Lesson #20 - Generic Intervals

An interval is a musical measurement between two notes. A generic interval is the measurement of the lines and spaces between two notes.

To find the generic interval between two notes begin by counting the number 1 on the bottom note.

Count up one number for each line and space until you reach the top note.

For example if you have the notes D and A, to count the interval begin on D and count 1. E will be 2, F is 3, G is 4 and the top note A will be 5. So the interval between D and A is a 5th.

In music we common measure the intervals between 1 and 8 lines and spaces. The labels for each are the following:

  • 1 - Unison
  • 2 - 2nd
  • 3 - 3rd
  • 4 - 4th
  • 5 - 5th
  • 6 - 6th
  • 7 - 7th
  • 8 - Octave

There are as many possible intervals as there are lines and spaces between any two notes. But commonly we measure the distance between the two notes as though they were in the same octave to reduce anything large than 8 lines or spaces away down to an octave interval or less.

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.