Hi, I just joined to see if anyone can help me with this as it's doing my head in!

I'm trying to educate myself about intervals, the book I'm using has exercises at the end of each chapter which I've worked through well enough and can understand where I've gone wrong except with this one:

There are basically a series of questions showing two notes and you have to identify the interval between them.

In this particular question there are 5 flats in the key which makes it the key of Db Major I believe. The first/lowest note is on the lowest line of the staff/stave which makes it an Eb, the next note is on the space immediately above the top line of the staff/stave making it a Gb.

Because I'm relatively new to this I've worked out the interval by going from the octave above the first note (Eb) and counting up to the Gb which I understand to be a Major 3rd, thus making the entire interval a Major 10th. The book says it's a minor 10th, where have I gone wrong?

Any help greatly appreciated, thanks in advance
Eb to Gb is a minor third because there's three semitones between the two notes. A major third is four semitones.

Looking at it a different way, Gb features in the minor scale starting on Eb, G natural in the major scale.
Thanks for the reply National_Anthem, I think I must be more confused than I thought I was, I think I need to look at it all again!

Here's another probably more complicated way to think about it...

In the key of E major you have four sharps one of which is G♯. G♯ is a major third above E. Think about when you play an E major chord - you have a G♯.

So if E to G♯ is a major third then E to G is a minor third. Hence E♭ to G♭ is also a minor third while E♭ to G is a major third.

Hope that makes some sense.
Last edited by 20Tigers at Apr 5, 2011,
I don't think you are as bad off as you think you are. It sounds like you are on the right track. You just started with the wrong presumption/calculation. One you thought it was a Major 3rd, the rest of the answer was going to be wrong.

I'd suggest just keep working through it, and take time with it. You might just take a small detour for a while and do nothing but test yourself on 3rds. I dont know if your working on involving intervals without the use of paper, or not like we teach, but if so walk around and ask yourself, whats the Major 3rd of x? Whats the minor 3rd of x? whats the 5th of x?

Some of my students play this game all the time at the school. One of my students might come in and I'll say "quick, what's the b5 for G#?" And they will do the same thing, to me at times. Its great to stay on your toes and get used to thinking in those ways.


Quote by rusky78
Thanks for the reply National_Anthem, I think I must be more confused than I thought I was, I think I need to look at it all again!

If need be, just break it down very simply and count each semitone. Eb E F Gb, that's three semitones up which is a minor third. If it were Eb E F Gb G, that would be four semitones, thus a major third.
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