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Learning Objectives:
To identity the different intervals within a
major scale and to be able to RECOGNISE
these aurally in given excerpts.
•An interval is a measure of
distance within music. Just like we
use metres and centimetres for
length, music is measured in
•Different musical intervals create
different moods within music.
•Recognising an interval relies on
aural perception and on an
understanding of the major scale.
Lets recap:
How do you construct a major scale?
Tone Tone Semitone Tone Tone Tone Semitone
What is a tone?
A distance of two steps, for example moving
from C to D is a tone. (C to C# is equal to one step, C# to D is
another step)
What is a semitone?
A semitone is half of a tone, so this moves a
distance of one step. (This would be the same as moving from C
to C#)
• Some intervals are deliberately written,
others occur naturally as part of the melody
writing process.
• Each interval is made up of a number of
tones and semitone (I told you knowing about
those would be useful!)
• AND like the degrees of the scale, they
each have a name.
Task 1:
I’ll help you get started:
C to D (the first two notes of the scale) is a distance of 2
C to E (the first and third notes of the scale) is a distance of 4
Task 1:
• On your worksheet, work out the notes of
the major scale of C. Notate this on your
stave in treble clef.
• Then, using the keyboard and scale on your
sheet, work out how many semitones (one
steps) are between the first note D and
EACH of the other notes.
I’ll help you get started:
C to D (the first two notes of the scale) is a distance of 2
C to E (the first and third notes of the scale) is a distance of 4
• So now we have some of the most common
intervals labelled on your worksheet. These
are the most common intervals used in music,
however there are some more.
• Every semitone move (one step) creates and
interval, so you need to have an awareness of
these too.
Task 2:
Watch the video clip and label your comprehensive intervals sheet with
a song (from the clip) to help you to remember how to recognise these
Some festive help!
Intervals Within a Chord
You have some hints to help you, however, if you are familiar with
playing and hearing chords this explanation may also help you with
identifying intervals.
A major chord has 3 intervals in it, one between the 1st and 2nd notes
of the chord and another between the 2nd and 3rd notes of the chord.
There is also an interval between the 1st and 3rd notes of the chord.
These always stay the same in a major chord.
In every major chord the first interval (between 1st and 2nd notes) is
always a major 3rd. For example C to E.
The second interval (between 2nd and 3rd notes) is always a minor 3rd.
For example E to G.
The third interval (between 1st and 3rd notes) is always a perfect 5th.
For example C to G.
In a minor chord there are also 3 intervals, and these are always the
A minor 3rd, a major 3rd and perfect 5th. The first two intervals are
swapped around.
Task 3:
You will hear 20 example intervals, some will
just be two notes in succession, some will be a
longer passage of music.
Listen closely and identify the each interval.
Don’t forget to state whether you think this
is major or minor.
Remember: half marks is a grade C, that’s our
minimum aim!
Interval Identification Answers:
1. Perfect 5th
2. Minor 3rd
3. Minor 2nd
4. Perfect 8th or Octave
5. Major 3rd
6. Major 6th
7. Major 7th
8. Perfect 8th or Octave
9. Perfect 5th
10.Perfect 4th
11. Major 3rd
12. Major 2nd
13. Minor 3rd
14. Perfect 5th
15. Perfect 5th
16. Perfect 4th
17. Minor 2nd
18. Major 3rd
19. Perfect 8th or Octave
20.Perfect 5th