to be a good relative-pitch / interval / music ...
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1answer
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Lower interval limits

I've heard about this concept of lower interval limits: An arbitrary limit to how low any given pattern of harmonic intervals can be played before it starts to sound muddy. It generally predicts that ...
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1answer
73 views

Diminished Intervals - does a double diminished interval exist?

I'm doing practise questions for an upcoming test, and I have to name an interval from E to G double flat. Would that be a double diminished third? I'm not sure what to call it. Also if I invert it ...
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1answer
55 views

Harmonic/Melodic Minor in Keys? [duplicate]

How does one find the key to a scale like harmonic minor, or is out of key?
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5answers
501 views

How to determine if an interval is enharmonic or not

I'm new to music theory, and reading through the basics I learned about interval classifications. But, along with that many questions came to my head. The one I want to ask today is the following: ...
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4answers
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Does melody note function change with each chord change in a certain harmonic field?

Lets say the root is G. The chord progression starts with a G minor chord (Tonic) and is in Aeolian mode. Perfect fifth of it is D. etc.. Does a chord change change the function of the original ...
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4answers
283 views

For intervals, is three semitones major or minor?

It should be a pretty simple question, but under a bit of exam stress I have forgotten. As the title says, is three semitones a major or minor interval?
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2answers
83 views

Interval analysis, augmented 5th or a 6th?

I am doing interval analysis as I am writing a countersubject(working on the harmony for it right now). But I have a bit of trouble here. I have 3 note choices for any given quarter note. The spot I ...
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3answers
148 views

Why the interval of 2 tones is called the third?

Why is the interval of 2 tones called a third? Indeed, the distance from note C to note E is 2 whole segments, and if we subtract 3 - 1 we get 2. In Russian each interval has its own name, not an ...
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10answers
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Etymology of word “Octave”

How come the etymology of the word octave is related to the number eight, when the numbers that you would associate with the meaning of the word are either two – doubling of the frequency – , or ...
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2answers
68 views

How to define “simple” when considering consonance and interval ratios

My understanding is 'simple' ratios for intervals are considered acoustically consonant and this is often used to explain is considered musically consonant. So, a unison 1:1 (1.000) is simple - it's ...
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4answers
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Intervals: Diminished unison?

I am learning level 8 theory. There was an exercise where I had to write each interval below the given note. The interval given was a diminished 1. In general, how would I solve this? Here is a ...
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1answer
158 views

Perfect fourth is dissonant when there's no note below it?

According to Walter Piston's Harmony book, a perfect fourth is dissonant if there's no tone below its lower tone, while it's consonant if there's a third or a perfect fifth below the interval. In that ...
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68 views

Writing specific intervals

Is my answer the following question is correct: Q: What is the augmented seventh from E? A: D double sharp Method Write down the note (of your choosing) on the bottom line of the treble ...
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117 views

Open interval (Does such a term exist?)

In a book on jazz harmony in Russian I have noticed the term 'open interval'. Example 57 says that interval -9 in the right arrangement is 'open interval' (in this case it's bad). The left arrangement ...
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1answer
95 views

How does one measure the interval between two pitches?

What is the procedure for measuring the interval between two pitches? How do I know if something is a fifth, sixth, or something else? Why, for instance, is C to D a second even though we only go up ...
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2answers
665 views

Confusion in naming intervals

If I play C E G on the piano, then G acts as a perfect 5th, but if I play G C E and the lowest note (just below the C) is G, can I still call G a perfect 5th of C maj? Because the interval now between ...