# Questions tagged [intervals]

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

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### Why do notes have multiple names?

I've seen the same note called different names for example the note F# can also be written as Gb. Why is this the case and are there times to use one name over another?
857 views

### Defining intervals.

There seems to be a lot of confusion over naming intervals. Some seem to think it involves major intervals being from major keys/scales, thus minor intervals need to follow from that. Some seem to ...
22k views

### 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 ...
415 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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### Are intervals like major 3rd, minor 3rd, and major 2nd all based on the scales, or are they based on how many semitones they have?

Are intervals like major 3rd, minor 3rd, and major 2nd all based on the scales, or are they based on how many semitones they have? I ask this question because if I play the C major scale, and I ...
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### Are doubly augmented and doubly diminished intervals practical?

In music theory when naming intervals, a lowered diminished interval is a doubly diminished interval (dd) and a raised augmented interval is a doubly augmented interval (AA). One example is a C♯ ...
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### Why are thirds used to construct chords?

I am (slowly) learning music theory on the guitar. I've begun learning about scales and chords, and it seems that all chords are built using some combination of thirds. For example, a minor triad is ...
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### General procedure for determining the name of an interval given a major key / diatonic collection [duplicate]

I'm attempting to program a library that lets one make use of concepts from Peter Westergaard's tonal theory. The current problem I'm trying to solve is to determine the specific name of an interval ...
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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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### Musical Aids to Memorize Intervals

As the tutor for my school's music department, I spend a lot of time helping students drill intervals. However, I only have a handful of songs to recommend recognition. P8 — Somewhere Over the ...
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### When is a note flat/sharp?

For instance we are playing a B, is the third note of the chord a Eb or and D#? If we play Bm is the fifth a Gb or a F#?
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### Naming Intervals — Tactics, Strategies, Tricks

For naming intervals I have two strategies in my head. STRATEGY #1 First identify the generic interval between the two given notes by counting the notes between them (inclusive of those two given ...
719 views

### What is this scale? [Root , +1 , +3 , +1 , +2 , +1 , +3 , +1]

Intervals (relative to previous note): Root , +1 , +3 , +1 , +2 , +1 , +3 , +1 (Root again) Example: A, Bb, C#, D, E, F, G# This scale is used often in Turkish Music. But I don't know if it has a ...
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### Why don't we measure the size of intervals starting from zero?

Note: italics such as "2nd" refer to my proposed notation; existing notation is written without italics: "2nd". Why is the interval between C and D called a 2nd, as they are 1 note apart? Surely this ...
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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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### How to differentiate between a diminished fifth and an augmented fourth interval?

Both are a tritone appart, both sound the same. How can we differentiate when an interval is an augmented fourth or a diminished fifth? Context: In voice leading we learn that when the spelling of ...
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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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### 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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### Which notes are optional in jazz chords?

I have a question on jazz chords, and what notes can be removed from the chord. My understanding is fairly superficial - mostly from what I've read in books. This is what I understand: In some chords,...
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### Is there a simple way to transpose a song from one key to another? What is the methodology?

What is a simple way to accomplish transposing a song from one key to another key? In other words if I am looking at a song written in the key of C and can't sing it in that key and I want to ...
1k views

### 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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### Exercises for quickly identifying intervals on the staff

In order to improve my piano sight-reading, I want to practice recognizing intervals on the staff faster. If possible I'd like to combine the interval-recognition with a training for my finger memory, ...
293 views

### 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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### Does a diminished first exist?

Are there any instances where the first note in a scale/chord is "diminished"? For instance, could a Db occur in a D chord, where the context explicitly requires that this is a Db (diminished first) ...
3k views

### Does the bass note in a “slash” chord really have an associated interval?

I have a question about "slash" chords. Look at the chord E/G: E G♯ B G 1 3 5 ? G is the minor 3rd interval (♭3) in the key of E. However, I would have thought by definition chords cannot ...
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### What is so special about the devil's interval?

I'm interested in learning more of the Devil's interval, how it originated, some of its uses and what exactly about the interval of a diminished fifth makes it sound ominous?
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### What's the difference between the tritone and the blue note?

For a while I thought they were one and the same, now I'm confused. This Wiki Article on the subject asserts that the blue note isn't even a real note, i.e. a note that's not part of the standard ...
259 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 ...
324 views

### What have I misunderstood about calculating intervals?

Caution: I have studied single-variable calculus, but have never taken a physics course. Vi Hart demonstrates with a violin that on a violin string's length, playing at: 1/2 produces a note an ...
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### How do you figure out a chords name?

first of all I understand how triad chord names are made through the major scale 1-3-5 and then you alter or add certain degrees for the names of different chords. What I dont understand is how I can ...
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### Naming Scale Degrees

As I understand the minor pentatonic degrees are 1 b3 4 5 7b It says b3 & 7b, does it matter which side the b is on and do they both mean flat? Scale degrees are almost always based off the Major ...
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### What is the full list of possible chord names? Are there chords that don't have a name in chord theory?

My chord book covers 35 different chord types. When I look on the web or in other tools, all the same types of chords come up. But I don't think this is the "full" set of possible chords. I'm not ...
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### Having trouble memorizing intervals in ear training

I've been using some of those interval training games like this one and I have tried some on my phone as well. The problem is that I don't think I'm making any progress. Right now (on the website I ...
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### What are some useful ear training exercises for moving beyond two-note interval training?

I've practiced enough that I can recognize two-note intervals in isolation (sequentially), but this doesn't seem to help that much for understanding actual songs. What exercises would help to go ...
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### Can a chord contain both the C and C♯ notes? (as opposed to containing C and D♭ notes)

Can a chord contain both the C and C♯ notes? Or do you always have to use D♭ rather than C♯ in a chord that already contains the note C? I'm guessing the answer is no, both C and C♯ should not be ...
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### What is the name of the interval Db - D#?

I know that D♭ - E♭ is a major second. What is the interval D♭ - D♯ called (and why)?
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### Intervals confusion

If we need to find the note which is a major 6th below G (which is a Bb), do we find it using the major scale of the top note (in this case G) or the major scale of the bottom note ( in this case Bb). ...
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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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### Recognizing modulation style / pattern in Steely Dan's “West of Hollywood”

I'm a fan of Steely Dan's music, but I find analysis of their music to be difficult from a tone-, modal-, and chord-theory point of view. But perhaps the complex jazz-influenced M7/M9/M11 chords ...
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### Confusion about major and minor second intervals

Why is a major second interval different from a minor second interval considering that in the natural scales formulae they are both one whole step?
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### Eartraining: What to learn after mastering interval recognition?

(This is for relative pitch, absolute pitch gods please don't descend from heaven) I've been learning to recognize intervals for the past year or so, and I have to say I'm very good at it. (Mostly by ...
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### Consonance/Dissonance of 5th according to the explanation of 4th

The consonance of the 4th interval depends on the context, as several music theory sources describe. Why isn't that idea generalized to all intervals? Let me illustrate this comparing what I have in ...
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### How do you determine intervals? Is it based on major and minor keys?

If we say C to E, we say it's a major third since it is belongs to the major scale. If we say C to E♭, we say it's a minor third since it belongs to a minor scale. What about C to D, F, or G? ...
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### Tuning of Accidentals & Scales

In his Book Basics, Simon Fischer wrote in a footnote that: The exact tuning of a sharp or a flat depends on the key, style and character of the music. For example, Bb as the tonic of Bb Major is ...
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### Is the Western system of notes and intervals essentially two-dimensional? [closed]

With my layman's knowledge of Western music theory, I understand that all intervals are built up of octaves and fifths. (Or major and minor seconds, or some other pair of independent 'unit vectors'.) ...
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### I need help to understand chord intervals (not single note intervals)

I understand intervals between notes. Each number of steps between two notes has a particular name. Like this: But some times I see people refering to intervals between chords, not single notes. Like ...
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### Why intervals are not named after distance [duplicate]

I was wondering about the foundations of the way we name intervals. For example, the interval between C and G is a fifth because there are five notes from C to G. But it's a common mistake of the ...
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### Are there solfege syllables for diminished and augmented imperfect intervals?

Sometimes it is necessary to name notes and intervals differently based on how they are functioning and I was curious if this idea caired over to solfege. For example, the notes of a Co7 are C, Eb, ...