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Intervals & Scales


Music Theory - Intervals & Scales

An interval is the distance between 2 notes and they are always counted from the lower note to the higher one.

Usually, the intervals come in different sizes and qualities.
  • If sounded simultaneously, then it's a harmonic interval.
  • If the notes are sounded successively, it's a melodic interval.
The smallest interval used in western music is the half step and its visual representation would be the distance among a consecutive white & black note on the piano.

However, there are 2 exceptions to this rule, as 2 natural half steps occur among the notes E & F, & B & C.

A whole step is the distance among 2 consecutive white or black keys. It's made up of 2 half steps.
Keyboard

Qualities and Size

Intervals can be described as Diminished(d), Perfect(P), Minor(m), Major(M) and Augmented(A).

Intervals come in different sizes: Unisons, Seconds, Thirds, Fourths, Fifths, Sixths, & Sevenths.

2nds, 3rds, 6ths, and 7ths can be found as Minor or Major.
Unisons, 4ths, 5ths, & Octaves are Perfect.

• If a major interval is raised by a half step, it becomes augmented.
• If a major interval is lowered by a half step, it becomes minor.
• If a major interval is lowered by 2 half steps, it becomes diminished.

• If a minor interval is raised by a half step, it becomes major.
• If a minor interval is raised by 2 half steps, it becomes augmented.
• If a minor interval is lowered by a half step, it becomes diminished.

• If a perfect interval is raised by a half step, it becomes augmented.
• If a perfect interval is lowered by a half step, it becomes diminished.

Inversion of Intervals

Normally, intervals can be inverted, which specially means you turn them upside down.

Qualities Size
• Major becomes Minor • 2 becomes 7
• Minor becomes Major • 3 becomes 6
• Perfect remains Perfect • 4 becomes 5
• Augmented becomes Diminished • 5 becomes 4
• Diminished becomes Augmented • 6 becomes 3

Scales

There are various types of scales and a major scale is a series of eight consecutive notes that use the following pattern of half & whole steps.
Staff step

Minor Scales come in 3 forms: Natural, Melodic, & Harmonic.

Natural Minor: scales use the following pattern of half & whole steps.
Natural Minor


Melodic Minor scales ascend & use the following pattern of half & whole steps.
Melodic Minor

Harmonic Minor: scales use the following pattern of half & whole steps.
Harmonic Minor