Major Intervals / Music Theory Lesson

Author: sleepfreaks

Understanding Intervals; the Distance Between Notes

This time, lets take a look at what intervals are.

There may seem to be lots of things to learn in the start,
but intervals are important to understand as they hold importance in the chord lessons that we will be taking a look at later on in this series.

Simply put, an interval is

  • Interval = the distance between two notes

Lets start by taking a look at the image below.



Lets enter 8 C notes, and layer the C major scale over it.
This completes our preparation.

Lets listen to the sound as this point.

We can hear that each combination creates a different sound.
With C as the starting point, there is a name for the distance between it and each of these notes.


Interval-name 2

  • PU = Perfect Unison
  • M2nd = Major 2nd
  • M3rd = Major 3rd
  • P4th = Perfect 4th
  • P5th = Perfect 5th
  • M6th = Major 6th
  • M7th = Major 7th
  • PO = Perfect Octave

You may hear on octave up or octave down commonly used,
and we can see that C4 is an octave above C3.

We can see that there are “major” intervals and “perfect” intervals.
Lets take a closer look at what these are.

Major/Perfect Intervals

Lets give the M2nd, M3rd, M6th, and the M7th a listen.



Next, lets listen to the “perfect” named PU, P4th, P5th, and PO.



The perfect intervals seem to ring very clear with no “muddiness” to the sound.

The two tones combine in “Perfect” harmony to give birth to a pure and very direct sound.

We will stop here for this lesson.

Be sure to remember that an interval is the distance between two layered notes,
and pay close attention to the particular sound that each interval pairing has.

Next time we will take a look at adjusting these intervals to create new sounds.

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.