When friend play 2 notes either at the same time or in succession, you"re play an interval. Intervals space classified follow to your size and their quality. Dimension is the measure of how far apart the two notes are. High quality is an adjective that further defines the size. For example, a fifty percent step is referred to as a minor 2nd and a whole step is referred to as a major second. The dimension is a second. The quality is significant or minor.

Harmonic Intervals and also Melodic Intervals

Intervals can appear in harmonic or melodic form. In harmonic form, the two notes space played simultaneously. In melodic form, the two notes notes room played in succession. Melodic intervals deserve to be one of two people ascending or descending.

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Harmonic Interval


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Melodic expression Ascending


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Melodic interval Descending

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Interval Size

Size is determined by count the variety of lines and also spaces (or alphabet letters) covering the 2 notes, consisting of the beginning and also end. For example, the dimension of the interval indigenous C up to E is a third (CDE spans three letters, or three lines and spaces), D approximately A is a 5th (DEFGA spans 5 lines and also spaces), and E up to C is a sixth (EFGABC spans 6 alphabet letters), etc.


Number that Lines and Spaces or Alphabet letters Apart counting Both the Beginning and End.



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What is the dimension of the interval from C to E?


It depends on whether it"s an ascending term or a diminish interval. The interval C as much as E is a third, but the term C under to E is a sixth.

C up to E
C down to E

When calculating interval sizes, accidentals are ignored. The intervals C-E and C-Eb room both thirds. Lock sound different since they contain a various number of half steps. The 3rd from C-E includes four half steps. The third from C-Eb includes three half steps. The larger 3rd is dubbed the major third, the smaller 3rd is referred to as the young third.

Half Steps
Minor Third

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Major Third
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Interval Quality

Quality is supplied to differentiate intervals of the very same size however with different numbers of half steps. The terms supplied for top quality are:

significant Minor Perfect lessened Augmented

Interval category

Intervals room classified together perfect or imperfect. Unisons, fourths, fifths, and octaves space termed perfect intervals. Seconds, thirds, sixths, and also sevenths are termed imperfect intervals.

Class Intervals
Perfect Unison, Fourth, Fifth, Octave
Imperfect Seconds, Thirds, Sixths, Sevenths

Perfect Intervals

Perfect intervals are the unison, fourth, fifth, and octave. They take place naturally in the significant scale in between scale keep in mind 1 and also scale notes 1, 4, 5, and also 8.

Notation in G Major
Notes in G significant Scale
Perfect Unison
1 - 1
Perfect Fourth
1 - 4
Perfect Fifth
1 - 5
Perfect Octave
1 - 8

Imperfect Intervals

Imperfect intervals room the seconds, thirds, sixths, and sevenths. Castle come in 2 forms, major and Minor.

Major Intervals

Major seconds, thirds, sixths, and also sevenths happen naturally in the ascending significant scale in between scale note 1 and also scale notes 2, 3, 6, and 7.

Notation in F Major
Scale note in F Major
Major Second
1 - 2
Major Third
1 - 3
Major Sixth
1 - 6
Major Seventh
1 - 7

Minor Intervals

Minor seconds, thirds, sixths, and sevenths happen naturally in the descending significant scale in between scale note 8 and also scale note 7, 6, 3, and 2.

Notation in F Major
Scale note in F Major
Minor Second
8 - 7
Minor Third
8 - 6
Minor Sixth
8 - 3
Minor Seventh
8 - 2

Perfect intervals room never significant or minor. Likewise, significant and minor intervals are never perfect.

Consonance - Dissonance

Intervals can also be classified together Consonant and also Dissonant.

P1, P4, P5, P8
m3, M3, M6
m3, m6
M2, M7
m2, m7

Altered Intervals

If you increase or contract an interval through a half step you readjust its quality. The size may stay the same. The resulting high quality depends on even if it is you change a perfect expression or an imperfect (major or minor) interval.

Altered Perfect

When you alter a perfect interval by a half step it i do not care either diminished or augmented. When a perfect interval is made one half step larger it i do not care augmented. Once a perfect expression is do one fifty percent step smaller it i do not care diminished.


You can expand or contract the term from either the height or bottom note.


Altered Imperfect

When you alter an imperfect interval by a fifty percent step the becomes one of two people diminished, minor, major, or augmented as displayed in the complying with diagram.


When a significant interval is made one fifty percent step bigger it becomes augmented. As soon as a major interval is do one half step smaller it becomes minor. As soon as a boy interval is made one half step bigger it becomes major. When a young interval is make one half step smaller sized it i do not care diminished.


Altered decreased / Augmented

An augmented interval do one fifty percent step bigger becomes doubly augmented. A diminished interval make one half step smaller becomes double diminished.



A tritone gets its name since it consists of three entirety steps WWW. The intervals that a decreased fifth and an augmented fourth are both tritones due to the fact that they both contain six half steps.

B - F = WWW and F - B = WWW

Interval specify name Conventions

A typical naming convention because that intervals offers a mix of numbers and lower and also upper instance letters.

Upper instance

Perfect, Major, Augmented

Lower case

minor, diminished


numbers 1 come 13


P, M, m, d, and A (note case)


P1, m2, M2, d3, m3, M3, A3, P4, A4, d5, P5, m6, M6, m7, M7, P8

Identifying Intervals

To totally identify one interval you need to understand both its quality and size.

Valid qualities are: Perfect significant Minor lessened Augmented Doubly decreased Doubly Augmented Valid sizes are: unison second third fourth fifth sixth saturday octave 9th tenth eleventh twelfth thirteenth

There space two techniques you have the right to use to recognize intervals, the easy way and the tough way. If you know your significant scales, the easy means is really easy.

The Easy way - identify intervals by their relation to keep in mind 1 that the significant scale

In a major scale all ascending intervals space either perfect or major when contrasted with the an initial note of the scale.

Step 1. Construct the significant scale that begins on the lower note the the interval.

Step 2. Identify if the upper keep in mind of the expression occurs normally in that significant scale. If the does, then unisons, 4ths, 5ths and 8ves space perfect, and also 2nds, 3rds, 6ths, and 7ths room major.


Step 3. If the upper keep in mind of the expression does not belong to that significant scale, determine how it different from the expression of the same size the does occur in the major scale. Based upon the fifty percent step distinction from significant scale interval, recognize the high quality according come this diagram.

The Hard way - identify intervals by counting half steps

1. Find the interval dimension by count the lines and spaces between the 2 notes (including both notes).

2. Counting the half steps had in the interval, then usage the table of intervals and then use the table that interval sizes to determine the quality.

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Note: The Table of Intervals shown below lists only the most usual names for an interval. Intervals that have actually the same number of fifty percent steps have the right to have various names. For example an augmented fourth and also a decreased fifth both have six half steps.