O'Reilly logo

Music Theory for Computer Musicians by Michael Hewitt

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Understanding Intervals

The C major scale is called a major scale because it follows a particular pattern of intervals. What is an interval? It is the gap between two notes. The octave considered earlier is an example of an interval. Another example is the major third between notes C and E, shown in Figure 3.1. You’ll notice that the intervals between adjacent notes of the C major scale are not all the same size. This is important to know, so I will now explain it further.

The interval or gap between any two adjacent notes on the keyboard (or frets on the guitar) is called a semitone (see Figure 3.5).

Figure 3.5. Semitone gaps on a keyboard.

If you count the number of arrows in Figure 3.5, you’ll realize that there are 12 such gaps in a ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required