An interval is the distance between two notes. Intervals are always counted from the lower note to the higher one, with the lower note being counted as one. Intervals come in different qualities and size. If the notes are sounded successively, it is a melodic interval. If sounded simultaneously, then it is a harmonic interval. The smallest interval used in Western music is the half step. A visual representation of a half step would be the distance between a consecutive white and black note on the piano. There are two exceptions to this rule, as two natural half steps occur between the notes E and F, and B and C.
A whole step is the distance between two consecutive white or black keys. It is made up of two half steps.
Intervals come in various sizes: Unisons, Seconds, Thirds, Fourths, Fifths, Sixths, and Sevenths.
2nds, 3rds, 6ths, and 7ths can be found as Major and Minor.
Unisons, 4ths, 5ths, and Octaves are Perfect. Listen
When a major interval is lowered by a half step, it becomes minor.
When a major interval is lowered by two half steps, it becomes diminished.
When a minor interval is raised by a half step, it becomes major.
When a minor interval is raised by two half steps, it becomes augmented.
When a minor interval is lowered by a half step, it becomes diminished.
When a perfect interval is raised by a half step, it becomes augmented.
When a perfect interval is lowered by a half step, it becomes diminished.
|Qualities ||Size |
It is important to be able to hear and identify intervals. This is a very important thing for musicians to do. Here is a list of familiar songs that will help you to identify the intervals.
|m2- Stormy Weather||m2|
|M2- Happy Birthday||M2|
|m3- The Impossible Dream||m3|
|So Long, Farewell from The Sound of Music|
|M3- Halls of Montezuma||M3|
|P4- Here comes the bride||P4|
|A4- Maria from West Side Story||A4|
|P5- Star Wars||P5|
| Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star |
|M6- NBC theme music||M6|
|m7- Somewhere from West Side Story||m7|
|M7- Bali Hai from South Pacific ||M7|
|Octave- Over the rainbow||Oct.|