MUSIC THEORY FOR PRODUCERS INTERVALS – PART 2
In the previous lesson, we began to learn how to build Major 2nd intervals. Today we will find out how to create minor 2nd intervals. Before that, let’s first learn about accidentals. These are music notation symbols which will raise or lower the note by a half step. We will start with the three basic music accidentals:
The Sharp symbol (♯) will raise the given note by a half step. For example:
The first bar shows a middle C, while the second bar shows the C with the sharp. It means that we will play not the middle C anymore, but a note a half-step above, and the result is a C sharp note as seen in the keyboard diagrams below:
The Flat symbol (♭) similarly will lower the given note by a half step:
The first bar shows a D note, while the second bar shows a flat D. It means that we will decrease D by a half step, as seen in the keyboard diagrams below:
Now you might say: ‘Wait! I can play C# and Db in the same key!’. Yes, a key on the piano can have more than one name. It will depend on how it is written, as well as the key of the song.
The Natural symbol (♮)will cancel previous accidentals, displaying the unaltered note:
The first note is a sharp C. Following that we have C with a natural accidental. It means that we are canceling the sharp so that the result will be the middle C again. The same occurs in bar 2, where we have a flat D and then a natural D (the natural accidental has canceled the flat accidental).
Now let’s proceed with intervals. Here’s an example of a major 2nd interval:
Or in the keyboard diagram:
How to build a minor 2nd?
We learned that a major 2nd interval occurs when we have a whole step between the two notes. We can change it to a minor 2nd if we lower the distance between the notes by one half step. We can do it, for example, by applying a flat on the higher note:
Notice that we still have a 2nd interval (C – D), but we changed the interval quality. It’s not a major interval anymore because we lowered the distance between the notes by one half step.
Here’s the gold rule for any major intervals:
– You can change any major interval to a minor interval just by decreasing the distance between the notes by one half step.
This rule will apply to 3rd, 6th, and 7th intervals as well.
It’s very important to notice the following: decreasing the interval not always means to apply a flat on a note. You can also decrease an interval by sharping a note!
To better understand it, let’s use the same Major 2nd example:
To change it to a minor interval we need to decrease the distance between the notes by a half step, right? So, what about instead of applying a flat on the D, we could sharp the C? Let’s see:
Note that the distance between the two notes is a half step. So, we also have a minor 2nd here!
In the next lesson, we will learn about major and minor thirds.