Hi,
In this post we'll have a look at other descending intervals.
(we began our journey on descending intervals in Part 4)

So, in Part 5 we talk about :

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

If you have troubles understanding interval names, you can check this post.

Descending major 3rd

A descending major 3rd is made of 4 semi-tones1
Every descending major 3rd share a common sound.

It can be C-A♭ or A-F or B♭-G♭ ...

Here are some examples of descending major 3rds :

Listen to the first two vowels ("SU"-"MMER") of this song : Summertime, composed in the 1930’s by George Gershwin for Porgy and Bess (an opera). The lyrics are by DuBose Heyward, and Ira Gershwin.

As always, try to remember this song, it will help you to memorize this interval.

Descending perfect 4th

A perfect 4th is made of 5 semi-tones.

Every descending perfect 4th share a common sound.

It can be C-G or D♯-A♯ or B♭-F...

Here are some examples of descending perfect 4ths :

Listen carefully to the first two notes of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (first movement). One of the greatest Mozart's composition.

This is the sound of a descending perfect 4th.

Descending augmented 4th

An augmented 4th has a width of 6 semi-tones. (A diminished 5th is made of 6 semi-tones too, thus augmented 4ths and diminished 5ths share the same sound)

It can be C-G♭ or C-F♯ (they have the same sound but are spelled differently) or B-F or E♭-A among others...

Here are some examples of augmented 4ths and diminished 5ths :

The song that follows is "Don't stop 'til you get enough", written and composed by Michael Jackson, produced by Quincy Jones, arranged by Jerry Hey, Greg Phillinganes and Ben Wright.
At 0:23 , the two vowels "LOVE"-"LY" make an (descending) interval of an augmented 4th.

Descending perfect 5th

A perfect 5th has a width of 7 semi-tones.
Every descending perfect 5th share a common sound.

It can be C-F or D-G or D♭-G♭ or F♯-B among others...

Here are some examples of descending perfect 5th :

The beginning of the theme song from Superman: The Movie (composed by John Williams ) is made of a descending perfect 5th.

That's it for today ! See you in Part 6 where we end descending intervals ...

See you,
Sebastien

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