If you are a hobbyist musician/composer, you may hear music codes. Nowadays there are many ways to enjoy music, you may play/compose with ordinary raw instruments and also with Apps of iPhone/Android. And if you have a bit additional knowledge of theory: code, your sense of music will jump up to the next height.
This article provides you minimum but enough information of Music Interval, which will be a fundamental knowledge to understand Code. It is not written for Berklee students but for you as a hobbyist. So there's no hassle! Important numbers you should pay attention are written in Italic font. The way to understand is like reading a series of tale. Let's start!
Names of NotesThere are 12 Keys and Notes. Name of the note starts from "C".
There are 7 Principal Notes.
There are 5 Derived Notes .
How to count Notes
1. Interval of Notes
Assume interval to itself as "1", which is called "Unizon", and increased by principal note. Each number of interval is called like below.
Ordinal numbers are used for 2 to 7. As there are only 7 Principal Notes, therefore when it comes to 8: Octave, note starts again from "C".
2. Distance of Notes
There is another way to count notes. Intervals written upon were numbers counting only Principal Notes. It was simple and easy to understand, but ignored rest 5 Derived Notes.
To count up all 12 notes in simple way, we use Distance of Notes. A unit of distance betwee 2 notes next to each other is defined as "Half Step" (half tone).
Half Step × 2 = Whole Step
- C-D: 2 Half Steps (= Whole Step)
- E-F : 1 Half Step
Table below is a list of all 12 keys and distances from Principal (root) Notes.
|Root: C||Interval & Distance(+,-)|
If interval is 1, 4, 5, (8) add prefix: Perfect. If interval is 2, 3, 6, 7 add prefix: Major. Start from either Perfect or Major, name of interval is decided by distance of step (+/-) .
The chart below is normally written upside-down in many music specialized books and web sites. But to refer it with followed "Table3: Example of Interval Names", I express diminished upside, and Augmented downside.
|↑ -1||↑ -1|
1, 4, 5, (8)
2, 3, 6, 7
|↓ +1||↓ +1|
|C||Perfect Unison (P1)|
| Augumented Unison (A1)|
minor 2nd (m2)
|D||Major 2nd (M2)|
|Augumented 2nd (A2)|
minor 3rd (m3)
|E||Major 3rd (M3)|
|F||Perfect 4th (P4)|
|Augumented 4th (A4)|
diminished 5th (d5)
|G||Perfect Fifth (P5)|
|Augumented 5th (A5)|
minor 6th (m6)
|A||Major 6th (M6)|
|Augumented 6th (A6)|
minor 7th (m7)
|B||Major 7th (M7)|
|C||Perfect Octave (P8)|
I found a description to clarify naming rule of Intervals. ("without changing its numerical name" is important to remember, underlined in quotation below.)
Cited from "Basic Music Theory" by Larry Konecky
The term perfect is only used in connection with unisons, fourths, fifths, and octaves. The terms major and minor are only used in connection with seconds, thirds, sixths, and sevenths. If a major interval is made a half step smaller without changing its numerical name, it becomes a minor interval. If a minor or a perfect interval is made a half step smaller without changing its numerical name, it becomes a diminished interval. If a minor interval is made a half step larger without changing its interval name, it becomes a major interval. If a major or a perfect interval is made a half step larger without changing its numerical name, it becomes an augmented interval.
I hope you can understand Interval of Music, now. In next article I want to post "Music Codes and those Progression".