Introduction to Intervals
Intervals - The Building
Blocks of Music
Click on the red notes to hear intervals.
What Is an Interval?
A note played all by itself may have a pretty sound, but it's not music. When you add another note, you create an interval. Intervals can be close together or far apart.
An interval is the distance between two notes. As you add more notes, you create music. This is the beginning of musical meaning.
When intervals move from left to right, they make melodies.
We're going to look at and listen to some popular intervals. Before we start, let's review what a scale is.
This is the interval of a second. This is the shortest distance between two tones. They are right next to each other.
This is the interval of a third. There is a note between the first and third notes. The third is a very popular interval today for creating beautiful harmony.
This is the interval of a fourth. These notes are four steps apart.
This is the interval of a fifth. These notes are five steps apart. This interval has an open, hollow quality. Music from long ago used lots of fifths.
An interval of a sixth is six steps apart. Like the third, this interval is also very popular in today's music for creating harmony.
An interval of a seventh is a wide interval and sounds strange to the ear. The seventh note of a scale is also called the leading tone because it leads into the eighth tone. This interval is used to create tension.
The interval of an eighth is also called an octave. Octaves have the same letter name and the same sound. If you play any white key on the piano and play another note eight steps higher or lower, that's an octave.