Questions tagged [intervals]

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

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121 views

What's the Reason for Naming Major Second a Diminished Third? [duplicate]

I know that interval between those is identical, but very often I see that instead of typing CM2, people use Cd3 to indicate the interval. Isn't simpler to simply use fewer accidentals and make the ...
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4answers
356 views

I can recognise intervals, but why do I have difficulty in hearing them in a song?

I have been transcribing music without an instrument for quite some time now, if I have my instrument in hand I am able to almost always quickly figure out what is being played but when I step away ...
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3answers
69 views

Are melodic intervals in relation to key or simply the last played notes?

Is the concept of 'intervals' in this sense any note in relation to the tonic note of the key, (whether that tonic note is being played at the time or not), or are melodic intervals just the immediate ...
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2answers
301 views

What is the savart unit in Persian music theory?

I was heard about Savart unit in Persian music that divides a chromatic interval into smaller units. Persian musicians using an interval smaller than the chromatic intervals, called: Kron. they ...
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1answer
100 views

Why the distance between two keys is called “semitone” [duplicate]

Why is the distance between two closest keys called semitone? I guess there some historical reasons for that. If I was to construct the piano/music nomenclature from scratch I would call the smallest ...
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4answers
7k views

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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7answers
553 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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2answers
107 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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3answers
536 views

Why do music intervals sound almost the same? [closed]

e.g If we played C and D# on the piano in ascending order (Let's call it tune 1) and then D# and F# in ascending order again (Let's call it tune 2), We know both tunes are slightly different but ...
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2answers
3k views

Perfect pitch and tuning forks

Ok. So I consider myself to have pretty good pitch. If you give me a few seconds after you sound a note, I can tell you what the note is. I can also tune a timpani to any pitch using only my mouth (...
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3answers
106 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
560 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
406 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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8answers
20k views

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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3answers
66 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
153 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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3answers
1k views

Need help understanding harmonic series and intervals

So I need some clarification as this is confusing me terribly. What are the first 12 harmonic series of a fundamental (Lets say A (440hz)? Do those harmonic series of the fundamental pertain to every ...
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6answers
689 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 ...
6
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4answers
399 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 ...
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2answers
123 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 ...
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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
44 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
364 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 ...
2
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1answer
32 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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4answers
180 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 ...
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6answers
750 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, ...
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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 ...
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3answers
59 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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4answers
317 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,...
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6answers
3k views

Why does standard notation not preserve intervals (visually)

(Disclaimer: I don't know much about music theory but ...) The notes A, B are a whole step apart, and B, C are a semitone apart, yet their distance in standard notation is the same visually (from a ...
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3answers
2k views

Training interval identification: Unable to identify major and minor seconds

I started practicing interval comparison, but I'm completely unable to consistently identify major and minor second intervals. I am so bad at identifying them, that I started to think I had a ...
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2answers
302 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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5answers
324 views

How to create an interval from a note which doesn't start a major scale

When constructing an interval, e.g. a major third from A I work like this: Count three notes including the starting one, so A, B, C Now check on the circle of fifths whether A major scale has an ...
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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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4answers
1k views

Why wasn't the actual “semitone” taken as the unit and therefore called “a tone”?

A more practical formulation of the question is "Why do we count by tones, instead of semitones?", but its meaning could be misinterpreted; the target of the question is actually on the concept of "1 ...
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3answers
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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
1k 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 ...
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4answers
143 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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3answers
55k views

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 ...
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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
289 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
109 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
125 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
99 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
130 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
165 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
111 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
146 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
185 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
223 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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