Podcast #128: We chat with Kent C Dodds about why he loves React and discuss what life was like in the dark days before Git. Listen now.
44

It's because in music, when you're talking about intervals, you count the first note, all notes in between, as well as the final note. For example, if you play two notes that are right next to each other, the interval is a second - even though the second note is just "one note" away from the first. In fact, if you play the same note at the same time, it's ...


42

The reason there are multiple names for notes is that the same note may function differently in different contexts. If you just play a single note with no context, then it could have a multitude of different names. For example if you played the note in between F and G you could call it F# or Gb or more obscurely E## or Abbb. They are all valid names and are ...


38

You're correct; it should be called a fourth! But since "augmented fourth" won't be big enough for this, we kind of had to make up a term, and the world of music theory collectively decided upon calling this interval a doubly augmented fourth. This just means that it's one half step larger than an augmented fourth. (As such, the augmented fourth is not ...


38

The intervals between notes are "equal" not in the sense that the difference in Hz between them is the same, but the ratio a between them is the same. Let's say g is one semitone higher than f, then g = a f. Note Hz Ratio a to previous note, rounded to 3 decimal places A4 440.00 A#4 466.16 1.059 (466.16 / 440.0 = 1.059, and so on down the column)...


37

I don't know that there is any evidence that the tritone was ever formally banned by the Catholic Church, although that story does get passed around a lot. An actual Church document that discusses this and puts the claim in context is needed. I see no mention of tritones or intervals of any type in Musicam Sacram of 1967. The Sacrosanctum Concilium of 1963, ...


28

The division of notes has to do with human perception and psychoacoustics. One description of human perception is the Weber-Fechner law, where a human will perceive equal changes in some sensory input, such as sound level or sound pitch, not by absolute level or value difference, but by the ratio of the change. e.g. larger values need a proportionately ...


27

Yes, it'll change how you listen to music. Anything you learn about will affect your appreciation. Watch a magic trick, and it's magic. Find out how it's done, and it's not magic any more - to you. Several of my students have said that now, they don't listen to music like they used to. ' I know exactly what's happening in that part', 'I know what trick's ...


26

D-D is unison (or "prime") Db-D or D-D# is augmented prime and Db-D# is a double augmented unison or prime. P.S. This is really something different than the enharmonic variants Db-Eb, but that was not the question.


24

C sharp major has seven sharps, D flat major has five flats. Out of the box, the latter is preferable. The former may be more appropriate when there is more material requiring "flattening" the key signature than otherwise. Now major is a rather sharp mode, so it's not quite unlikely. For example, a "proper" fully diminuished chord in C sharp features C-...


23

Modes are what we call rotations of the major scale. This means that we can start off with the major-scale interval pattern and just rotate it to begin at different places to create the other modes. WWHWWWH Ionian (equivalent to the major scale) WHWWWHW Dorian HWWWHWW Phrygian WWWHWWH Lydian WWHWWHW ...


22

The confusion arises from the accidentals. Your answer of a whole step would absolutely be correct if those were sharps (♯), but in fact those accidentals are naturals, not sharps (♮). A note with a natural in front of it cancels any previous accidentals, meaning play the note on the white key. So, E♮ to E♭ is a half step (go down one key from E) and B♭ to B♮...


21

I've always understood that the lower pitch of the harmonic second occurs on the left side: This is also true when additional pitches are added in. On beat four, the E is now on the right because the first second encountered is D–E (and no longer E–F). When you're writing separate voices, however, you write the higher pitch first, with the lower voice ...


20

My answer builds on the answer contributed by DR6. Based on your reaction to other very good answers posted here already, your question seems to boil down to: "Why do humans innately feel that certain intervals are consonant". And so much so that they are willing to call them "perfect". Before getting to that question, let's look at why Western culture ...


20

The interval from any G (flat / sharp / neutral) to any A (flat / sharp / neutral) (in the same octave) is always a second. In your case, since the G is flat and the A is sharp, you have a doubly augmented second. Of course, this interval is sonically equivalent to a major third.


20

What happens if you go down by the same steps: 440Hz 1 step down : 403.33Hz 2 steps down : 366.67Hz 3 steps down : 330.Hz ... 11 steps down : 36.67Hz 12 steps down : 0Hz 13 steps down : -36.67Hz So, using your "equally divided" logic, we are at zero Hz after 12 steps, and the next step beyond that is minus 37 Hz! What does that even mean? But ok, let's ...


19

No, they are not considered consonant in all music cultures. The perception of consonance and dissonance can be different among cultures. The same interval can be perceived (and labeled) differently by different cultures. This is influenced by many factors (and the harmonic series is not the only one!) For example, in medieval times major thirds were ...


18

The technical term for the scale seems to be the Minor "Gypsy" Scale and it is also known as the Flamenco Mode. The basic idea is it is a combination of two Phrygian Dominant tetrachords, or a Phrygian Dominant with a Major 7th scale degree. Here are the links that show both scales match the pattern above and includes the root scale of it the Phrygian ...


18

I really think the answer to this question has most to do with how music is composed. Tonal composers are not really thinking at all about the math behind the intervals; they're thinking about the sounds. Another way of looking at this is that all tonal music is scale-based, and when playing a scale from bottom to top you number the notes starting from 1. ...


17

A chord does not have to be made up of thirds. A chord is by definition two or more notes heard as if sounded simultaneously. Not all chords have three notes either. There are dyads (two notes), triads (three), tetrachords (four), pentachords (five), and hexachords (six). There's no limit on the number of notes, and also, by definition, there's no limits on ...


17

The confusion lies here: I also have heard that an inversion is simply in the opposite direction of the original interval. So a descending 3rd from F to D is the inversion of ascending third F to A. This should instead read "a descending third from F to D is the inversion of an ascending sixth from F to D." The problem really lies in the wording of that ...


17

There is a kind of historic flow back and forth. A very long time ago during the Middle Ages - when parallel organum was way to harmonize - the perfect fourth was consonant. Later when triadic harmony developed along with counterpoint the perfect fourth was treated as a dissonance that resolved to a third. Later yet again, in modern time, the fourth is ...


16

What I am going to write below is just simple jazz harmony fundamentals, and should naturally be considered as school stuff ! You have to understand the role of each voice in a chord, to define what should be played, and what can be omitted. Mandatory voices The root note defines the root of the chord, and must be played globally. I mean, if you have a ...


16

In general, smaller intervals do not sound as pleasing in a bass register as they do in a treble register. This is a general effect that occurs regardless of whether you play a consonance or a dissonance, although it is more noticeable with dissonances. What happens is that the overtones of the bass notes end up having more noticeable clashes between them, ...


16

It's more about context than it is about written music. It's called a third because it's the third step in the scale. Take the C major scale for example. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 C D E F G A B The C major chord is C E G: the first, third, and fifth steps (degrees) of the C major scale. It's the same case with minor triads. Here is the C minor scale: 1 ...


16

Transcribing music is EXCELLENT ear training practice. I like to tell students that transcribing one song to completion is like an entire semester of ear training. Don’t just listen for intervals and notes, but form, where tension is created and released, see if you can name all the instruments, sounds, or stereo techniques (panning, phasing, etc). ...


16

I don't know your source, but the term "diatonic scale" typically refers to the major scale and its rotations (i.e., the modes). As such, we can test this claim just by looking at the intervals of a major scale. All seconds within in the scale are either minor (E–F and B–C) or major (C–D, D–E, F–G, G–A, A–B). All thirds are either minor (D–F, E–G, A–C, B–D) ...


16

Intervals are not based just on semitones. They are a combination of distance in semitones and distance in letter name. So as much as you want to avoid the idea that D♯ and E♭ is the same note, you cannot when talking about intervals. The letter name distance determines the type of interval (unison, second, third, etc.) and the distance in ...


16

In just intonation, you'd be correct. However, in order for the interval between the top and bottom strings to be exactly two octaves, some compromise needs to be made. (That is, given that the intervals between the open strings are as you say, one major third and all the rest fourths.) As you say, in just intonation, a perfect fourth is 4:3 and a major ...


15

Well, without any further context there is no possible distinction between a minor third and an augmented second as they are indeed the same note, technically. However, the phrases minor third and augmented second make reference not only to that space of three semitones, but also to the relationship that this interval plays within a given chord or scale. ...


15

Any tips on how to make it sick, so to speak, when trying to internalize the distance between notes? There are three ways you can easily get those intervals in your head. Sing Singing the intervals will make learning them much more easier and effective. Try this before doing your interval exercises: Pick one interval you are having troubles with. Play ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible