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A doubt about intervals

  • 14 October 2020
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  Recently, I came to learn about “INTERVALS” in my course and I don’t understand how to differentiate between major note and minor note while I was doing some exercises in this website provided by the course…

www.musictheory.net

   I know it’s a simple for some people but, I’ll be glad if I can get some help here.

 

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Best answer by ansakoy 15 October 2020, 14:44

@Nt3603 yes, the interval between D and F (within the same octave) is a minor third. And so will be the interval between D-flat and F-flat or D-sharp and F-sharp. It doesn’t matter in which scale you see these two notes. What matters is the distance. The distance is measured in tones and semi-tones.

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@Nt3603 I am assuming you mean major vs minor intervals or chords. Please let me know if that’s wrong.

There is only a one note difference between the two.
The C major chord is: C, E, G.

The C minor chord is: C, E flat, G

That flat middle or 3rd tone of the chord makes all the difference to the way the chord sounds and feels. When you place a flat next to that 3rd or middle chord note, the whole nature of the chord changes, from your happy major to your sad minor. ( that’s just a judgement not necessarily true about the  major vs minor feel)

Another example:  a G major chord is: G, B, D

A G minor chord is: G , B flat, D.

To create that minor interval, you flatten whatever the third note is.

Please let me know if you need further explanation.

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@Judith  Now, I understood about difference between major and minor chords!

     But, I was confused when we have a specific major scale (like A major scale, G major scale..) and 2 notes are in their natural form as in the scale, Should we call the Major --th? or Minor --th?

   That’s my problem..

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Please include an example of what you are finding difficult.

But a major third is FIVE SEMITONES--  for example  C  Csharp (D flat -- same note, different name)  D, D-sharp ( E-flat, same note, different name),   E

 

A minor third is FOUR semitones -- C,  C-sharp, D, E-flat

 

If you have a keyboard handy it's easy -- a semitone is  step to the next adjacent note, be it a BLACK note or a WHITE note.

 

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@Nt3603 I agree with @Madcapmaggie that it would be best if you could provide some examples of what causes your confusion.

Meanwhile, just in case, I’ll make sure that there is no misunderstanding in terms, because some of your formulations made me suspect there is (I may be wrong).

In you first post you said:

I don’t understand how to differentiate between major note and minor note

And later:

I was confused when we have a specific major scale (like A major scale, G major scale..) and 2 notes are in their natural form as in the scale, Should we call the Major --th? or Minor --th?

There are no major or minor notes. Notes just don’t have such characteristics. What can be major or minor is scales, intervals or chords. Scales and chords are called minor or major not because they consist of some specific notes, but based on specific combinations of intervals inside them.

@Nt3603 , I agree with @ansakoy that a note cannot either be major or minor. When you say a note is in natural form do you mean that it is an E, not an E flat, for example? 
An interval is the space between notes...how many steps between them. So if you had a C going to an E, that would be 3 steps and called a major 3rd. If you had a C going to an E flat, since that E ( the 3rd) is now flat, it would be called a minor 3rd.

Does this help at all?

Everyone here has been so helpful! Thank you.

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       Like in the above picture, if we have some specific scale (the given is F-major scale, so we have B-flat note) and the given notes are D and F which are the notes in the given scale, Should we assume it as minor 3rd according to @Madcapmaggie  and @Judith  explanation?

      Should we assume them as major interval or minor interval?

       

    

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Yes, it's a minor third

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@Nt3603 yes, the interval between D and F (within the same octave) is a minor third. And so will be the interval between D-flat and F-flat or D-sharp and F-sharp. It doesn’t matter in which scale you see these two notes. What matters is the distance. The distance is measured in tones and semi-tones.

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@ansakoy  Now I got that main point. Thanks to you! 

     Please help me when I get more doubts. 

    Thank you @Judith @Madcapmaggie  for helping other stuff too! 

@Nt3603 , I have apprecIated how you trusted us to help you. Music theory can be very complicated and challenging to understand. It took me years to appreciate it. Understanding how music is put together will be so helpful to you. For example, I sing in a chorus. We are given music and have to read it. Having an understanding of intervals I can sing it perfectly. I would see the note D followed by an F, say to myself it’s a minor 3rd and be able to find and sing the note. I wish you much success and hope you will visit us here again.

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