A specific interval is the distance between any two notes measured in halfsteps.
A specific interval will be different from the generic interval because the generic interval is the number of lines and spaces, which will not line up with the number of halfsteps.
Specific intervals tell us something abou the quality of the intervals such as if the interval is major, minor, augmented, diminished or perfect.
To measure a specific interval begin with the bottom note and count 1 for the first half step between the bottom note and the next half step up. Proceed by counting up 1 for each half step until you reach the top pitch.
Here is a list of the number of half steps and the specific interval name:
- 1 – minor 2nd
- 2 – major 2nd
- 3 – minor 3rd
- 4 – major – 3rd
- 5 – perfect 4th
- 6 – tritone
- 7 – perfect 5th
- 8 – minor 6th
- 9 – major 6th
- 10 – minor 7th
- 11 – major 7th
- 12 – octave
To help you remember and more easily see this this information visually, you can download the free Specific Intervals poster.
If you liked this lesson don’t forget to sign-up for the free One Minute Music Lesson newsletter. With your subscription you will also receive a free copy of the eBook “How to Read Music” by Leon Harrell.
Enjoyed This Post? Then signup for the free One Minute Music Lesson newsletter and receive a FREE copy of “How to Read Music.”
Need More Help? Email Leon any questions you have about reading music, music theory or anything else music-related and get the answers you’ve been searching for.