Understanding Five-Tone Intervals: Sequences, and Their Names

Definition of Five-Note Interval – In the art of music, a note interval is the distance between one note and the next note, whether it’s the distance of a note up or the distance of a note down. You should know that each tone interval has its own distance and special name.

A musician must master pitch intervals before learning other things. Because the tone interval will help you in doing various other things. For example, to understand the scale until making harmony on the guitar solo.

A. Meaning of Tone Interval

Quoted from the School of Music Theory 1, Faculty of Languages ​​and Arts, Yogyakarta State University, states that the tone interval is the “distance” between one tone and another. Each interval is given a name that contains the meaning of quantity and quality. In a scale there are 7 (seven) tones each of which has the name of the interval quantity, as follows:

c – c : prime
c – d : secondo
c – e : third
c – f
: quart
c – g : quint c – a : sext
c – b : seprime
c – c’ : octave

Meanwhile, the interval quality names are divided into 2 (two) basic groups, including:

1. Interval Perfect (pure)

a. Interval Prime ( 1 )

b. Quarter Interval ( 4 )

c. Quintet Interval ( 5 )

d. Octave Interval ( 8 )

2. Major Interval (big)

a. Second Interval ( 2 )

b. Interval of Thirds ( 3 )

c. Sext Interval ( 6 )

d. Septim Interval ( 7 )

Each of the above basic intervals can be changed, that is by widening the distance or narrowing the distance. In order to widen the distance, the upper tone is raised by 1 semitone, or the lower tone is lowered by 1 semitone, while in order to narrow the distance, the upper tone is lowered by 1 semitone, or the lower tone is raised by 1 semitone.

All Major intervals, if widened by 1 semitone will become Augmented intervals. However, if it is narrowed by 1 semitone, it will be a minor interval and when it is narrowed again by 1 semitone, it will be a diminished interval. Likewise on the Perfect interval, when widened by 1 semitone it will become an Augmented interval. However, if it is narrowed by 1 semitone it will be a diminished interval.

B. Sequence of Tone Intervals

Harmony or harmony is a combination of two or more tones that differ in pitch. The definition of a tone interval is the distance between two tones with a sequence of intervals, among others:

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1) Prime (1st) like C to C
2) Skunde (2nd) like C to D
3) Ters (3rd) like C to E
4) Kwart (4th) like C to F
5) Kwint (5th) like C to G
6) Sect (6th) like C to A
7) Septim (7th) like C to B
8) None (9th) like C to D’
9) Decim (10th) like C to E’
10) Undecim (11th) like C to F’
11) Duodecim (12th) like C to G’
12) Tredecim (13th) like C to A’

C. Names of Tone Intervals

A tone interval has a value of 1 and there is also a value of half. Meanwhile, for the major scale has 1-1-1/2-1-1-1-½. But you need to note that, the interval applies if you use the tone do or C. With the tone sequence that is CDEFGABC.

There is also a minor scale with an interval of 1-½-1-1-1/1-1-1. As quoted from the book Mandiri Belajar Tematik SD/MI Class 6 Semester 2 by Desi Damayanti, et al., states that tone intervals have several names, namely prime, second, third, quart, quin, sect, septim, and octave.

1. Prime Tone

Prime tone is an interval of one tone or do to the same tone, which is do. Prime tone intervals are often referred to as Prim or Unison or First tones.

Prime tone is also a tone interval or distance between tones with a similar pitch. An example of a prime tone interval is the distance between C and C again. Prim has a compact and plain effect, as well as the same sound when played using two different musical instruments.

2. Second tone

Second tone is a tone interval from the first tone or do to the second tone above or re or below it. A second is also a tone interval between one tone and another tone with a pitch one level above it. A second tone is also referred to as the interval from tone one to tone two. For example from tone C to tone D. The interval of the second tone has the effect of sounding like stepping.

3. Tone Terts

The third tone is a tone interval from the first tone or do to the third tone or mi or high tone. Examples of intervals of thirds are the tone C to the tone E or major thirds which gives a melodic jump with a bright effect and the tone C to the tone Eb or minor thirds which gives a melodic jump with a narrow, dark and sad effect.

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4. Quart tones

A quarter note is a note interval from the first note or do to the fourth note above it or fa. Quart jug is the distance between the first note and the fourth note. An example of a quart interval is the tone C to the tone F which gives the impression of a harmonious sound.

5. Quin tone

Quin tone is a tone interval from the first tone, which is do, to the fifth tone, which is sol. The quin tone interval is also the distance between the first tone and the fifth tone. The quin interval can be composed of two tert intervals. An example of a quin interval is the tone C to the tone G with a harmonious effect.

6. Tone Sect

The sect tone is a tone interval from the first tone, i.e. do, to the sixth tone, i.e. la. The interval of this section is the distance between the first note and the sixth note. An example of the sext interval is the distance between the C tone and the A tone with a strong and convincing harmonic effect. A large sext interval increases the feeling of happiness, while a small sext interval increases the feeling of sadness.

7. Septim tone

Septim tone is a tone interval from the first tone or do to the seventh tone or si. The seventh tone interval is also the distance between the first tone and the seventh tone. For example the distance between tone C to tone B by giving the impression of tension and exaggeration, thus making it a less pleasant interval when sung.

8. Octave Tone

The octave tone is the tone interval from the first tone or do to the eighth tone which is do’. In the diatonic scale, the octave can identify the repetition of the same tone. Only at a higher level. An example is CDEFGAB-C’.

The example can be said to be an octave because it has an interval of eight, which starts from C and ends at C’, giving the effect of harmony, convincing, majestic, and great.