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Interval Identification | Tips And Tricks (10 of 10)

When reading intervals on the staff it is helpful to know that with each of the even numbered intervals, such as Major and minor seconds, Perfect fourths, Major and minor sixths, as well as Perfect eighths (or octaves) if the bottom note of the interval is on a line, then the top note will always be on a space.


Likewise, if the bottom note of an even numbered interval is on a space, then the top note will always be on a line.


On the other hand, the notes of an odd numbered interval such as Major and minor thirds, Perfect fifths, as well as Major and minor sevenths will either both be on a space


or both be on a line.


The ability to recognize odd and even numbered intervals based solely upon each note's position on the staff will allow you to determine the identity of each interval much more quickly and efficiently.

For example, without actually knowing the letter name of these two notes, just by seeing that the bottom note is on a space while the top note is on a line, knowing that even numbered intervals are always on opposite staff positions, I can tell that the distance separating these two notes is in fact an even numbered interval.


Now, seeing how these notes are too far apart to be an interval of a second, and probably too close together to be an interval of a sixth, or an octave, by process of elimination I can safely assume that the distance separating each note is in fact an interval of a fourth.


Seeing how the notes in this next example are both on a line, I know that the distance between them must be an odd numbered interval.


Without actually counting the steps, we can see that these notes are definitely too far apart to be an interval of a third, and are probably too far apart to be an interval of a fifth as well. Therefore, the amount of steps between them must then be that of an interval of a seventh.