# 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?
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### 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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### 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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### Reference songs for interval training (esp. A5/d5; M6; m6)

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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### 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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### 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 ...
754 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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### 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 ...
5k views

### 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 ...
8k 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 ...
841 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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### 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 ...
657 views

### (Piano) How should I play this harmonic unison

I stumbled with harmonic unisons for the first time trying to play this arrangement I found this question where some techniques to deal with harmonic unison are discussed, and it helped me with the ...
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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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### 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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### Recognizing intervals without interval songs?

I would love to know all my intervals by ear but where ever I search for help it says to learn interval songs e.g. Jaws theme for minor 2nd. I find this to be pretty ineffective honestly. I don't hear ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
825 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 ...
24k 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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### 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 ...
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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### 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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### 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 ...
3k views

### 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) ...
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### 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 (tritone)?

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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### How to develop a musical ear when even singing poses great difficulty?

I love music and would love to develop a musical ear. My problem is that I can't get started. All tutorials that I find start at a more advanced point compared to where I am at. I can't carry a tune. ...
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### 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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### 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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### What are the interval patterns for the modes?

I came across this on this site: C Ionian is C D E F G A B, whereas C Dorian is C D E♭ F G A B♭ The WWHWWWH is for Ionian. What is the equivalent for the other modes?
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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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### 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, ...
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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 ...
41k views

### 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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### 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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### How do professionals think about notes/degrees/intervals while playing a melody

By my count there are 3 natural ways one might think about a simple melody - I'll use "row row row your boat" as an example. a) notes: CCCDE EDEFG b) scale degrees / distance from tonic: 11123 32345 ...
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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 ...
406 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 octave ...
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### 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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### Why call a major second a diminished third?

In the Hungarian minor scale we have the following intervals, expressed here in semitones, between the scale's notes (I to VIII): I II III IV V VI VII (I) / VIII ...
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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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### 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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### 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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### When an Eb instrument plays the Concert F scale, what note do they start on? [duplicate]

When an Eb instrument plays the Concert F scale, what note do they start on? plz help? I was confused on this question and need more clarification because I play a Concert Bb instrument.
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### 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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### Is there such a thing as a diminished unison? [duplicate]

I'm working through Mark Sarnecki's Rudiments of music theory book, and I'm digesting the bit about augmented and diminished intervals. I'm confused as to how a diminished unison can exist. By ...