Flute/Introduction to Intervals and Scale building

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Basic Flute Method
Method book for those beginning to learn flute.


Getting started
Lesson 2Lesson 3Lesson 4Lesson 5Lesson 6

Playing the flute
Lesson 7Lesson 8Lesson 9Lesson 10Lesson 11Lesson 12Lesson 13Lesson 14

Building on skills
Lesson 15Lesson 16Lesson 17Lesson 18Lesson 19Lesson 20Lesson 21Lesson 22Culmination

LinksLearning a piece of music

Related books
SaxophoneMusic TheoryBaroque Flute HandbookWestern Music History

Intervals[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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.

Exercises[edit | edit source]

Use the patterns you used to create these scales
  1. F major
  2. D minor
  3. B major
  4. Ab minor
  5. A major
  6. F minor

Answers[edit | edit source]

  1. F, G, A, Bb, C, D, E, F
  2. D, E, F, G, A, Bb, C, D
  3. B, C#, D#, E, F#, G#, A#, B
  4. Ab, Bb, Cb, Db, Eb, Fb, Gb, Ab
  5. A, B, C#, D, E, F#, G#, A
  6. F, G, Ab, Bb, C, Db, Eb, F