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Music Intervals: Measuring Distance in Music

Intervals Charts

Today I am adding two more charts to my series for teaching music theory, each in a blank form and a completed form. One of the features that I particularly like about the charts in this series is that I can include only as much information as the student needs at the moment, and then add more, later. The concept of musical interval is complicated enough, however, to need two charts.

Beginning Intervals Chart

The first chart is used with beginning students to introduce the concept of intervals. It makes no reference to interval quality, but only to number. This is represented on the keyboard, on the hand, and on the staff. A second, for example is the distance from one key to the very next key, from one finger to the very next finger, and one line or space to the very next line or space.  Intervals on the staff are shown for both melodic intervals and harmonic, except the prime interval. While it is possible to have a harmonic prime (unison), such an interval is more theoretical than real in piano music and not something encountered in elementary piano music, in any case.  

Blank Beginning Intervals Chart

Complete Beginning Intervals Chart

Advanced Intervals Chart

The second chart has a similar look, but references to the keyboard and hand are omitted, and the concept of interval quality is added. The idea of enharmonic intervals is also included by using the same color for intervals that sound alike. Again, when I introduce this chart, I can include only the major and perfect intervals at first, without even using those labels. Later I can add the distinctive between major and minor, and eventually introduce the terms "perfect", "diminished" and "augmented."

Blank Advanced Intervals Chart

Complete Advanced Intervals Chart