Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile

Advanced

Intervals

Posted by Penguin 
Intervals
September 29, 2018 08:09AM
I don't understand interval types (augmented, perfect, major, minor, diminished). I'm a mostly self-taught piano player, with a learning disability that makes vocabulary difficult for me to follow. For example, in math class, when the teacher would say "integer," I'd have a mild panic attack trying to remember if an integer is just a number, or a specific kind of number.

Here's what I think I know:

I know that firsts, fourths, fifths, and eighths are "perfect," but I don't know if there's such a thing as "augmented perfect" or something like that.
It follows that seconds, thirds, sixths, and sevenths are "major," since perfect and major are (to my understanding) synonymous, but used in different contexts.
Augmented intervals are a half-step above perfect or major intervals.
Minor intervals are a half-step below major intervals.
Diminished intervals are a half-step below minor intervals.

Is this correct? Please correct me where I am wrong.
ttw
Re: Intervals
September 29, 2018 06:11PM
The names for intervals are mostly historical. They stem from (and probably contribute to) harmonic analysis from about 600 to 1900.

There are only 7 names for notes in a (normal) scale (major or minor) and for historical (chant, medieval) modes. So there are only 6 types of intervals (7 when counting a unison as an interval). Based on a chromatic scale, there would be 12 types of intervals but that's another system of nomenclature; it's not necessarily better or worse than the usual. In some ways it's simpler but it doesn't correspond to Common Practice Period harmony.

Perfect intervals are unisons (same note), octaves (same note again because for the most part octaves are considered equivalent), fifths and fourths. Historically again, these are the intervals which can be formed from fractions with denominators of 2 or 3 (also called Pythagorean tuning.) Perfect intervals can be augmented (increased by a half-step) or diminished (decreased by a half step). (Note: a diminished unison seems to make no sense but some authorities use it to describe a downward half step from a note. Other authorities do not recognize it as legitimate term.) Fourths and fifths can be augmented or diminished. These intervals, are generally considered to sound "thin" and parallel versions (like to octaves or two fifths in a row in the same pair of voices) are avoided in most composition. When these occur accidently, it sounds a bit like one instrument dropped out.

Imperfect intervals are 2nds, 3rds, 6ths, and 7ths. These occur in major, minor, augmented, and diminished form. These are further classified into consonant intervals (3rds and 6ths) and dissonant intervals (2nds and 7ths). (Dissonant means that such an interval implies that the music isn't finished yet; dissonant intervals mean motion.)

That's all there is. Because of the use of an equal temperament (12 identical half steps in an octave), there are enharmonic intervals. Enharmonic (now) means there are two or more intervals with different names but consisting of the same number of half steps. Example: major third: C-E, perfect fourth: C-F, augmented third: C-E#. These intervals are the same on an piano but are notated differently and are different for singers or string players.

For more information, you might check the Wiki on the subject of music notation and its history.
Re: Intervals
September 30, 2018 01:52AM
Thank you for your reply. Based on some things you wrote, I have some questions. You said:

"Perfect intervals can be augmented (increased by a half-step) or diminished (decreased by a half step)."

What, then, is the difference between an augmented fourth and a perfect fifth, or a diminished fifth and a perfect fourth? If I start with middle C and move up an augmented fourth or a perfect fifth, either way I arrive at F. If I start with middle C and move up a diminished fifth or a perfect fourth, I arrive at E. These are not the only examples where two intervals look identical.

In such cases, are the terms identical? Could one musician say, "Play me a C and an augmented fourth," and another say, "Play me a C with a perfect fifth," and either way I'd be correct to play a C and F?

ttw Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The names for intervals are mostly historical.
> They stem from (and probably contribute to)
> harmonic analysis from about 600 to 1900.
>
> There are only 7 names for notes in a (normal)
> scale (major or minor) and for historical (chant,
> medieval) modes. So there are only 6 types of
> intervals (7 when counting a unison as an
> interval). Based on a chromatic scale, there would
> be 12 types of intervals but that's another system
> of nomenclature; it's not necessarily better or
> worse than the usual. In some ways it's simpler
> but it doesn't correspond to Common Practice
> Period harmony.
>
> Perfect intervals are unisons (same note), octaves
> (same note again because for the most part octaves
> are considered equivalent), fifths and fourths.
> Historically again, these are the intervals which
> can be formed from fractions with denominators of
> 2 or 3 (also called Pythagorean tuning.) Perfect
> intervals can be augmented (increased by a
> half-step) or diminished (decreased by a half
> step). (Note: a diminished unison seems to make no
> sense but some authorities use it to describe a
> downward half step from a note. Other authorities
> do not recognize it as legitimate term.) Fourths
> and fifths can be augmented or diminished. These
> intervals, are generally considered to sound
> "thin" and parallel versions (like to octaves or
> two fifths in a row in the same pair of voices)
> are avoided in most composition. When these occur
> accidently, it sounds a bit like one instrument
> dropped out.
>
> Imperfect intervals are 2nds, 3rds, 6ths, and
> 7ths. These occur in major, minor, augmented, and
> diminished form. These are further classified into
> consonant intervals (3rds and 6ths) and dissonant
> intervals (2nds and 7ths). (Dissonant means that
> such an interval implies that the music isn't
> finished yet; dissonant intervals mean motion.)
>
> That's all there is. Because of the use of an
> equal temperament (12 identical half steps in an
> octave), there are enharmonic intervals.
> Enharmonic (now) means there are two or more
> intervals with different names but consisting of
> the same number of half steps. Example: major
> third: C-E, perfect fourth: C-F, augmented third:
> C-E#. These intervals are the same on an piano but
> are notated differently and are different for
> singers or string players.
>
> For more information, you might check the Wiki on
> the subject of music notation and its history.
ttw
Re: Intervals
September 30, 2018 10:29AM
I think you are counting these wrong. C-G is a fifth so C#-G or C-Gb is a diminished fifth. C-F is a fourth so C-F# is an augmented fourth.
The augmented fourth is enharmonically equivalent to a diminished fifth. In C, B to F is a diminished fifth and F to B is an augmented fourth. This can be a troublesome interval to sing.

One reason for the augmented-diminished naming is that augmented intervals tend to expand melodically, C-F# tends to go to B-G whereas C-Gb would tend to go to D-F or Db-F.

In a major scale, the intervals are
C-C unison
C-D major second
C-E major third
C-F perfect fourth
C-G perfect fifth
C-A major sixth
C-B-major seventh
C-C octave

D-E major second
D-F minor third
D-G perfect fourth
D-A perfect fifth
D-B minor sixth
D-E minor seventh

E-F minor second
E-G major third
E-A perfect fourth
E-B perfect fifth

F-B major second
F-A major third
F-B augmented fourth
F-C perfect fifth

G-A major second
G-B major third
G-C perfect fourth

A-B major second
A-C minor third

B-C minor second

If we wrap around the octave, we can have B-F diminished fifth
E-C minor sixth
Re: Intervals
September 30, 2018 12:47PM
You're right, I was counting them wrong. My mistake. I was counting keys on the keyboard, I think, not lines and spaces.

I can't post a photo for some reason, but I have a full interval for C4 to C5 I wrote in my composition software. If I can figure out a way to share it, I will.
Re: Intervals
October 02, 2018 04:57PM
A = Augmented
P = Perfect
M = Major
m = Minor
D = Diminished

photos.app.goo.gl/TVFbjMdNygQQtwNM9



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/02/2018 04:58PM by Penguin. (view changes)
Re: Intervals
October 03, 2018 03:40PM
Juste remove "h.t.t.p://" from the link, and paste "www.somewebsite.com", and your picture should load.
Re: Intervals
October 03, 2018 08:56PM
Let's see if this works.



fluo2005 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Juste remove "h.t.t.p://" from the link, and paste
> "www.somewebsite.com", and your picture should
> load.
Re: Intervals
October 03, 2018 08:58PM
Finally! That's an incredibly irritating process for posting a photo. I don't blame the Admin or Mods for it though; I've done forum administration and spammers are a pain in the butt.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login