# Tritone and Augmented Intervals / Music Theory Lesson

## The Tritone and the Augmented Intervals

This time, we will take a break from chords and take a look at “tritone”
and the related “augmented” intervals.

### The Thrilling yet Crucial Tritone

Lets give it a listen.

We’ve seen this interval before.
It has a particular sense of urgency and is a little difficult to listen to in repetition.
You may have heard that once upon a time, the tritone was known as “the devil’s interval”.

However, this tritone is an incredibly crucial sound when making music.

Lets take a look at this sound on notation and the piano roll.

Perhaps the name will give us some insight on this interval.

• “Tri”tone
• “Tri” meaning 3 from Latin/Greek roots

It seems this “3” plays a part.
That’s right. The distance between the 2 notes is 3 whole-steps.

Lets take a look at the F and B.

The opposite works the same way.

### The New “Augmented” Interval

Now, here we are introduced to the new “augmented” interval.

The concept of this interval is fairly simple.

Extend a major or perfect interval further by a half-step to make an augmented interval.

While perfect intervals were signified with a “P”, major with “M”, minor with “m”, and diminished with “dim”,
an augmented interval is signified with an “A”.

The names of the intervals are as follows:

• AU = Augmented Unison
• A2nd = Augmented 2nd
• A3rd = Augmented 3rd
• A4th = Augmented 4th
• A5th = Augmented 5th
• A6th = Augmented 6th
• A7th = Augmented 7th
• AO = Augmented Octave

Did you realize that there’s 1 tritone hiding among these intervals?

That’s right, it’s the A4th interval.
With C as a root, it would be the interval of C to F#.

In addition, if thought of as a diminished interval, it can be “Dim5th”,
and the “F#” would be notated as a “G♭” instead.

### The Importance of the Tritone

Last but not least, lets hear a sample that helps clarify why the tritone is important in music.

This is when the tritone moves to a certain sound.

It gives us this feeling similar to reaching a goal doesn’t it?
Like we have been freed of the tension.

We will be taking a look at the reason behind this in our next music theory article, so remember this sound!

## Article Writer: Kazuma Itoh

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.