Hi,

Now that we know how to properly name an interval (see this post for details) , we want to be able to recognize it when listening to it.

For the moment, (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3) we will only work with ascending melodic intervals.

A melodic interval is a sequence of two consecutive notes.

Each interval has its own "color" or "sound" or "shape". The purpose of this series of posts is to associate each interval with a song (the two first notes of a song to be precise) so you can remember the "color"/"sound"/"shape" of those intervals.

In Part 1 we will talk about:

  • ascending minor 2nd (same sound as augmented unison)
  • ascending major 2nd
  • ascending minor 3rd (same sound as augmented seconds)

In Part 2 we will talk about:

  • ascending major 3rd
  • ascending perfect 4th
  • ascending augmented 4th (same sound as diminished 5th)
  • ascending perfect 5th

In Part 3 we will talk about:

  • ascending minor 6th (same sound as augmented 5th)
  • ascending major 6th
  • ascending minor 7th (same sound as augmented 6th)
  • ascending major 7th

In Part 4 we will talk about:

  • descending minor 2nd (same sound as augmented unison)
  • descending major 2nd
  • descending minor 3rd (same sound as augmented seconds)

In Part 5 we will talk about :

  • descending major 3rd
  • descending perfect 4th
  • descending augmented 4th (same sound as diminished 5th)
  • descending perfect 5th

In Part 6 we will talk about :

  • descending minor 6th (same sound as augmented 5th)
  • descending major 6th
  • descending minor 7th (same sound as augmented 6th)
  • descending major 7th
Ascending Minor seconds

A minor second is the smallest (perfect unisons appart) melodic interval. (a semi-tone)1
Every minor seconds shares a common sound.

It can be B-C or E-F or G♯-A...

Note that A♭-A♮ is made of a semi-tone too. But the name of this interval is augmented unison. Since minor seconds and augmented unison correspond to the same width (a semi-tone), they share the same characteristic sound.

Here are some examples :

You'll easily recognise this sound.

Listen carefully to the first two notes of Jaws Theme (composed by John Williams) :

You can use this "song" to remember the sound of a minor second. (or augmented unison)

Ascending Major seconds

A major second is made of two semi-tones. (ie : a whole-tone)

Every major seconds share a common sound.

It can be B-C♯ or E-F♯ or G-A or B♭-C...

Here are some examples of major seconds :

Listen carefully to the first two notes of the major scale :

Ascending Minor thirds

A minor third is made of 3 semi-tones.

Every minor third shares a common sound.

It can be B-D or E-G or G-B♭ or B♭-D♭ or F♯-A...

Note that C-D♯ is made of 3 semi-tones too. But the name of this interval is augmented second. Since minor thirds and augmented seconds have the same width (3 semi-tones), they share the same characteristic sound.

Here are some examples of minor thirds and augmented seconds :

Listen carefully to the first two notes of "Smoke on the water" by Deep Purple :

Try to remember this sound !

You can use this excellent tool to practise. (note that you can customize it so that you only hear a certain kind of intervals )
That's it for now. See you in Part 2
Sebastien

  1. If you're not familiar with the terminology "semi-tone", check this. If you're not familiar with intervals, check that