Questions tagged [intervals]

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

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4answers
542 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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5answers
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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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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
159 views

Simple ratios or Overtones?

Example: If I play an octave on the piano starting on middle C. To my limited understanding the simple ratio of 2:1(due to sound-waves matching) and the multiple overtones that match up in this ...
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1answer
111 views

Are the names of scale degrees the same for different modes?

Do the naming conventions and their implied function still apply to modes outside the major and minor scale?Is the minor second of the Phrygian mode called the supertonic?Is the augmented fourth of ...
6
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1answer
200 views

Is there a theory of heptatonic scales with 1.5-step intervals?

I've been alternating between reading about music theory on Wikipedia and playing around with the scales that I've learned. The "modern Western modes" are defined systematically with their ...
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2answers
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Tips on identifying intervals by ear? [duplicate]

So, I'm a guitar player, and I'm taking a music theory class. All of the theory we're learning about sort of revolves around the piano. And I've never really had any formal training with theory, I ...
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6answers
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How does counting E twice explain the discrepancy between the 5th between C and G vs. the 3rd between C and E, 3rd between E and G?

I still don't grasp the "source of the discrepancy". "the E got counted twice when we went C,D,E and then E,F,G, but only got counted once when we went C,D,E,F,G." — So what? How ...
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5answers
760 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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5answers
885 views

Is there a term to describe an augmented second as a step or tone instead of an interval?

Typically when describing a scale its very typical to describe the pattern in terms of semitones and tones or half steps and whole steps as follows: A major scale is a diatonic scale. The sequence of ...
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3answers
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Why do the keys in the circle of fifths have the pattern of accidentals that they do?

I'm attempting to fully understand the circle of fifths, and I noticed that in the clockwise direction, the sharps are added in their own circle of fifths starting at F. I'm wondering why this ...
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4answers
901 views

What's the term for the intervals between notes within a scale that produces a chord

I probably described that poorly in the title, and I'm not even sure there is a word for what I'm thinking. Lets say you're playing on just the white keys on a keyboard. C E G is C major, and D F A ...
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2answers
608 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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1answer
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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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5answers
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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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2answers
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Are these parallel octaves?

I am writing a chorale in C flat major and I currently have a 3 chord going to a I6 chord. Stacked, the chords are EGEB to EGEC. Is this considered parallel octaves? HELP.
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4answers
849 views

How to recognize harmonic intervals?

I've been doing some ear training, I'm quite at ease when recognizing melodic intervals, whether they are ascending or descending intervals, yet when it comes to harmonic intervals, I don't know how ...
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5answers
240 views

Why does Hindemith say to avoid augmented and diminished intervals?

Rule 12 of Paul Hindemith's Craft of Musical Composition - Book 2 states the following: Avoid augmented and diminished intervals. If, after an augmented or a diminished interval, the third tone is ...
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4answers
599 views

How can we relate mathematic permutations to music?

For example: considering chord inversions, the harmony in general, the scales and the intervals and also for example the notes on the fretboard of the guitar we can have different permutations, some ...
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2answers
803 views

Notes in a Chord

I'm trying to work my way through the Mark Levine Jazz Theory book but I'm scratching my head at the start of chapter 2 (Pg15). Maybe this book is too advanced for me and I need to pick something less ...
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5answers
231 views

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♭ Augmented 6th ...
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3answers
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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
601 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 close position, it does not sound dissonant at all. When I play it as a compound interval, I ...
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E to A# is an Augmented 4th, right?

In a theory test, I got this marked wrong. (The clef is treble, by the way.) So... What gives? E to A is a perfect fourth. Raise the A to A# and you get a tritone. AKA an augmented fourth, since ...
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5answers
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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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3answers
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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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2answers
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Harmony and Simplified Ratios of Frequency

I stumbled on this question while checking a grade 7 mathematics book. It grabbed my eyes having been introduced to some of music's amazing topics. I know that harmony ( or more accurately, ...
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4answers
327 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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7answers
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How do you determine intervals? Is it based on major and minor keys? [duplicate]

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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1answer
87 views

Inversionally equivalent pc sets relation with transposition

So, I'm reading Allen Forte's Structure of Atonal Music and in the sub-chapter 1.4 Inversionally equivalent pc sets he affirms: It is important to observe that whereas transposition does not imply ...
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3answers
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How to correctly invert non-compound greater-than-octave intervals?

(A.S.: Assuming that "non-compound" means "contains eight or less degrees.") TL;DR: How to invert doubly augmented seventh? I've ran into inversion problem with greater-than-octave intervals (not ...
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4answers
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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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7answers
828 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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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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5answers
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Why is C-F# a diminished fifth instead of an augmented fourth?

It fits the strict definition of both, so it seems a bit weird to me that we choose to call it a diminished fifth. Seems very arbitrary as they are the same.
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6answers
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Why is the 2nd note of a chord called major third?

On a piano, the root note of the C major chord is referred to as 1. The second note played is E, which is actually the fifth key when starting at C. Not 3? Yes this makes senses to call it a 3 when ...
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8answers
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Why are there major and minor intervals?

I'm clearly thinking about this wrong, because it just doesn't make any sense to me. The way I'm mentally modelling intervals, a minor second should just be named a second (interval encompassing 2 ...
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4answers
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Theory of Major and Minor Chord Sounds

Since a major triad is comprised of a minor-third stacked on top of a major-third, and a minor triad is comprised of a major-third stacked on top of a minor-third, they should, in "theory", have the ...
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6answers
423 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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3answers
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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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3answers
628 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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359 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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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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9answers
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Trick to figure out what the proper note to play is when playing in thirds?

Take for example the melody C D E F G A B in the key of c major. If i play the melody in thirds, I have been told that you would play it C E; D F; E G; etc. but some of those form minor 3rds and some ...
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4answers
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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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4answers
248 views

Still Major Intervals?

I have a worksheet to prepare me for my A level music; however I'm confused when being asked to name these intervals: My logic is that as both the tonic and above note are both flat meaning the ...
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268 views

terminology for intervals within scales

Is a minor second half a semitone from the first note, or is it the actual second note played on the scale? For example, in a C minor scale, the starting note is C, and D is the second note one plays; ...
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466 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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3answers
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How often does each interval appear in the harmonic series (relative to the fundamental)?

For practical purposes, lets assume a limited harmonic series. How many harmonics are a fifth? How many a minor third? And so on. What intervals are commonly found in the harmonic series? What ...
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4answers
167 views

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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