Interval (music)

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In music theory, an interval is a combination of two notes, or the distance between their pitches. Two-note combinations are also called dyads. Although chords are often defined as sets of three or more notes, intervals are sometimes considered to be the simplest kind of chord.[1]

Intervals may be described as:[2]

  • Vertical or harmonic, if the two notes sound simultaneously
  • Horizontal, linear, or melodic if they sound successively.

Intervals may be roughly classified as:

  • Diatonic intervals, between the notes of a diatonic scale,
  • Chromatic intervals, non-diatonic intervals between the notes of a chromatic scale,
  • Minute intervals (commas, and microtones), sometimes so small that the difference in pitch between the two notes cannot be perceived.
  • Interval quality: perfect, major, minor, augmented, diminished, and doubly augmented or diminished


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