What intervals are used in classical music that make it sound so unique? I can achieve a similar sound using the harmonic minor scale but imagine it's a lot more than using just one scale.

I've been listening to Paul Gilbert - bach partita in D minor and from the tab that i looked at it uses these notes in the first 4 bars

A D F E C# G

looking at the rest of the tab it looks like he just switches between the natural minor and harmonic minor scale in key of D minor.

So is it a case of just using the harmonic minor scale or does the size of the intervals that you play matter more? because paul gilbert uses some frightening stretches and string skips in this song. I imagine large intervals are also much much easier to play on a piano.
The d minor Partita is originally for the violin which is tuned in fifths with a shorter scale, allowing for greater intervals without skipping strings.

If you are asking what makes music sound baroque then there is far more to it than a scale, as you have guessed. Much of it is in the harmonic movement, polyphony (multiple melodies at one time), and voice leading all along side the baroque sense of melody.
Any range of scales is (in my opinion) fine to use although many composers tend to avoid Locrian. I think what makes the difference is the instruments used and sometimes the variance in speed and pitch that define the 'classical' sound. The harmonic minor is very commonly used but as always there are many more songs in other modes/keys. So don't limit yourself to one or two scales. This probably doesn't answer the question very well but i hope this helps and you can take from it what you will
The difference is hundreds of years of idiomatic harmonic practise and development. You're asking a huge question here that doesn't really have an answer. What makes rock sound like rock? There's no scale or chord progression that does it, it's a style.

For the Partita in D minor (or all minor common practice pieces for that matter) it's not a matter of switching between natural and harmonic minor scales, it's a matter of using minor harmony and tonality and all the fun stuff that goes along with that. In terms of leaps, there are idiomatic instrumental leaps that make it sound more "violin-y." Violins have an insane ability for leaps, more than almost any other instrument and once composers figured out that they could write melodies that aren't in a vocal style they loved using the idiosyncrasies of certain instruments (like big leaps and double stops for violins).
If you really want to understand classical music (the genre, not just themusic of the Classical period for those who might feel the need to correct me) you should probably learn to read standard notation. Study music theory and analyze the pieces.

Here's a good website with a lot of music you can look at:
An adherence to certain rules, conventions ... this chord must / must not be followed by that chord and so on. These help to give classical music its signature sound, even if the rules are broken from time to time.
Well for starters, try actually listening to classical music instead of Paul Gilbert. It's like asking what jazz sounds like by listening to Steve Vai.
Forget intervals. Classical music is less expressive when compared to other periods in music. Start there and then make some classical stuff.


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Quote by Woffelz
Classical music is less expressive when compared to other periods in music.

Quote by Woffelz
Forget intervals. Classical music is less expressive when compared to other periods in music. Start there and then make some classical stuff.

this made me lol