When girlfriend play two notes either concurrently or in succession, you"re playing an interval. Intervals room classified follow to your size and their quality. Size is the measure of how much apart the 2 notes are. Top quality is an adjective the further defines the size. Because that example, a fifty percent step is dubbed a minor 2nd and a entirety step is referred to as a major second. The size is a second. The top quality is major or minor.

Harmonic Intervals and Melodic Intervals

Intervals can appear in harmonic or melodic form. In harmonic form, the two notes space played simultaneously. In melodic form, the 2 notes notes are played in succession. Melodic intervals have the right to be either ascending or descending.

You are watching: To increase the numeric size of this interval, you would add a:

Harmonic Interval


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Melodic interval Ascending


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Melodic interval Descending

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Interval Size

Size is identified by counting the variety of lines and also spaces (or alphabet letters) covering the two notes, including the beginning and end. For example, the dimension of the interval native C approximately E is a third (CDE spans three letters, or three lines and spaces), D up to A is a fifth (DEFGA spans 5 lines and spaces), and also E up to C is a 6th (EFGABC spans six 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 size of the interval from C to E?


It depends on even if it is it"s one ascending expression or a descending interval. The interval C approximately E is a third, yet the term C down to E is a sixth.

C as much as E
C under to E

When calculating term sizes, accidentals room ignored. The intervals C-E and C-Eb are both thirds. Castle sound different because they save a different number of half steps. The 3rd from C-E consists of four half steps. The 3rd from C-Eb has three half steps. The larger 3rd is called the major third, the smaller 3rd is called the boy third.

Half Steps
Minor Third

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Major Third
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Interval Quality

Quality is used to distinguish intervals the the same size yet with different numbers of fifty percent steps. The terms supplied for high quality are:

major Minor Perfect decreased Augmented

Interval group

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

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

Perfect Intervals

Perfect intervals space the unison, fourth, fifth, and octave. They take place naturally in the major scale in between scale keep in mind 1 and also scale notes 1, 4, 5, and 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 are the seconds, thirds, sixths, and sevenths. Castle come in 2 forms, significant and Minor.

Major Intervals

Major seconds, thirds, sixths, and sevenths take place naturally in the ascending significant scale between scale keep in mind 1 and also scale note 2, 3, 6, and 7.

Notation in F Major
Scale notes 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 occur naturally in the descending significant scale in between scale keep in mind 8 and scale notes 7, 6, 3, and also 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 are never significant or minor. Likewise, significant and boy intervals are never perfect.

Consonance - Dissonance

Intervals can likewise be classified as Consonant and Dissonant.

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

Altered Intervals

If you expand or contract an interval by a half step you readjust its quality. The size may stay the same. The resulting top quality depends on even if it is you transform a perfect interval or an imperfect (major or minor) interval.

Altered Perfect

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


You can expand or contract the interval from one of two the height or bottom note.


Altered Imperfect

When you change an imperfect interval through a half step the becomes one of two diminished, minor, major, or augmented as displayed in the adhering to diagram.


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


Altered decreased / Augmented

An augmented interval made one half step bigger becomes double augmented. A decreased interval made one half step smaller sized becomes doubly diminished.



A tritone it s okay its name because it includes three entirety steps WWW. The intervals that a lessened fifth and also an augmented 4th are both tritones because they both save six fifty percent steps.

B - F = WWW and also F - B = WWW

Interval naming Conventions

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

Upper case

Perfect, Major, Augmented

Lower instance

minor, diminished


numbers 1 to 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 completely identify one interval you need to know both its quality and size.

Valid attributes are: Perfect major Minor decreased Augmented Doubly lessened Doubly Augmented Valid size are: unison second third fourth fifth sixth saturday octave 9th tenth eleventh twelfth thirteenth

There room two techniques you have the right to use to recognize intervals, the easy way and the difficult way. If you recognize your significant scales, the easy way is yes, really easy.

The Easy way - recognize intervals by your relation to note 1 the the significant scale

In a significant scale all ascending intervals space either perfect or significant when compared with the an initial note the the scale.

Step 1. Build the significant scale that starts on the lower note that the interval.

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


Step 3. If the upper keep in mind of the expression does no belong come that major scale, determine how it differs from the term of the very same size the does take place in the significant scale. Based on the fifty percent step difference from major scale interval, recognize the quality according come this diagram.

The Hard means - identifying intervals by counting half steps

1. Discover the interval size by counting the lines and also spaces between the 2 notes (including both notes).

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

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