All About 2nds


Rules for 2nds:
  1. The intervals that are white notes use only white piano keys. Those that are black notes use at least one black piano key.
  2. A 2nd uses two letters in a row. Its “size” depends on how many keys we skip. For instance, E—F skips no keys. C—D skips one key. C—D# or Db—E skips two keys.
  3. A minor 2nd is also called a “half step”. It skip no keys.
  4. A Major 2nd is also called a “whole step”. It skips only one key.
  5. An augmented 2nd is whole step + a half step. It skips two keys.
Below is an illustration of 2nds in several scales.


Colors show the type of 2nds:
  1. All 8th notes colored black and beamed form Major 2nds. Major 2nds are also whole steps.
  2. All 8th notes colored red and beamed form minor 2nds. Minor 2nds are also half steps.
  3. In harmonic minor, the two 8th notes colored blue and beamed form an augmented 2nd. Augmented 2nds are a whole step + a half step.

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