Intervals are a fundamental concept in music theory that form the building blocks of all chords, scales, and melodies. In this article, we will explore what intervals are, how to make them, and how they are used in music.

What Are Intervals?
An interval is the distance between two pitches or notes. It is measured by counting the number of letter names and accidentals (sharps and flats) between the two notes. For example, the interval between C and E is a third because there are three letter names (C-D-E) between them.

Types of Intervals
There are two types of intervals – melodic and harmonic. A melodic interval is when the two notes are played one after the other, while a harmonic interval is when the two notes are played simultaneously.

Intervals can also be categorized based on their size or distance. There are eight types of intervals based on size – unison, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and octave.

• A unison is when two notes have the same pitch.
• A second is when there is one note between them.
• A third is when there are two notes between them.
• A fourth is when there are three notes between them.
• A fifth is when there are four notes between them.
• A sixth is when there are five notes between them.
• A seventh is when there are six notes between them.
• An octave is when they have the same letter name but different octaves.

Making Intervals

To make an interval, you need to choose a starting note or pitch and then count up or down to reach the ending note. You can also use a formula to determine the size of the interval based on the number of half-steps between the two notes.

Formula for Intervals

The formula for intervals is as follows:

• Unison: 0 half-steps
• Second: 2 half-steps
• Third: 4 half-steps
• Fourth: 5 half-steps
• Fifth: 7 half-steps
• Sixth: 9 half-steps
• Seventh: 11 half-steps
• Octave: 12 half-steps

Example of Making an Interval

Let’s say we want to make a third interval starting from C. We count up two letter names (C-D-E) and four half-steps (C-C#-D-D#-E) to reach E. Therefore, the interval between C and E is a third.

Using Intervals in Music

Intervals are used in music to create chords and scales. For example, a major chord is made up of a root note, a major third, and a perfect fifth interval. The root note gives the chord its name while the intervals create its unique sound.

Intervals are also used to create melodies. Melodies often use step-wise motion (moving by seconds), but incorporating larger intervals can add interest and variety.

In conclusion, intervals are an essential concept in music theory that are used to create chords, scales, and melodies. Understanding how to make and use intervals can help you become a better musician and composer.