Questions tagged [intervals]

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

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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
130 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
104 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
88 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
161 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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3answers
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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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1answer
51 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
74 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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1answer
506 views

Dissonance: why doesn't the roughness curve have a dip for complex intervals like 7/6?

Roughness is explained well in Is there a way to measure the consonance or dissonance of a chord? In particular the Plomp-Levelt curve is derived, which has various dips showing how simple intervals (...
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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
70 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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7answers
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Why have I never found any music written in the key of C Sharp Major?

Music is written in almost every key that corresponds to every note that is on my piano keyboard. There is clearly a C Sharp (black key right of C) on my piano keyboard but I don't recall ever seeing ...
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What is a perfect fifth?

I have gone through many documents, but don't understand what a perfect fifth is. Can somebody please explain with an example? (An example is important!) I have already found these explanations, but ...
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4answers
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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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2answers
136 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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15answers
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What makes an interval “Perfect”?

I've been trying to find an answer, but to no avail. Is what we call a perfect interval somewhat arbitrary? It seems as if the modern definition is "perfect under inversion". I know the other thing ...
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3answers
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Why is a major second not called a perfect second? [duplicate]

Apart from a second, intervals can be described as either {Diminished, Perfect, Augmented} or {Dim, Minor, Major, Aug} depending on whether or not the major and minor scale share that interval. For ...
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5answers
709 views

Why do intervals sound “better” or “worse” depending on distance?

Why do chords usually "sound better" to the human ear when using larger intervals between low notes and, smaller intervals between high notes? Is it how the ear and brain register the harmonics?
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6answers
356 views

How does any given major key contain only 1 tritone?

Understanding the Fundamentals of Music (2006), by Robert Greenberg, B.A. in music (magna cum laude) from Princeton, Ph.D. in music composition from the University of California, Berkeley. p. 54 of ...
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1answer
91 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
10k views

What is the list of intervals in order of dissonance

I understand that some intervals are considered dissonant (minor second) and some intervals and consonant (perfect fourths). However whenever I see intervals listed, they are always listed from ...
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2answers
123 views

Why can some hear the minor second as a perfect consonance? [closed]

Great Music of the Twentieth Century (2018), by Robert Greenberg B.A. music (magna cum laude) from Princeton, Ph.D. music composition from the U.C. Berkeley. Lecture 11 "Synthesis and Nationalism: ...
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4answers
146 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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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
358 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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10answers
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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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7answers
133 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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4answers
385 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 ...
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1answer
67 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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1answer
108 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 ...
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3answers
583 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 ...
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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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6answers
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Guitar tuning “perfect” fourths?

Virtually all the sources I can find claim that the intervals between adjacent guitar strings in standard tuning (EADGBE) should be perfect fourths, except for one major third. However, since a ...
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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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6answers
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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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2answers
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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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1answer
218 views

I have questions revolving around the formula of producing chord ratios?

Good day guys! Thanks to the gentleman @willross1 and others contributions, i have now discovered the formula behind turning interval ratios into chord ratios, which allows me to determine the level ...
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6answers
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Is the name of an interval between two notes unique and absolute?

Given two notes, is the name of the interval based only on the number of semitones between them (absolute) or can the same exact interval have different names related to the key/scale we're talking ...
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0answers
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Why is an interval Major, Minor, Augmented, Diminished, or Perfect? [duplicate]

Why are 2nds, 3rds, 6ths, and 7ths major or minor, but 4ths, and 5ths are diminished, augmented, or perfect? I might have some of that a little mixed up and I realize some are enharmonic equivalents. ...
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7answers
396 views

How can I memorize all the notes in each usable key?

Basically, I want to have all the notes in every usable key memorized so that I can instantly just call them to my memory and play them. By usable I mean any key that has 7 or less flats/7 or less ...
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0answers
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Origin of the distinction between major/minor, perfect intervals in light of the major second [duplicate]

in short i have the following question: What is the historical/scientific reason behind the naming convention of major/minor second instead of naming the major second "perfect" second? More specific:...
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Why is the interval from the D string to the A string a P5, but a P4 interval from the A string to the D string?

I'm trying to look at the fret board in distance vs notes, I know that going up from the low E string to the A string is a perfect 4th, but going from the A string to the low E string is a perfect 5th....
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1answer
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Which note goes on which side of the stem?

When writing music in sheet music form, I know that when writing harmonic intervals of a second, one of the two notes is on the opposite side of the notehead. My trouble is determining which note to ...
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2answers
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Table of Intervals, “Diminished” column

I found the following table of Intervals in the Harvard Dictionary of Music (re-created by me in MS Word): (Correction to the above: It is "Harvard Dictionary", not "Oxford Dictionary". Oops!) I am ...
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1answer
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What are the different qualities of the intervals? [closed]

I know that a 3rd decides the emotional quality of a chord, but what about the 5th? What does the 7th do? The 2nd, 6th, and 9th?
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Would it be a good idea to memorize relative interval positions on guitar?

It seems like if I memorized the relative intervals between the notes on each string, it would help a lot with quickly making chords and such. It seems a lot easier than trying to memorize individual ...
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2answers
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Are there any methods to identify intervals in Solfege?

I have a test in Solfege and I have trouble identifying intervals. I don't have musical hearing and I have never studied piano professionally. Therefore I struggle with identifying intervals through ...
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2answers
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What are the characteristic intervals or scales of 13-limit harmony and beyond?

I've been studying and really getting into the Extended Just Intonation music of composers like Ben Johnston and Kyle Gann. I've started trying to explore the sort of intervals and scales that are ...
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4answers
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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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Aural mnemonics: can we compile a list? [duplicate]

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 ...

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