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Tutorial: Intervals
Topic Started: 24 Jul 2012, 08:48 PM (7,927 Views)
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"High and Mighty"
A preface: So there were some awesome music theory tutorials written a long time ago and I just thought I'd continue to add to it. So I thought I'd start where they left off.


An interval is counted by how many half steps are between a note. If you have trouble visualizing that in your head draw a piano:

Posted Image

Half steps are counted from the key NEXT TO the original pitch. So say you want to count the half steps between C4 to G4? Start counting at C#4 all the way to G4. You should get 7 half steps.

The number of half steps correspond to an interval, respectively.

0 - Prime or Unison
1 - minor second
2 - Major second
3 - minor third
4 - Major third
5 - Perfect fourth
6 - Tritone (augmented fourth)
7 - Perfect fifth
8 - minor sixth
9 - Major sixth
10 - minor seventh
11 - Major seventh
12 - Perfect Octave

Looking back at our previous example we found the number of half steps between C4 and G4 was 7 half steps. Looking up at the chart we saw that 7 half steps makes C4 to G4 a Perfect fifth.

Now try these on your own:

1) C4 to F4
2) C4 to C5
3) C4 to E4
4) F4 to A4
5) G4 to Bb4
6) A4 to A#4
7) B4 to B4
8) D4 to G4
9) C4 to B4
10) E4 to F#4
11) D4 to G#4
12) D4 to D5
13) D4 to B4
14) F#4 to C4
15) E4 to C4

Spoiler: click to toggle

Hearing Intervals:

Additionally as you go on in music you may find it helpful to want to be able to hear intervals in music (it helps tremendously in learning how to play by ear for example). The best way to learn intervals is to train yourself to hear them, and thusly cultivating a good relative pitch.

Examples of intervals in music (found in the first interval of the song)

minor 2nd - the Jaws theme
Major 2nd - Happy Birthday
minor 3rd - Brahms' Lullaby
Major 3rd - Oh When the Saints
Perfect 4th - Amazing Grace
Tritone - Maria (West Side Story)
Perfect Fifth - Star Wars, Twinkle Twinkle
minor 6th - The Entertainer
Major 6th - My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean
minor 7th - There's a Place for Us (West Side Story)
Major 7th - Pure Imagination
Perfect Octave - Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Good resource in learning to hear intervals is: http://www.trainear.com/
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"High and Mighty"
Thanks for the appreciation :)

I kind of hope this gets sticked so it doesn't get lost...
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"High and Mighty"
It didn't work Wollemi :<
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"High and Mighty"
^ Never watched the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory?

Well, another song honestly doesn't readily come to mind, but I'm sure they're are plenty of examples (if anyone has any suggestions for a M7 or anything else I can always add to the list I have). I also hear a M7 interval as something that has a strong tendency to resolve to Do. This is because a M7 interval involves a movement from Do to Ti and Ti most often resolves back to Do (sometimes the octave of the original Do, but not always).

In C Major; C4 -> B4 -> C5

Hope I didn't confuse anyone too terribly...
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