I just rented a book on music theory and Im confuses about what an interval is and what this augmented, diminished, and 7th stuff is. Can someone explain please?
I have no idea... I just got to the part explaining intervals and I got lost. Im reading this book called "Practical Music Theory" by James Collier made in 1970 if anyone has it...
An interval is a musical distance. We measure time in minutes and hours; distance in metres and kilometres, and music in intervals. The distance from C to D is a tone (or a major second). The distance from C to C# is a semitone (or a minor second). The distance from low "doh" to high "doh" is an octave. Those are intervals.

To augment something is to make it bigger. So the distance from C to G, say, is a perfect fifth. So, the distance from C to G# is a little bit bigger than that... or an augmented fifth.

Similarly, if something is diminished, it is made smaller. That same perfect fifth interval from C to G, if made one semitone smaller, would be C to Gb.... or a diminished fifth.

Now... say you're in C major.

C = 1
D = 2
E = 3
F = 4
G = 5
A = 6
B = 7

The distance from C to E is a third. The distance from C to A is a sixth. A seventh, then, is the distance from C to B. Now that is a *major* seventh. The distance between C to Bb is a minor seventh. (since it is flattened by one)

Generally, diminished and augmented intervals are used to describe fourths and fifths. A major interval is for the 2, 3, 6, and 7 scale degrees (see above) that remain unaltered in their major form. If they are lowered by a semitone, then they are considered to be not dimininished (as it would be for a fourth or a fifth), but minor.

ex. C - Ab = a minor sixth.

Hope that helps a little...

Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
well, an interval is the distance between two notes in music.The intervals in music are:

Maj1/Min2/Maj2/Min3/Maj3/Perfect4/Perfect5/Min6/Maj6/Min7/Maj7/Perfect8 (octave)

So.. to clear this up by using the root note C, i will go through each interval with the respective note.

C to C: unison
C to C#/Db: minor second
C to D: major second
C to D#/Eb:minor third
C to E: major third
C to F: perfect forth
C to G: perfect fifth
C to Ab: minor sixth
C to A: major sixth
C to Bb: minor seventh
C to B: major seventh
C to C: perfect 8 or octave

i didn't add in the augmented and diminished intervals but they are, in a nutshell, a semi tone lower or higher then the interval. ex. C to a G# would be an augmented fifth. You can find out where these aug and dim intervals go later.

remember: and interval is the distance between two pitches!!
Well wait a second, an interval is just the distance from one note to another right?
so Im trying to get a better understanding because this book is great but I just got lost in this one part and I want to continue it because its one of the only things that I can read and actually understand it so here is one question






so would this be an augmented 2nd?? and If that is correct, then what would be a minor 2nd?

Edit: also a semitone is the same as a half step?
Last edited by Martha Stewart at Aug 25, 2006,
Semitone=half step


Yes that is an augmented second.

Minor second= one half step.

Minor second+half step=two half steps=major second.

Major second+half step=three half steps (but if it is still a second)=augmented second.

Three half steps can also be a minor third, but it depends on the context. If it was C to D#, it is an augmented second. If it is C to Eb, it is a minor third.
Last edited by kirbyrocknroll at Aug 25, 2006,
That is awesome because I have been confused with that for a while when it comes to alternate tunings...

EDIT: thanks I think Im getting it now so how do you find out when a chord is augmented, or stuff like....or am I going too far?
Last edited by Martha Stewart at Aug 25, 2006,
Augmented chords have an augmented fifth.

I don't know if you are going to far, since when I started learning theory, I was a mess. I learned everything out of order (imo).

So an augmented chord would be: 1-3-#5

So in C major: C E G#
Quote by Martha Stewart
I just rented a book on music theory and Im confused about what an interval is and what this augmented, diminished, and 7th stuff is. Can someone explain please?
Introduction to Intervals

Group 1 Intervals

Group 2 Intervals
All things are difficult before they are easy.
- Dr. Thomas Fuller (British physician, 1654-1734)
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For everything you need to know - gpb0216.
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they should sticky these interval answers

Good idea, but I think there already is a sticky somewhere.