Learning Music Theory Effectively

Music Theory Intervals

Posted by in Music Theory Rudiments

What are music theory intervals? Well learning individual music notes is just the beginning. By stacking notes you can create intervals, which are nothing more than patterns which represent the space or distance between notes.

Music Theory Interval Sounds

Minor Thrid E to G

Minor Thrid E to G

These two pair note combinations have distinctive sounds from dissonance to harmony.

When two notes are played close together the sound is tense or dissonant, meaning they clash to some degree. This close note interval is neither good nor bad; however, it may sound bad to you at first.

When you integrate it into a bigger picture of music flow you’ll use it to create motion or tension in your song which will drive it to a point of release in the chord flow.

As the note interval gets further apart it becomes less dissonant and more harmonious. Intervals known as thirds and sixths are very harmonious and provide a very pleasing sound. These are often considered the release of tension.

In the middle of the spectrum are the fourth and fifth intervals. These notes have a hollow sound and are very pleasing to the ear. You’ve probably heard about them as the perfect fourth and perfect fifth.

Between the perfect notes is the tri-tone. This is a sound that functions much like dissonant intervals in that it is the driver of the seventh chord which will set you up to go back to your basic root note or home chord in a song.

Learning Intervals – The Stepping Stone

Using intervals you can create relationships that define scales or runs of notes that make up a mathematical formula that can be applied from any note.

These formulas are the patterns that can define key signatures.

Adding specific intervals is the way to understand the four music chord types.

Adding additional intervals is advancement into jazz chord theory.

Interval Practice in Music Theory

So what does it take for music theory interval practice?

There are two thoughts to explore. One is in learning the basic intervals by use of music theory interval worksheets or work sets. The other is auditory known as interval training music theory or relative pitch ear training.

First you need to visually see and physically work on reading intervals. We accomplish this in our notes workshop or with the Individual Note Lessons. Lessons 3 – Note Major Intervals and 4 – Note Minor Intervals cover the note intervals in detail.

The second will be using your instrument, most likely the piano or keyboard, and listening to the sounds. One ear training program for this is Pure Pitch for techniques in pitch recognition.

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