Interval Identification // Intervals Of A Seventh (7 of 10)

Run time: 5m 20s  |  Release Date: March 25th, 2020

Section 1 - "Amount of Steps - minor"

So far in this video series we have learned how certain intervals have vibrational frequencies which are in greater harmony with each other and are in turn referred to as being Perfect, while other intervals can be either Major or minor depending upon the amount of steps separating each note. Similar to an interval of a second, an interval of a third, and an interval of a sixth, an interval of a seventh can also be either Major or minor.

Let's start this video by discussing an interval of a minor seventh. An interval of a minor seventh occurs when two notes are separated by the distance of ten consecutive half steps. If we followed this pattern of steps above the note A we would discover that an interval of a minor seventh above the note A is the note G.

Section 2 - "Relation To The Scale - minor"

However, similar to what we had discussed about an interval of a sixth in the previous video, counting ten consecutive half steps can be time consuming and impractical and is not really the best approach when reading or writing an interval of a seventh. We have already seen that a viable option for figuring out certain intervals above a given note would be to follow that note's corresponding Major or minor scale to the staff position which matches the interval that we are looking for.

Therefore, when trying to find an interval of a minor seventh above the note A, it is much more useful to follow the notes of an A minor scale until you reach the seventh scale degree. Here we can see that the seventh note in an A minor scale is in fact the note G.

Section 3 - "Amount of Steps - Major"

On the other hand, an interval of a Major seventh occurs when two notes are separated by the distance of eleven consecutive half steps. When starting on the note C, eleven consecutive half steps would bring us to the note B.

Section 4 - "Relation To The Scale - Major"

However, like an interval of a minor seventh, the easiest way to determine what an interval of a Major seventh above any given note is would be to refer to that note's Major scale.

Here are the notes of a C Major scale. As you can see, B is the seventh scale degree and is therefore an interval of a Major seventh above the note C.

Section 5 - "How To Read On The Staff"

Because of the distance separating each note, identifying an interval of a seventh on the staff can be a little confusing. Although, when reading an interval of a seventh on the staff, you will notice that each note will either both be on a space, with three lines and two spaces between them, or both on a line, with three spaces and two lines between them.

Here are a few examples of different intervals of a seventh on varying positions on the staff.

Section 6 - "Seventh Chords - Major Seventh"

It is very common for composers to add an interval of a seventh above the root note of a triad. For example, when an interval of a Major seventh is played over the root note of a Major triad, the resulting combination of notes is referred to as a Major seventh chord.

Earlier in this video we learned that an interval of a Major seventh above the note C is the note B. If we play a C Major triad with an interval of a Major seventh above the note C the resulting combination of notes, C, E, G, and B, is called a C Major seven chord.

Section 7 - "Seventh Chords - Minor Seventh"

When an interval of a minor seventh is played over the root note of a minor triad, the resulting combination of notes is then referred to as a minor seven chord. We already know that an interval of a minor seventh above the note A is the note G, and that the notes of an A minor triad are A, C, and E. The combination of these four notes is therefore referred to as an A minor seven chord.

Section 8 - "Seventh Chords - Dominant Seven"

Often, as a way of making the Dominant chord more effective, composers will add an interval of a minor seventh above the root note of that chord. When an interval of a minor seventh is played together with the notes of a Major triad, the resulting combination of notes is referred to as a Dominant seven chord.

An interval of a minor seventh above the note G is the note F. Therefore, a G Dominant 7 chord is constructed by playing a G Major triad with an interval of a minor seventh above the note G. More information on seventh chords will become available in future videos.

Section 9 - "Wrap Up"

In the next video we are going to discuss an interval of a Perfect eighth. We will learn the meaning of the word octave, and hear an example of its use within a piece of music.

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An interval of a Perfect eighth, also known as an octave, is an interval in which two notes of equal letter name are sounded at double, or half, the vibrational frequency of each other. For example, if a note vibrates at a frequency of approximately 440 hertz, or 440 cycles per second, then an octave above that note will vibrate at a frequency of approximately 880 cycles per second while an octave below that note vibrates at a frequency of about 220 cycles per second.

The amount of steps in between any two pitches which produces an interval of a Perfect eighth is any combination of steps equaling twelve consecutive half steps.

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