When you play two notes either simultaneously or in succession, you"re playing an interval. Intervals are classified according to their dimension and their top quality. Size is the measure of just how far apart the 2 notes are. Quality is an adjective that additionally explains the dimension. For instance, a fifty percent action is referred to as a minor second and also a totality step is dubbed a major second. The dimension is a 2nd. The high quality is significant or minor.

Harmonic Intervals and Melodic Intervals

Intervals deserve to appear in harmonic or melodic develop. In harmonic create, the 2 notes are played simultaneously. In melodic create, the two notes notes are played in succession. Melodic intervals have the right to be either ascfinishing or descending.

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Harmonic Interval


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Melodic Interval Ascending


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Melodic Interval Descending

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Interval Size

Size is established by counting the variety of lines and spaces (or alphabet letters) extending the 2 notes, including the beginning and finish. For example, the size of the interval from C up to E is a third (CDE spans three letters, or 3 lines and also spaces), D up to A is a fifth (DEFGA spans five lines and spaces), and also E up to C is a sixth (EFGABC spans six alphabet letters), and so on.


Number of Lines and Spaces or Alphabet Letters Acomponent Counting Both the Beginning and also End.



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


It relies on whether it"s an ascending interval or a descending interval. The interval C up to E is a 3rd, yet the interval C down to E is a sixth.

C as much as E
C down to E

When calculating interval sizes, accidentals are ignored. The intervals C-E and C-Eb are both thirds. They sound various bereason they contain a various number of fifty percent actions. The 3rd from C-E includes 4 fifty percent steps. The 3rd from C-Eb consists of 3 fifty percent steps. The larger 3rd is referred to as the significant third, the smaller sized 3rd is referred to as the minor third.

Half Steps
Minor Third

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Major Third
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Interval Quality

Quality is used to differentiate intervals of the exact same dimension but through various numbers of half actions. The terms provided for top quality are:

Major Minor Perfect Diminished Augmented

Interval Category

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

Class Intervals
Perfect Unison, 4th, 5th, Octave
Imperfect Seconds, Thirds, Sixths, Sevenths

Perfect Intervals

Perfect intervals are the unichild, fourth, fifth, and octave. They happen naturally in the significant scale between scale note 1 and also scale notes 1, 4, 5, and also 8.

Notation in G Major
Notes in G Major 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. They come in two develops, Major and also Minor.

Major Intervals

Major secs, thirds, sixths, and also sevenths take place naturally in the ascending major range between range note 1 and also scale notes 2, 3, 6, and also 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 secs, thirds, sixths, and also sevenths happen normally in the descfinishing major scale between scale note 8 and scale notes 7, 6, 3, and 2.

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

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

Consonance - Dissonance

Intervals have the right to additionally be classified as Consonant and also 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 action you change its high quality. The size may continue to be the same. The resulting high quality depends on whether you transform a perfect interval or an imperfect (major or minor) interval.

Altered Perfect

When you transform a perfect interval by a half action it becomes either diminiburned or augmented. When a perfect interval is made one fifty percent step larger it becomes augmented. When a perfect interval is made one fifty percent step smaller sized it becomes diminimelted.


You deserve to expand also or contract the interval from either the peak or bottom note.


Altered Imperfect

When you alter an imperfect interval by a fifty percent action it becomes either diminiburned, minor, significant, or augmented as shown in the following diagram.


When a major interval is made one half step larger it becomes augmented. When a significant interval is made one half action smaller it becomes minor. When a minor interval is made one fifty percent action larger it becomes major. When a minor interval is made one half action smaller it becomes diminiburned.


Altered Diminiburned / Augmented

An augmented interval made one fifty percent step larger becomes doubly augmented. A diminished interval made one half step smaller becomes doubly diminished.



A tritone gets its name bereason it consists of three entirety procedures WWW. The intervals of a diminimelted fifth and an augmented fourth are both tritones because they both contain six fifty percent actions.

B - F = WWW and F - B = WWW

Interval Naming Conventions

A prevalent naming convention for intervals supplies a mix of numbers and also reduced and upper case letters.

Upper Case

Perfect, Major, Augmented

Lower Case

minor, diminished


numbers 1 to 13


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


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

Identifying Intervals

To totally recognize an interval you need to know both its high quality and also size.

Valid attributes are: Perfect Major Minor Diminimelted Augmented Doubly Diminimelted Doubly Augmented Valid sizes are: unikid second 3rd fourth fifth sixth seventh octave nine tenth eleventh twelfth thirteenth

There are 2 techniques you deserve to use to recognize intervals, the basic way and the difficult way. If you recognize your Major scales, the simple means is really simple.

The Easy method - Identify intervals by their relation to note 1 of the significant scale

In a significant range all ascending intervals are either perfect or significant as soon as compared with the initially note of the range.

Step 1. Construct the major scale that starts on the reduced note of the interval.

Tip 2. Determine if the upper note of the interval occurs naturally in that significant scale. If it does, then unisons, 4ths, 5ths and 8ves are perfect, and 2nds, 3rds, 6ths, and 7ths are major.


Step 3. If the top note of the interval does not belengthy to that significant scale, recognize how it differs from the interval of the very same size that does happen in the major range. Based on the fifty percent step difference from major range interval, recognize the high quality according to this diagram.

The Hard way - Identifying intervals by counting half steps

1. Find the interval dimension by counting the lines and also spaces in between the two notes (consisting of both notes).

2. Count the fifty percent procedures contained in the interval, then usage the table of intervals and also then use the table of interval sizes to recognize the top quality.

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Note: The Table of Intervals presented listed below lists only the most widespread names for an interval. Intervals that have the same number of half measures have the right to have actually various names. For instance an augmented fourth and also a diminiburned fifth both have six fifty percent steps.