1.12 Major and minor second

 

Category: Harmony | Tags: Intervals, Ear training: intervals

Theory

In Chapter 1.11 Second, third, fourth and fifth you’ve learned what a second is. In this chapter, you will learn that there are two kinds of seconds, namely the major second and the minor second. In the videos and examples I show how to make major and minor seconds. You learn to recognize major and minor seconds and you are going to make them yourself in the exercises. You will also learn to distinguish major and minor seconds by ear.


1. What are major and minor seconds?

When you play seconds on the piano, you can see that the distance between the tones of the different kinds of seconds is not always the same. For example, between the tones of the second C D is one (black) key.

major second
Between the tones of the second C D is one (black) key.

But, this isn’t the case with all of the seconds. For example, between the tones of the second E F is no key.

minor second
Between the tones of the second E F is no key

Therefore, the second C D is greater than the second E F.
The second C D is called a major second and second E F is called a minor second.
Also by ear, you can hear a difference between a major second and a minor second.

cd Ch.1.12 Major and minor secondThe major second C D.

 

cd Ch.1.12 Major and minor secondThe minor second E F.

 

Video

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Examples

Which second are major and which are minor?

note example

piano example


2. Minor seconds

 

Video

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Examples

Which tones do you get if you make minor seconds on the natural notes?

note example

piano example


3. Major seconds

 

Video

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Examples

Which tones do you get if you make major seconds on the natural notes?

note example

piano example


4. Practise

Harmony exercise 1e: practise recognizing major and minor seconds from musical notation.


Harmony exercise 1f: practise making major and minor seconds on the natural notes.

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5. Ear training

 

Practise

Ear Training exercise 1g: practise distinguishing the difference between a major and minor second by ear.

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Example question

Which interval do you hear?

Choise 1: major second

Choise 2: minor second

 

Practical steps

Sing the interval being played to train your inner hearing abilties. Decide which interval is being played.

Answer: major second.