Minor & Diminished Intervals / Music Theory Lesson

Author: sleepfreaks

Changing Major Intervals to Create Minor Intervals

Previously we had taken a look at major intervals.

Intervals are the distance between a note and a note,
and this distance make a large difference in how they resonate with each other,

Using the knowledge gained in the last article, we will look at making minor intervals.

Lets start by shrinking the major intervals by a half-step.
We will be moving them down a half-step from their original point.



They will sound like this:

Major Intervals (M2nd, M3rd, M6th, M7th)

Major Intervals Lowered by a Half-step.

The intervals sound much darker now.

As mentioned in one of our previous articles, you most likely felt that

Major sounds bright,

whereas Minor has a dark tonality.

  • C Major Chord
  • C Minor Chord

That’s right.
By lowering major intervals by a half-step,
they become minor intervals

While major uses a capital “M”, minor is usually written as a lower-case “m”.
This is good to keep in mind for chords as well.

Minor Interval Names



Lets see what these intervals are called.

  • m2nd = Minor 2nd
  • m3rd = Minor 3rd
  • m6th = Minor 6th
  • m7th = Minor 7th

What happens to perfect intervals that are lowered by a half-step?
Lets take a look.


When notated they will look like above.


On your DAW they will look like above.

✴︎ You cannot lower a perfect unison by a half-step

That’s right.


For example, a P4th that is lowered by a half-step becomes the same as a M3rd.
A PO that is lowered by a half-step becomes the same as a M7th.


There is a definite visual difference on notated music,
we can see that it is the same on your DAW or when played on an instrument.

Diminished Intervals

We’ve kept you waiting!
When a perfect interval is lowered by a half-step,
it becomes a diminished interval.



Lets see what they are called.

  • dim4th = Diminished 4th
  • dim5th = Diminished 5th
  • Diminished Octave

How about we give the dim5th a repeated listen.



It gives an eerie sense of urgency…
and is a little difficult to listen to in repetition.

However, this interval is a crucial component in music.
It is featured in various chords that we will be taking a look at, so be sure to remember it.

In our next article, we will be taking a look at Major Keys.

Article Writer: Kazuma Itoh

講師 伊藤
After moving to the USA at 18 years of age with a scholarship from Berklee, he completed a 4 year study focused on song writing and arranging there.
Using this knowledge, he works across a variety of fields from pop music, film music, and more.