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What are Music Intervals on Piano?

intervalsMusic intervals on the piano can seem a difficult thing for beginner pianist to learn. It may seem to them that they will never learn to detect intervals between the keys on a piano.

Once you know the theory behind what music intervals are you will be able to easily detect any intervals between notes. Music intervals on the piano are the distance between any two keys on the piano in an octave an octave being a series of eight consecutive notes on the piano.

The music intervals on piano are numerous. Intervals are described as major or minor, harmonic or melodic and diatonic or chromatic.

Here follows a list of the music intervals you can get on piano:

    • Unison     • Perfect fifth
    • Augmented unison     • Augmented fifth
    • Diminished second     • Diminished sixth
    • Minor second     • Minor sixth
    • Major second     • Major sixth
    • Augmented second     • Augmented sixth
    • Diminished third     • Diminished seventh
    • Minor third     • Minor seventh
    • Major third     • Major seventh
    • Augmented third     • Augmented seventh
    • Diminished fourth     • Diminished octave
    • Perfect fourth     • Octave or Perfect octave
    • Augmented fourth     • Augmented octave
    • Diminished fifth  

When describing what the music intervals on piano are you need to decide on number which is the diatonic number and the quality – is it major or minor, augmented or diminished, or perfect.

It is a difficult task describing what the musical intervals on piano are without the necessary understanding of musical theory and hands on practice on the piano detecting with your fingers and your ears what music intervals are. Some famous songs are excellent examples of what music intervals are and will help you get a firmer grasp on understanding and detecting musical intervals.

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masteringtheoryLearning what are the musical intervals on piano are is also a difficult task. However, accustom your ear to what the smallest on the piano is and this would be a melodic minor second. A melodic minor second is when two notes are played one step apart on the piano. Steps in this case refers to one semitone count where a semitone is the smallest interval you can pay between any two notes.

You can easily identify this kind of interval because on the piano keyboard a white note will immediately be followed by a black note. This is a melodic minor second interval. Normally when this type of interval is played it can sound sombre and sinister. This is one way also to identify what type of interval is being played. The distance between C and C# on the piano keyboard is a melodic minor second because it is the smallest distance between two notes which you can play.

By seeing concrete examples in songs you recognise and seeing notes of intervals being played on the piano practically will help you come to an understanding of what the music intervals on piano are. For example, the word somewhere in Somewhere over the rainbow is a good example of an interval of an octave.

Below is a list of popular songs in which you can practice with in identifying intervals.

• Happy Birthday: Major 2nd

• Here comes the bride: Perfect 4th

• Twinkle twinkle little star: Perfect 5th

• Somewhere over the rainbow: Perfect 8th (octave)

• Amazing Grace: Perfect 4th

• My bonnie lies over the ocean:  Minor 6th

It is always beneficial seeing intervals being written out on sheet music and seeing it played out in front of you and this brings you to a greater understanding of what music intervals on a piano are. This is very much a practical thing to learn when you teach yourself piano.

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