Go Back   UG Community @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com > Music > Musician Talk
User Name  
Password
Search:

Closed Thread
Old 09-24-2012, 09:34 PM   #1
Crazyedd123
UG's Primus fanboy
 
Crazyedd123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Minor 2nd

Why do we refer to the half-tone interval as a minor 2nd when it doesn't actually appear in the major or minor scale?
As in, both the major and minor scale have a minor 2nd as the first interval. There's no minor 2nd unless you base it from a mode.

I mean, it's not like I don't know a bit about scales and theory, but it just seems like an odd thing to do.
__________________
Breakfast, Breakfast, it's great for us
We eat, we eat, we eat
That frozen meat
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, it can't be beat
Crazyedd123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2012, 09:44 PM   #2
rockingamer2
Larmarky Remark
 
rockingamer2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Rainy Northwest
C is the tonic, D is the (major) second. If we make it flat, Db, then we have a minor second.

Who cares if it doesn't appear in a scale? Scales are made up of intervals, intervals don't come from scales.
__________________
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^

"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity."

MUSIC THEORY LINK

SteamID: CarrionComfort
rockingamer2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2012, 09:53 PM   #3
Hail
kill both bass players
 
Hail's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Dallas
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockingamer2
C is the tonic, D is the (major) second. If we make it flat, Db, then we have a minor second.

Who cares if it doesn't appear in a scale? Scales are made up of intervals, intervals don't come from scales.


it's a legitimate question, since variable qualities of intervals (major or minor) typically are used in the appropriate scale, but the 2nd interval doesn't. if you're just getting into intervals, it can be confusing.

just consider it a nomenclatural anomaly, TS. you can say diminished 2nd as well - this helps a lot when going from scales->intervals in a curriculum - but it's just one of those things.
Hail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2012, 09:54 PM   #4
Crazyedd123
UG's Primus fanboy
 
Crazyedd123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockingamer2
C is the tonic, D is the (major) second. If we make it flat, Db, then we have a minor second.

Who cares if it doesn't appear in a scale? Scales are made up of intervals, intervals don't come from scales.

I know, but it's just that you have stuff like Aug. 4th and Dim. 5th.

I just wonder why they didn't call the minor 2nd a diminished 2nd instead
__________________
Breakfast, Breakfast, it's great for us
We eat, we eat, we eat
That frozen meat
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, it can't be beat
Crazyedd123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2012, 10:08 PM   #5
food1010
Bassist
 
food1010's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
I don't know the formal reason, but my guess is that perfect 4ths and 5ths give a scale/chord a certain sense of stability. The minor 2nd doesn't really compromise any stability (or at least not in the same way as a diminished fifth or augmented fourth).
__________________
Only play what you hear. If you donít hear anything, donít play anything.
-Chick Corea
food1010 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2012, 10:09 PM   #6
Captaincranky
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazyedd123
I know, but it's just that you have stuff like Aug. 4th and Dim. 5th.

I just wonder why they didn't call the minor 2nd a diminished 2nd instead

At its most basic, a musical interval, is a simple measure of distance. So, a "minor 2nd", is a semitone differential between notes.

It doesn't matter where it happens. For example, a "minor 3rd" is 3 semi tones.

The fact that a "diminished chord", is a series of "stacked minor 3rds", bears this out. It need not relate to scale degree.
Captaincranky is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2012, 10:09 PM   #7
Macabre_Turtle
UG's UGer
 
Macabre_Turtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Hermitage, PA
I've wondered this too. We refer to the notes that determine minor or major scales as minor or major intervals, and we refer to notes that don't as perfect, diminished, or augmented. With the only exception being the 2nd, where instinctively I would use the terms perfect 2nd and diminished 2nd, but we actually call it major 2nd and minor 2nd.
Macabre_Turtle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2012, 10:35 PM   #8
jazz_rock_feel
Micropolyphoner
 
jazz_rock_feel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
I've never heard a really solid answer to this, but I can tell you that after a while it becomes intuitive to think of it that way. It becomes easier when you realize that interval names aren't derived from scales and that fourths/fifths aren't called perfect because they appear in both the major and minor scales.
__________________
I don't know what music theory is.


Soundcloud. Look at it. Or don't.
jazz_rock_feel is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2012, 10:41 PM   #9
Crazyedd123
UG's Primus fanboy
 
Crazyedd123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazz_rock_feel
I've never heard a really solid answer to this, but I can tell you that after a while it becomes intuitive to think of it that way. It becomes easier when you realize that interval names aren't derived from scales and that fourths/fifths aren't called perfect because they appear in both the major and minor scales.

Hmm, so why are 4ths and 5ths referred to as perfect?
I can understand the octave being referred to as perfect because it it the exact pitch of the root note, only an octave higher.
__________________
Breakfast, Breakfast, it's great for us
We eat, we eat, we eat
That frozen meat
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, it can't be beat
Crazyedd123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2012, 10:48 PM   #10
jazz_rock_feel
Micropolyphoner
 
jazz_rock_feel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
It's more historical. having to do with what was considered "perfectly consonant." Basically, the physics behind it is that fourths and fifths (and octaves) have very simple ratios, in the case of a fourth 5:4 and a fifth 3:2 (the octave is obviously 2:1). That makes them sound arguably consonant and in the ye olde days they were the only harmonic intervals accepted as perfectly consonant, 3rds and 6ths were called (any guesses?) imperfect consonances.
__________________
I don't know what music theory is.


Soundcloud. Look at it. Or don't.
jazz_rock_feel is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2012, 10:54 PM   #11
:-D
hi
 
:-D's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Earth
i know
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archeo Avis
You just won.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockaholic97
Thanks! I wish everyone on Ultimate Guitar could be more like you!
:-D is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2012, 10:55 PM   #12
Hail
kill both bass players
 
Hail's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Dallas
Quote:
Originally Posted by food1010
The minor 2nd doesn't really compromise any stability (or at least not in the same way as a diminished fifth or augmented fourth).


it does, however, compromise stability in the sense that a major 7th does. the instability caused with the tritone is because of the interval being the average of an octave, while that same relationship is shared (to some extent) with the major 7th and minor 2nd. their relation to the tonic, without further context, can cause confusion - is it C with a major 7th or B with a minor 2?
Hail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2012, 12:31 AM   #13
deHufter
Registered User
 
deHufter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: The Netherlands
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazyedd123
I know, but it's just that you have stuff like Aug. 4th and Dim. 5th.

I just wonder why they didn't call the minor 2nd a diminished 2nd instead


Cause a diminished second is the enharmonical equivalant of a unisone.

B to Cb is a diminished second.
__________________
deHufter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2012, 12:56 AM   #14
Captaincranky
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hail
it does, however, compromise stability in the sense that a major 7th does. the instability caused with the tritone is because of the interval being the average of an octave, while that same relationship is shared (to some extent) with the major 7th and minor 2nd. their relation to the tonic, without further context, can cause confusion - is it C with a major 7th or B with a minor 2?
The same paradox exists between a Isus2 and the corresponding Vsus4. (And in other places as well, m7 or M6).

However, I find it fascinating, that nobody can accept the fact that idiomatic expressions can exist within musical terminology. Everything modern musicians describe relates back to the tonal structure of the major scale. And yes, even musicians who campaign against learning scales indulge in that referencing methodology.

It gives one pause to wonder if that is a hypocrisy or a conceit. But, here again, one tends to get bogged down in terminology....

So, suppose we say that the term, "minor 2nd" actually means "flat 2nd", which would attach back to the major scale structure.

At the end of the day, I prefer calling that interval a "Phrygian 2nd", as that's where I find it's most useful. That said, the term "Phrygian 2nd", attaches to it's scalar nature, and not to it's harmonic.

Last edited by Captaincranky : 09-25-2012 at 01:13 AM.
Captaincranky is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2012, 01:51 AM   #15
20Tigers
1
 
20Tigers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazyedd123
Why do we refer to the half-tone interval as a minor 2nd when it doesn't actually appear in the major or minor scale?
As in, both the major and minor scale have a minor 2nd as the first interval. There's no minor 2nd unless you base it from a mode.

I mean, it's not like I don't know a bit about scales and theory, but it just seems like an odd thing to do.

There are 12 possible notes. Not all of them are in the major scale.

However the major scale is the reference point for naming most things and this is true for intervals. It doesn't mean those things have to be in the major scale it is just how they relate to the major scale that we are noting when we name it.

So we have a Major scale consisting of all major and perfect intervals - when measured from the root. But there are also intervals between the different intervals between the various scale degrees.

There are minor second intervals in the major and minor scales. If we look at the major scale then going from the Major third to the Perfect Fourth is an interval of a minor second.

In C major this is from E to F. It's some kind of second because E is one and F is two. It is one semitone and so E to F is a minor second.

Similarly in the key of Ab the third is C the fourth is Db the interval between the major third (C) and the Perfect Fourth (Db) is a minor second (b2).
__________________
Si
20Tigers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2012, 01:58 AM   #16
Captaincranky
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by 20Tigers
There are minor second intervals in the major and minor scales. If we look at the major scale then going from the Major third to the Perfect Fourth is an interval of a minor second.

In C major this is from E to F. It's some kind of second because E is one and F is two. It is one semitone and so E to F is a minor second.
Keep in mind I attached a definition of, "an interval", being, "a musical distance", not a scale degree several posts ago.

With that aside, referring to the C major scale; verily thou hast lauded E to F, yet slighted B to C. Surely, you would agree that, "all minor seconds are created equal, in the eyes of man, the law, and God.....
Captaincranky is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2012, 05:58 AM   #17
20Tigers
1
 
20Tigers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captaincranky
Keep in mind I attached a definition of, "an interval", being, "a musical distance", not a scale degree several posts ago.

With that aside, referring to the C major scale; verily thou hast lauded E to F, yet slighted B to C. Surely, you would agree that, "all minor seconds are created equal, in the eyes of man, the law, and God.....

alas no slight was intended.

And I agree an interval is a musical distance not a scale degree which fits with what I said. The distance between the third scale degree and the fourth scale degree is not itself a scale degree it is a musical distance.

As you say intervals are not scale degrees they are musical distances. But they are named in relation to the scale degrees of the major scale. But that is all.
__________________
Si
20Tigers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2012, 06:11 AM   #18
mdc
UG's Mr Chord Man
 
mdc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazyedd123
Why do we refer to the half-tone interval as a minor 2nd when it doesn't actually appear in the major or minor scale?
As in, both the major and minor scale have a minor 2nd as the first interval. There's no minor 2nd unless you base it from a mode.

I mean, it's not like I don't know a bit about scales and theory, but it just seems like an odd thing to do.

If you don't like it then use augmented unison instead.
mdc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2012, 04:39 PM   #19
Dodeka
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
It makes enough sense to me. Minor just means narrower. The minor second is the narrower of the seconds occuring between consecutive diatonic notes. It's the necessity of referring to fourths and fifths as perfect that I question, but they are the most fundamental after the octave.

In other tuning schemes, there are even major and minor whole tones, but that's a different topic.
Dodeka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2012, 04:46 PM   #20
J-Dawg158
UG's Resident Dhampyr
 
J-Dawg158's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
My 2Ę:

Everyone seems to be in agreement that the 7th interval should be divided into major/minor. Well the 2nd interval is the inversion of a 7th, so doesn't it stand to reason that it should correspond to the same major/minor division?
__________________
I'm an
Engeneer
Enginear
Enginere

I'm Good at Math
J-Dawg158 is offline   Reply With Quote
Closed Thread


Thread Tools Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:49 PM.

Forum Archives / About / Terms of Use / Advertise / Contact / Ultimate-Guitar.Com © 2014
Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.