All about Intervals

SUNDAY, November 24, 2019

Let’s be practical…

The word “interval” just means two notes and describes how far apart those two notes are. I am only interested at this time in what we hear and what we see in your hands. There are other names for notation, but we really don’t know them.

Unisons…

A unison is only one pitch played or sung at the same time by two or more people, or the same pitch played in two different places at the same time on a keyboard instrument with more than one manual. Picture an organist playing the same C in two places at the same time. We can totally skip this idea on piano, because we never see it in our hands or hear it this way.

EZ Half Steps…

This is the simplest interval in music. We see half steps in scales, but the most common place we see them in chords is in a major seven chord.

EZ whole steps…

We also see these in scales, but they appear in many chords. They are most common in dominant seven chords, what I call X7

EZ Small 3rds… 

Mostly we see these in major and minor chords, but they are most noticeable in fully diminished chords, Xdim7. They are stacked in Xdim7 chords.

EZ Big 3rds…

These are also in major and minor chords, but they are most noticeable in augmented chords, Xaug. Xaug chords stack major thirds.

EZ 4ths…

There is always a 4th in any major or minor chord that is not in root position. They are literally inside chords.

EZ Tritones…

The tritone is half an octave. There are two of them in every Xdim7 chord. Every X7 chord has one tritone.

EZ 5ths…

The 5th is the outside of the “shell” of a root position major or minor chord.

EZ Small 6ths…

A minor 6th is the shell of an augmented chord, Xaug. It is the shell of other chords, but that’s the best way to remember it.

EZ Big 6ths… 

A major 6th is the shell of a fully diminished chord, Xdim7. Later you will find out that a “diminished 7th” is another way to write a major 6th.

EZ Small 7ths…

A minor 7th is the shell of what is often called a dominant 7th chord, X7. It is also the shell of Xm7 and Xø.

EZ Big 7ths…

A major 7th is the shell of a major 7th chord, Xmaj7.

Octaves…

An octave sounds so much a unison that many people can’t hear the difference. In physics an octave means that the upper note is double the frequency of the lower note. But you just have to hear it. There are no alt names for this interval.

 

 

0

Leave a Reply