#1
A friend of mine, a guitarist as well asked me a question yesterday.
He asked, "What is your favorite interval?"
I thought it was a strange question, but I replied with "A guess a minor sixth or an augmented fourth."

Is it a strange question?

What is your favorite interval?
#2
Diminished fifth, all the way
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#4
Quote by saw7988
unison



Why unison? There's no color in that interval,
why did you choose unison?
Or did you mean octave?
#6
It's a pretty ridiculous question i think. It's like asking what's your favourite note - it totally depends on context. There's times when any one interval will sound horrific and jarring, and theres times when any of them are perfect and beautiful.
#8
Perfect fifth. Cliche, I know, but I just love the sound of jumping from the root note to a fifth and back, like in In Keeping Secrets(etc.) by Coheed & Cambria or the piano intro to Time Marches on by Foetus.
#9
It's no worse than what's your favourite colour or what's your favourite colour combination.

I don't have a favourite colour though. I love them all. Same with intervals. I love sound, I love colour I don't have any favourites that I can put above all others - they're just different than each other.
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Oct 30, 2009,
#10
I agree with 20Tigers, it's how you use them. Example, I love the sound of a tritone in the low register slurred with a bowed string bass repeating rapidly. Just saying tritone simply doesn't give me enough detail. And there's probably another 10 details I could have included. Not to mention the millions of other combination of virtually every interval with various other factors that I also love equally.
Last edited by pwrmax at Oct 28, 2009,
#11
It's a stupid question.
"It often happens that I wake up at night and begin to think about a serious problem and decide I must tell the pope about it. Then I wake up completely and remember that I am the pope."


---Pope John XXIII
#12
yeah, Hobble is right on the money.

If you understand intervals and how they work you wouldn't really have a favourite. Intervals aren't really something that you give favourites too. It just doesn't make sense.

If your friend was asking 'what's your favourite chord' then that's a different story. Chords ARE something you can give favourites too.
Quote by jemjabella42
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#13
^haha

Let me get see if I got this straight - you're saying it doesn't make sense to have a favourite interval but it does make sense to have a favourite chord?

I can't follow your logic.
Si
#14
Quote by 20Tigers
^haha

Let me get see if I got this straight - you're saying it doesn't make sense to have a favourite interval but it does make sense to have a favourite chord?

I can't follow your logic.

+1

I generally prefer the major 3rd to a minor 2nd. Therefore I have a preference, therefore I can also have a favourite (the fact that I do not is beside the point).
#15
Quote by flea's trumpet
If your friend was asking 'what's your favourite chord' then that's a different story. Chords ARE something you can give favourites too.

I have to disagree with that. I hate the sound of a dominant 7th chord played on its own, but I love when it's used to resolve a minor key.
#16
Quote by pwrmax
I have to disagree with that. I hate the sound of a dominant 7th chord played on its own, but I love when it's used to resolve a minor key.


+1, I cant stand it when people jam over a 12 bar of all dominant 7ths chords.
#17
Quote by kevinbeingkevin
... an augmented fourth.


Quote by Gakbez
Diminished fifth, all the way


Are these the same? (Excuse my n00bishness)
#18
Quote by Johnny_Ibanez
Are these the same? (Excuse my n00bishness)


Enharmonically, yes.
#19
its not stupid. are talking harmonically or melodically? descending or ascending?

melodic descending major third
melodic ascending major seventh
harmonic octave
"Art is the proper task of man" - Friedrich Nietzsche

There is no god, there is only The Doors...Opeth...and IWABO (the unholy trinity)

#20
Quote by pwrmax
I have to disagree with that. I hate the sound of a dominant 7th chord played on its own, but I love when it's used to resolve a minor key.

+1

The V7-i usually sounds great but often I much prefer V-I to V7-I.
#21
Minor 2nd
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I salute you.

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#23
Quote by 20Tigers
^haha

Let me get see if I got this straight - you're saying it doesn't make sense to have a favourite interval but it does make sense to have a favourite chord?

I can't follow your logic.


an interval is not a chord. Its just a way to measure the distance between notes. Saying you have a favourite interval is like saying you prefer meters to centimeters. It just doesn't make sense to me because intervals are something used in order to build scales and chords and such.

So I can understand if someone has a favourite GROUP of intervals when played together, because its the result of these intervals that sound good. But to have a favourite SINGULAR interval just confuses me.

I think asking the question, "what's your favourite interval?" Is just a way for people to pretend like they know what the f*** they're talking about as it gives them an excuse to use words and numbers like Augmented 5th or Diminished 3rd.

I'm not intending to sound like a douche here, I'm just trying to express my confusion. If I have the wrong idea then help me get better informed.

Edit: yeah, I think the point I was trying to make was summed up well by Declan [post#6 of this thread]

Quote by 12345abcd3
+1

I generally prefer the major 3rd to a minor 2nd. Therefore I have a preference, therefore I can also have a favourite (the fact that I do not is beside the point).


but no. A minor 2nd might sound better to your ears than a major 3rd if it was played in context with something else. So then it would no longer be a preference.
Quote by jemjabella42
People look too much into body language. Sometimes I don't make eye contact with people because they are ugly.
Last edited by flea's trumpet at Oct 29, 2009,
#24
Quote by flea's trumpet
an interval is not a chord. Its just a way to measure the distance between notes. Saying you have a favourite interval is like saying you prefer meters to centimeters. It just doesn't make sense to me because intervals are something used in order to build scales and chords and such.

So I can understand if someone has a favourite GROUP of intervals when played together, because its the result of these intervals that sound good. But to have a favourite SINGULAR interval just confuses me.

I think asking the question, "what's your favourite interval?" Is just a way for people to pretend like they know what the f*** they're talking about as it gives them an excuse to use words and numbers like Augmented 5th or Diminished 3rd.

I'm not intending to sound like a douche here, I'm just trying to express my confusion. If I have the wrong idea then help me get better informed.

Minor 2d sounds different from perfect 4th. You can prefer one over the other.
#25
Quote by wesselbindt
Minor 2d sounds different from perfect 4th. You can prefer one over the other.


But why would you prefer one of over the other. There are times when I minor 2nd would fit better than a perfect 4th, or times when a major 6th or an octave would fit better than either. It doesn't make much sense to have a favorite interval.
"It often happens that I wake up at night and begin to think about a serious problem and decide I must tell the pope about it. Then I wake up completely and remember that I am the pope."


---Pope John XXIII
#27
I agree, it has a lot to do with context. If it was "Favorite Chord" that would be a lot different. Mine would have to be something with a #11 or #4, but as for intervals there is nothing that differentiates an augmented fourth from a diminished fifth. They are both tritones, but they sound WAY different considering context.

Edit: You could probably say "harmonic interval," but even so, there's still a lot that's based on context.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
Last edited by food1010 at Oct 29, 2009,
#28
Quote by Hobble
But why would you prefer one of over the other. There are times when I minor 2nd would fit better than a perfect 4th, or times when a major 6th or an octave would fit better than either. It doesn't make much sense to have a favorite interval.


There are times when I prefer a minor chord to a major chord. In isolation certain chords sound awful, but fit perfectly in context. It makes no more sense to have a favourite chord.
#29
Quote by flea's trumpet
*stuff *


I just thought it was funny to say you can't have a favourite interval but if you add a second interval then magically you can start having favourites.

All your arguments that apply to intervals can also be applied to chords. In the wrong context even your "favourite" chord might sound like crap and it would no longer be your preference.


Despite what Declan said in Post#6 it's NOT about context.

The whole point of the question is about a LACK of context and judging each interval on it's own sound and coming to a conclusion that you prefer one of them over the others. It's a perfectly legit question. No worse than any other preference.

Just like colours. When someone asks what's your favourite colour you consider the colours on their own and might be drawn to one more than the others- it's quite normal and as we all know extremely common. That doesn't by any stretch mean they think that their favourite colour will always be the best choice in any given context. (Unless they're five - and then they're usually right).

Try an experiment. Go around with your guitar and approach people at random on the street and say,

"Hey I'm doing a survey. Tell me, do you prefer this sound *play m2nd * or this sound *play P5*?

Take a tally.

Then ask them, "Why?"

They'll give some reason and you respond by saying-

"That was a silly answer they're two notes played together at the same time it makes no sense to prefer one over the other. It only makes sense to have a preference when three or more notes are played at the same time."

Take another tally of how many people hit you, how many tell you you're an idiot, how many stare at you dumbfounded, and how many laugh in your face.

Best of Luck
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Oct 30, 2009,
#30
Quote by Hobble
But why would you prefer one of over the other. There are times when I minor 2nd would fit better than a perfect 4th, or times when a major 6th or an octave would fit better than either. It doesn't make much sense to have a favorite interval.

With a harmonic context, say an A minor chord, if you play a major 10th with an E and a G#, that E is also forming a harmonic interval with the notes in the chord, as is the G#. And they're also forming melodic intervals played with previously played chords and notes. And there's probably a tonality too, so you hear both of those notes in the context of the tonic.
But we're talking about intervals here. No need to get complicated, just intervals, no context whatsoever.
It's like saying you haven't got a favorite color, because sometimes one fits better than the other.
#31
Quote by 20Tigers
"Hey I'm doing a survey. Tell me, do you prefer this sound *play m2nd * or this sound *play P5*?


I think it's this that confuses me.

When you say "play a Minor 2nd" or any other interval, are you saying to play the 2 notes together [simultaneously], or seperately [one after the other]?

I'm just curious because when I think of "intervals" I think of a theoretical distance between 2 notes, as opposed to 2 notes being played at the same time ....like a double stop. This is a hypothetical question, I'm obviously not going to make a survey, your sarcasm was painfully clear. I just want to make sure we aren't confusing "intervals" with "chords". If you're playing 2 notes at the same time [applying whatever interval you want] then I agree with you that you can have a favourite. But if you're JUST talking about how far apart 2 notes are from eachother, then I find it confusing to have a favourite.

Edit: and please stop using the 'favourite colour' comparison. I really don't think that comparison justifies the question mentioned in the OP.
Quote by jemjabella42
People look too much into body language. Sometimes I don't make eye contact with people because they are ugly.
Last edited by flea's trumpet at Oct 30, 2009,
#32
I was thinking of playing them harmonically.

Though you could also play them melodically and achieve a similar effect.

Intervals are a theoretical distance between two notes but they are also a practical reality each with it's own definitive sound and character.

I'll quit with the 'favourite colour' comparison if everyone quits with the argument that it is all "a matter of context".

Listen to each interval on its own without any "context" and they each have a unique character. Listen to them closely one by one and decide if you prefer one over the other. Maybe the answer is no you like them all equally - or maybe theres something about the sound of the minor sixth that turns you on. Who knows. But the question itself is no more silly than asking if someone has a favourite anything- flavour, sound, feeling, smell etc.
Si
#33
Quote by flea's trumpet
an interval is not a chord. Its just a way to measure the distance between notes. Saying you have a favourite interval is like saying you prefer meters to centimeters.

An interval is not "a way to measure the distance between notes" it is the distance between two notes.

Quote by flea's trumpet
but no. A minor 2nd might sound better to your ears than a major 3rd if it was played in context with something else. So then it would no longer be a preference.

Fair enough, which interval sounds better would depend on the context but the same is true for chords. Still, given no context you could say which interval sounds better.

It's like a favourite colour, if you have a context of a partly finished painting the colour you would prefer to use to complete it could change but that doesn't mean you can't have a favourite colour.

I don't see why you can't have a preference for one interval but you can for two or more (which is what a chord is).
#34
I think a better question would have been "if you could listen to one last chord before you died, which one would it be?"

Em11 spelt 1 5 9 3 7 11, played as an arpeggio
#35
Quote by 20Tigers
Intervals are a theoretical distance between two notes but they are also a practical reality each with it's own definitive sound and character.


ahh, ok. I suppose if intervals are played harmonically [in the practical reality that you mentioned] then you CAN pick and chose which ones you like and which ones you don't, thereby opening up a door for favourites. I agree with that.

But supposing that you're referring to intervals existing only in theory as a means to distance 2 notes from eachother then it kind of limits a possibility for favourites. At least that's how I feel. And it was this 'realm of theory' that I thought the TS was referring to.

However, after giving it some thought I DO agree that you can have a favourite interval, if played harmonically in a practical reality. And if an interval is played melodically it kind of makes it harder to distinguish between favourites, but I suppose having a preference can still apply.
Quote by jemjabella42
People look too much into body language. Sometimes I don't make eye contact with people because they are ugly.
#36
Ask a fat chick if she prefers a red dress in front a red barn as opposed to a white and I bet she takes the red