TUTORIALS
1 Intervals

2 Triads

3 7th Chords

4 Major & Minor Scale Tone Harmony

5 Modes of the Major Scale

6 Composite Minor Scale Tone Harmony

7 The Major II-V-I Progression

8 The Minor II-V-I Progression

9 Type A&B Left Hand Piano Voicings



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TUTORIAL 1 - Intervals

An interval is the gap as well as the distance between 2 pitches. We need a means of"measuring" this gap. We do this with intervals.


All intervals have a numerical value. The higher the number, the larger the interval.
The music alphabet (A to G) determines the numerical value of the interval. For example: the interval formed by the notes "A" and "D" will always be some sort of 4th regardless of whether "A" or "D" are natural, flat or sharp.


Our initial reference in this study will be the intervals formed by the root and the various individual pitches in the MAJOR SCALE. These intervals are named:

  • "Perfect" if they are unisons, 4ths, 5ths or octaves and...
  • "Major" if they are 2nds, 3rds, 6ths or 7ths.


  • When MAJOR and PERFECT intervals are "raised" (made larger by one half step) they become AUGMENTED. [ex.4]
  • When an AUGMENTED interval is raised it becomes DOUBLY AUGMENTED. [ex.5]
  • When a MAJOR interval is "lowered" (made smaller by one half step) it becomes MINOR. [ex.6]
  • When MINOR and PERFECT intervals are lowered they become DIMINISHED. [ex.7]
  • When a DIMINISHED interval is lowered it becomes DOUBLY DIMINISHED. [ex.8]
    [Intervals at a glance]










The following "intervals at a glance" illustration may help to remember the principles outlined above. The green arrows represent raising or lowering intervals by one half step.


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©Mike Nelson 2001