MANUAL

INTERVALS

To understand how scales are formed, it is essential that you know what music intervals are and how they function.

Music intervals are the distances between two notes or pitches.

 They are measured in terms of semitones, which are the smallest units of pitch in Western music.

 Intervals can be classified into two categories: HARMONIC and MELODIC.

HARMONIC intervals are the ones that occur when two notes are played simultaneously, such as in a chord.

 MELODIC intervals are the ones that occur when individual notes are played one after another, such as in a song.

Some of the main functions of intervals are:

– To create HARMONY: 

Intervals form chords, which are combinations of three or more notes that sound pleasing (or sometimes a bit dissonant!) together. 

Chords establish the tonality, mood, and emotion of a piece of music.

– To create MELODY:

 Intervals form melodies, which are sequences of notes that form the main musical theme or idea. 

Melodies can be simple or complex, depending on the intervals used and how they relate to each other.

– To create CONTRAST: 

Intervals create contrast by changing the direction, size, or quality of the distance between notes.

 Contrast can add variety, interest and tension to a musical piece.

– To create MODULATION:

 Intervals can create modulation by changing the key or tonal center of a piece of music.

 Modulation can create a sense of movement, progression, or surprise in a musical piece.

INTERVALS ARE THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF MUSIC

Intervals are essential for understanding music theory, composing songs and playing any instrument. 

Intervals create harmony, melody, tension or resolution. 

You can use intervals to create chords, scales, modes, melodies, riffs, licks, harmonies and more.

 Intervals are measured by counting the number of half-steps or semitones between two notes.

There are 12 different intervals within an octave, which is the interval between two notes that have the same letter name but different pitches.

 For example, C to C, or A to A are both octaves which have 12 half steps in it.

The 12 intervals are named according to their SIZE (number of half steps) and QUALITY (MAJOR, MINOR, PERFECT, AUGMENTED or DIMINISHED).

Here they are, from smallest to largest:

MINOR 2nd: (1 half step). This interval sounds very dissonant and tense. For example, C to C#.

MAJOR 2nd: (2 half steps). This interval sounds consonant and pleasant. For example, C to D.

MINOR 3rd: (3 half steps). This interval sounds sad and melancholic. For example, C to Eb.

MAJOR 3rd: (4 half steps). This interval sounds happy and bright. For example, C to E.

PERFECT 4th: (5 half steps). This interval sounds stable and strong. For example, C to F.

AUGMENTED 4th or DIMINISHED 5th: (6 half steps). This interval sounds dissonant and unstable. It is also called the “tritone” because it divides the octave into two equal parts. For example, C to F# or C to Gb.

PERFECT 5th: (7 half steps). This interval sounds very consonant and powerful. It is the most common interval in music. For example, C to G.

MINOR 6th: (8 half steps). This interval sounds sad and nostalgic. For example, C to Ab.

MAJOR 6th: (9 half steps). This interval sounds sweet and soothing. For example, C to A.

MINOR 7th: (10 half steps). This interval sounds tense and restless. For example, C to Bb.

MAJOR 7th: (11 half steps). This interval sounds very dissonant and harsh. For example, C to B.

PERFECT octave (or UNISON): (12 half steps). This interval is simply a repetition of the same note at a higher pitch. For example, C to C.

Intervals are amazing because they can create different MOODS and EMOTIONS in your music. 

Depending on the context and the style of music, different intervals can have different effects on the listener.

 Intervals are fun to learn and explore because they can help you discover new sounds and possibilities in music. 

You can also use intervals to identify songs by ear, transpose music to different keys, and improvise on your instrument.

Click on the link below to learn more about what intervals are with some practical demonstrations of how to use them effectively: