So much we have actually looked in ~ intervals that are a fairly big distance apart. Octave, perfect fifth, and also perfect 4th are often referred to as "leaps" since are regularly used in melodies to contact attention, make a adjust in feeling, or herald the start of a track or new section the music. Castle are fairly rare in many melodies.

You are watching: The smallest interval in the western musical system is the:

Minor 2nd (one Semitone, one Half-step)

Now we look in ~ the other end of the spectrum: the smallest interval that we have actually in the Western classic music tradition. The minor 2nd (also called the "semitone" or "half-step") is the expression between any two nearby notes in the chromatic scale. It occurs typically in diatonic melodies, yet is rare in the pentatonic melodies that are typical on the aboriginal American flute.

In Western classical music, the note that is a semitone or minor 2nd above a 300 Hz note would have a frequency of 317.839 Hz. This gives a frequency proportion of an extremely close to 18:17 (it"s really 18.0109:17).

The first and 2nd notes, and the 2nd and third notes that "Ta Ra Ra eight De Ay" are a minor 2nd interval apart.

Here are some instances of minor 2nd intervals ~ above a native American flute:

Semitone Intervals

Clint Goss.E boy flute that Spalted Maple through Barry Higgins.

So what is the emotion of a minor second interval? Most human being say this interval provides "high tension", "dissonance", or also a "mistake" or "out of tune".

Root note Minor second
A Bb (A#)
Bb (A#) B
B C
C C# (Db)
C# (Db) D
D Eb (D#)
Eb (D#) D
E F
F F# (Gb)
F# (Gb) G
G G# (Ab)
G# (Ab) A

The table top top the right reflects the bag of notes that are a minor 2nd apart - you just go increase one keep in mind in the chromatic scale.

Because the major scale the the native American flute has actually no minor second intervals, you have to use cross-fingerings to get this interval. Most contemporary six-hole aboriginal American flutes will acquire a minor 2nd interval through the fingerings

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Even though the minor second is rarely supplied in aboriginal American flute music, it"s really important for building up scales. The minor 2nd is the smallest interval in the Western classic music, and the frequency ratio of every various other interval in the equal-tempered range is a lot of of the minor second interval.

The minor second is so important for building up scales, the it is given a specific name because that this use: the semitone (also dubbed the “half-step”). Every the intervals discussed over can be given in terms of the number of semitones:

one octave is 12 semitones. A perfect fifth is 7 semitones. A perfect fourth is 5 semitones. A minor second is 1 semitone.

Finding the appropriate Fingering

Many of the cross-fingered note on the indigenous American flute are best found by ear. For example, you understand that the fingerings

And here"s one whereby the center note is too flat (it offers the

Finally, this one through the

Minor and also Major

Where go the surname “minor” come indigenous in “minor second”?

In bespeak to prolong the surname of the note positions in the seven-tone diatonic scale (Root, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh) to acquire a twelve-tone chromatic scale, five new names to be needed. So 5 of the positions, the Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth and also Seventh, were divided into 2 notes, every a semitone apart:

lower note Upper keep in mind
Root
Minor Second Major 2nd
Minor Third Major third
Perfect Fourth Augmented 4th
Perfect Fifth
Minor Sixth Major 6th
Minor Seventh Major saturday
(Perfect) Octave

This department allows united state to talk around many (but no all) the scales the exist in human being music.

Note that many of the pairs are named "Minor / Major", other than for the perfect fourth. It"s equivalent is called the "augmented fourth".

Many that the systems for specify name scale levels described over have a method to handle these new notes:

degree NamesRoman Numerals1Solfège2Sargam3 LowerNote UpperNoteLowerNote UpperNoteLowerNote UpperNoteLowerNote UpperNote
RootIDoSa
MinorSecond MajorSecond ii IIRa ReKomalRe Re
MinorThird MajorThird iii IIIMe MiKomalGa Ga
PerfectFourth AugmentedFourth IV IV+Fa FiMa TivraMa
Perfect FifthVSoPa
MinorSixth MajorSixthvi VILe LaKomalDha Dha
MinorSeventh MajorSeventhvii VIITe TiKomalNi Ni
(Perfect) OctaveVIIIDoSa

Notes:

The Sargam system does not have individual syllables for the minor and also augmented version of the scale degrees, so I"ve gone into the formal name in that box.

Scale Steps

So far, we"ve looked at bag of notes. If we want to include much more notes in a sequence, we have a “scale”. And since every the notes that we"re walk to be using deserve to be separated nicely into semitones, we have a handy system for specifying any type of scale.

Let"s to speak we want to have a scale that includes the source note, the perfect fourth from the root, the perfect fifth from the root, and the octave indigenous the root. Top top most contemporary six-hole native American flutes, that range would be fingered

On a piano, the range would contain the notes:

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One that the easiest ways to talk about the note in a range is to offer the variety of semitones between each the the notes. Between the source note and also the perfect fourth there are five semitones. You have the right to see this ~ above the piano instance by counting every the white and black secrets up from the root keep in mind till you gain to the perfect fourth.

From the perfect 4th to the perfect 5th there space two semitones. Friend can acquire this by count the piano tricks from the fourth to the fifth, or you can subtract the perfect 4th interval indigenous the root keep in mind (five semitones) indigenous the perfect 5th intervals indigenous the source (seven semitones).

Finally, from the perfect fifth to the octave note there are 5 semitones … count the secrets or subtract the seven semitones because that the perfect fifth from the twelve semitones because that the octave note.

So us can easily name this range by providing the “scale steps” of 5-2-5.

Many that the scales supplied in the Western classical music tradition have seven tones with no 2 tones be separated by an ext than 2 semitones. This scales are dubbed diatonic scales, with the most common being the diatonic significant scale having actually scale measures of 2-2-1-2-2-2-1.

On countless flutes, an especially Native American flutes and recorders, the whole octave"s worth of notes deserve to be played in the low it is registered of the flute. However, various other flutes together diatonic irish whistles and also East Indian bansuris require to get in the 2nd register to get the last note in the sequence. On this flutes, the critical interval that the scale procedures is shown in red, such together this: 2-2-1-2-2-2-1.

Since diatonic scales contain only 2s and 1s for range steps, they are frequently written with Ss because that "Semitones" and also Ts for "Whole Tones". They room salso composed at times making use of Hs for "half-steps" and also Ws because that "Whole Steps". The diatonic major scale would certainly be created as T-T-S-T-T-T-S and also W-W-H-W-W-W-H in this systems.

Minor Third

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We now move on come an interval that is most responsible for distinguishing the major scale that the indigenous American flute indigenous the diatonic scale supplied in many Western classic music.

The minor 3rd has a frequency proportion of 6:5 - a 360 Hz keep in mind is a minor third above a 300 Hz note.

The first two note of the traditional melody “Greensleeves” are a minor third apart. So are the first two notes of “Hey Jude”, in to decrease order.

There room two minor 3rd intervals in the primary scale that most modern-day six-hole indigenous American flutes: Root keep in mind Minor third C# (Db) B D C Eb (D#) C# (Db) E D F Eb (D#) F# (Gb) E G F G# (Ab) F# (Gb) A G Bb (A#) G# (Ab) B

The table on the right reflects the bag of note that space a minor third apart.

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The Nakai Tablature because that these 2 minor third intervals is displayed at the left.

The interval is referred to as "minor" since it is the lower note that the pair the "third" notes dubbed "minor third" and "major third". We"ll check out the major third later on in this collection of net pages.

In the sargam system, this third musical level is "Gandhara" (shortened to "Ga"; Sanskrit: गान्धारं). It originated from the goat and also is related to the chakra that the solar plexus chakra (navel or belly chakra; Sanskrit: अनाहत, “maṇipūra”). Sargam has actually a ide of pairs of notes, calling their major notes "shuddha" ("natural" or "pure") and also their minor note "komal" ("flat" or "soft"), therefore the minor third is referred to as "Komal Gandhara"

On a native American flute, right here are some minor third intervals in melody and harmony:

Minor third Interval

Clint Goss.E minor flute the Spalted Maple by Barry Higgins.

On a keyboard, minor third intervals are straightforward to locate:

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In any type of group of two or three black keys, pat the rightmost black key. Then include the next greater black key, which will be the outward black vital in that is group. That interval is a young third.

The minor third interval represents three semitones - you"ll watch that there are two intervening (white) keys on the keyboard in between the 2 black tricks above.

So listening to the music samples, or playing them ~ above a aboriginal American flute or keyboard … what is the sound of this interval? Many civilization describe it together "sad" or "somber", rather "mellow" or "meditative". As a musician top top the indigenous American flute, working v this inteveral is crucial part of the instrument, because it is central to differentiating the primary indigenous American flute range from the significant scale the is so frequently used in western music.

If we want to develop a range that has the root note, the young third, the perfect fourth from the root, the perfect fifth from the root, and also the octave indigenous the root, we could play it on most modern six-hole aboriginal American flutes with the fingerings

On a piano, the scale includes the notes:

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... And it has the scale procedures 3-2-2-5.

Minor Seventh

We started with intervals the are huge leaps - octaves and fifths - and progressed to intervals that space smaller and also smaller - fourths and also minor thirds. Now we return to a leap that will certainly let us finish the major scale top top the indigenous American flute.

The boy seventh has actually a frequency proportion of 16:9 — fairly complex to the ear. Play a 533.33 Hz note over a 300 Hz note offers you one interval that a minor seventh.

Since it"s such a large leap, there aren"t a the majority of songs that start with this interval. The original theme native Star Trek goes increase a minor seventh and also the jazz conventional "Watermelon Man" descends a boy seventh.

Most modern-day Native American flutes gain a minor saturday interval through the fingerings Root keep in mind Minor saturday G# (Ab) B A C Bb (A#) C# (Db) B D C Eb (D#) C# (Db) E D F Eb (D#) F# (Gb) E G F G# (Ab) F# (Gb)

The table ~ above the right mirrors the pairs of note that room a minor 3rd apart.

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The Nakai Tablature for this minor saturday interval is displayed at the left.

The term is dubbed "minor" since it is the reduced note of the pair that "seventh" notes called "minor seventh" and "major seventh". We"ll check out the major seventh on a later page.

In the sargam system, the saturday musical degree is "Nishada" (shortened to "Ni"; Sanskrit: निषादं). It source from the elephant and also is concerned the crown chakra (Sanskrit: सहस्रार, “sahasrāra”). Because this is the young seventh, that is called "Komal Nishada"

Here is the sound of the minor saturday interval and also harmony ~ above a indigenous American flute:

Minor saturday Interval

Clint Goss.E minor flute the Spalted Maple through Barry Higgins.

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On a keyboard, you can locate the minor seventh by going increase an octave interval and also then coming under two tricks (or one black color key, in this case):

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The minor seventh interval represents ten semitones.

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