All intervals have a quality, which is another word to describe more precisely what they sound like. For Trinity grade 2, you need to know about these intervals and their qualities:
- major 2nd and 3rd
- minor 2nd and 3rd
- perfect 4th
- perfect 5th
- perfect octave
The interval between the tonic and 2nd degree of any major or minor scale is called a major 2nd.
The major 2nd is It is also known as a tone in British English, or a whole step in USA English.
Here are some examples of major 2nds:
The minor 2nd is the same as a semitone (British English) or half step (USA English). Here are some examples of minor 2nds:
The minor 2nd is one semitone narrower than the major 2nd.
The interval between the tonic and the 3rd degree of the scale can also be major or minor.
We find a major 3rd from the tonic of a major scale. For example, there is a major third between G and B:
And there is a minor 3rd from the tonic of a minor scale. For example, there is a minor 3rd between E and G:
If you count the semitones carefully, you will see that a minor third is one semitone narrower than a major 3rd, just like the minor 2nd was one semitone less than the major 2nd. In the major 3rd there are four semitones, but the minor 3rd has only three.
A perfect 4th is found when we count four letter names, and the distance between the notes is two tones (whole steps) and a semitone (half step).
For example, if we begin on C and count four letter names, we arrive at F: C-D-E-F.
C to D is a tone (whole step), and so is D to E. We then need a semitone step, and we arrive at F.
C to F is a perfect 4th. So are D-G, E-A, F-Bb, G-C, A-D and B-E.
A perfect 5th is found when we count five letter names, and the distance between the notes is three tones (whole steps) and a semitone (half step).
These are all perfect 5ths: C-G, D-A, E-B, F-C, G-D, A-E, B-F#.
A perfect octave is simply the same note but an octave higher.
C-C is a perfect octave, and so are D-D, E-E and so on.
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