Flute/Introduction to Intervals and Scale building
Method book for those beginning to learn flute.
Interval-the distance between two notes
Intervals are an important part of music. Knowing them can make music easier, especially when learning scales. Firstly, intervals are the space between two notes on a staff. There are two kinds of intervals: melodic and harmonic. Melodic intervals are the intervals between two notes that are played at separate times. Harmonic intervals are the intervals between two notes that are played at the same time.
Unison comes from two Latin words, unus meaning one, and son meaning sound. Unison is when two notes play the same note. If you sit next to someone, and you both play C, you are in unison.
Minor seconds (m2) are one semi-tone (or half-step) apart. If you have a piano, two keys that are directly next to each other are a minor second apart. It is important to remember that B and C, as well as E and F, are minor seconds apart. This interval is considered the most disonant (lit. Bad sounding) interval. Major seconds (M2) are two half-steps apart, or one whole step.
Minor thirds (m3) are three half-steps apart, or a one-and-a-half step. In chords, this is what makes a minor triad "minor." Major thirds (M3) are two whole steps apart. In chords, this is what makes a major triad "major."
Perfect fourths are is a one-and-half step and a whole step apart (5 half-steps). This is very common in chant because of its unique sound. the first two notes in the wedding march are a perfect fourth apart. Tritones are three whole steps apart. This is a very uncommon interval, so practice it a lot. This will pay off in the future. Perfect fifths are seven half steps apart. Again, this is a very common interval in chant, and has a haunting sound.
Minor sixths are eight half-steps apart. If you've ever hear "The Entertainer" this interval is used. Major sixths are nine half-steps apart. There is a group of chords called sixth chords, which feature this interval. In The Phantom of the Opera, this interval is used in the chords the organ plays.
'Minor sevenths are ten half-steps apart. Minor sevenths are combined with minor triads to produce a brighter chord. Major sevenths are eleven half-steps apart. Major sevenths are combined with major triads to produce a "jazzy" chord.
Octaves are twelve half-steps apart.
There are two more concepts that are useful. Dimished and Augmented intervals. Diminished intervals are lowwered by one half step. Augmented intervals are hightened by one half step (e.g. Augmented unison is the "same" interval as a minor second).
At this point, melodic intervals are more important than harmonic intervals. However, if you ever want write music, direct an ensemble or play polyphonic instruments, harmonic intervals will become important.
Intervals in scales
Scales are built from intervals. There are two paterns you should memorize for building scales. The first is for major scales: base, major second, major third, perfect fourth, perfect fifth, major sixth, major seventh, octave. For example C major scale is C, D (major second), E (major third), F (perfect fourth), G (perfect fifth), A (major sixth), B (major seventh), C (octave). The second pattern is for minor scales, and is as follows: Base, major second, minor third, perfect fourth, perfect fifth, minor sixth, minor seventh, octave. for example, C minor is: C, D (major second), Eb (minor third), F (perfect fourth), G (perfect fifth), Ab (minor sixth), Bb (minor seventh), C octave.
- Use the patterns you used to create these scales
- F major
- D minor
- B major
- Ab minor
- A major
- F minor
- F, G, A, Bb, C, D, E, F
- D, E, F, G, A, Bb, C, D
- B, C#, D#, E, F#, G#, A#, B
- Ab, Bb, Cb, Db, Eb, Fb, Gb, Ab
- A, B, C#, D, E, F#, G#, A
- F, G, Ab, Bb, C, Db, Eb, F