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Musical Intervals & Scales Creator of instruments will need to define the tuning of that instrument Systems of tuning depend upon the intervals (or distances of frequency) between notes

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Intervals Musical intervals are distances of frequency between two notes The distance of an octave is a doubling of frequency

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Intervals: The Octave time f2f2 f1f1 pressure f 2 = 2 * f 1 Frequency Ratio = 2/1

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Intervals: The Fifth f 2 = 3/2 * f 1 Frequency Ratio = 3/2 time pressure f2f2 f1f1

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Musical Intervals

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Consonance & Dissonance Commonly used intervals are commonly used because they sound good When two or more tones sound pleasing together this is known as consonance When they sound harsh, jarring, or unpleasant this is known as dissonance

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Consonance & Dissonance Are to some degree subjective Two notes within each others critical bandwidth sound dissonant Other points of dissonance have been noticed

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Scales Aimed at creating: a discrete set of pitches in such a way as to yield the maximum possible number of consonant combinations (or the minimum possible number of dissonances) when two or more notes of the set are sounded together. Roederer (1975: 153)

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The Pythagorean Scale Step 1 - Ascend in fifths 1 3/2 (3/2) 2 (3/2) 3 (3/2) 4 (3/2) 5 (100Hz) (150Hz) (225Hz) (337.5Hz) (506.25Hz) (759.38Hz) or 1 3/2 9/4 27/8 81/16 243/32

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The Pythagorean Scale Step 2 - bring into the range of a single octave by descending in whole octave steps 1 3/2 9/4 27/8 81/16 243/32 (100Hz) (150Hz) (225Hz) (337.5Hz) (506.25Hz) (759.38Hz) Descend one octave ( / 2) Descend one octave ( / 2) Descend two octaves ( / 4) Descend two octaves ( / 4) OK 1 3/2 9/4 27/8 81/16 243/32 (100Hz) (150Hz) (112.5Hz) (168.75Hz) (126.56Hz) (189.84Hz)

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The Pythagorean Scale Step 3 - arrange the notes obtained in ascending order 1 9/8 81/64 3/2 27/16 243/128 2 (100Hz) (112.5Hz) (126.56Hz) (150Hz) (168.75Hz) (189.84Hz) (200Hz)

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Step 4 - create the fourth by descending a fifth and then moving up an octave 2/3 12/3 2/3 * 2 = 4/3 The Pythagorean Scale insert (100Hz) (112.5Hz) (126.56Hz) (133.33) (150Hz) (168.75Hz) (189.84Hz) (200Hz) 1 9/8 81/64 4/3 3/2 27/16 243/128 2 do re mi fa so la ti do

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Problems with Pythag intervals ratios exact fourth exact fifth slightly off (should be 5/4) slightly off (should be 5/3)

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Problems with Pythag More problems are created when same method is used to extend to a chromatic scale For example, two different semitone intervals are created; this limits the number of keys that music can be played in

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The Equal Tempered Scale Has become the standard scale to which all instruments are tuned Allows flexibility regarding tonalities that can be used

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The Equal Tempered Scale Achieved by creating 12 equally spaced semi-tonal divisions i = 2 1/12 = 1.059463 Requires all of the intervals within an octave to be slightly mistuned

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The Equal Tempered Scale For example, the ratio of notes: a fifth (3/2 = 1.5) apart is tuned to 1.4987 (0.087% flat) a sixth apart (5/3 = 1.6667) is tuned to 1.6823 (0.936% sharp)

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Intervals In equal temperament are measured by the number of letter names between two notes (both of whose letter names are included)

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Third

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Minor Third

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Fourth

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Fifth

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Sixth

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Minor Sixth

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Tones & Semitones Moving up a semitone is moving up one key on the keyboard Moving up a tone is moving up two keys on the keyboard A fifth involves moving up how many semitones?

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The Major & Minor Scales A scale is an alphabetic succession of notes ascending or descending from a starting note Beginning with the note C the succeeding white notes of the keyboard form the C major scale

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The C Major Scale The intervals between each note are what make it a major scale

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C Major TTSTTTS

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Major Scales Move up one note but keep the same intervals between the notes and the scale C Sharp Major is found This is the next Major Scale Continue this process to find all twelve Major Scales

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C Sharp Major TTSTTTS

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The Minor Scales A different pattern of intervals produces all of the Harmonic Minor Scales The Melodic Minor Scales are a variation of these, their intervals change depending upon whether the scale is ascended or descended

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Harmonic C Minor TTSTSM TS MT = Minor Third (3 semitones)

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Melodic C Minor TTSTT T S TTSTSTT ascending intervals descending intervals ascending notes descending notes

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Harmonic C Sharp Minor TTSTSM TS

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Melodic C Sharp Minor TTSTT T S TTSTSTT ascending intervals descending intervals ascending notes descending notes

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