Music exam – interval identification

Here is a simple series of questions that will allow you to quickly identify intervals.

Question 1

Is this interval dissonant, consonant or pretty?

 

Dissonant

Dissonant intervals are often the easiest to spot – the notes sound horrible together.  They don’t sound like they’d fit in a major scale either (even though they do happen there). 

2nd or 7th
or
#5 or b5

Consonant

Consonant intervals sound ‘plain’.

2nd or 7th
or
#5 or b5

Dissonant

Dissonant intervals are often the easiest to spot – the notes sound horrible together.  They don’t sound like they’d fit in a major scale either (even though they do happen there). 

2nd or 7th
or
#5 or b5

Question 1

Is this interval dissonant, consonant or pretty?

Another way to identify intervals is to determine how they sound. Intervals of a 3rd or 6th sound ‘pretty’. Intervals of a 2nd or 7th sound dissonant. So does the tritone – #4 interval also known as a b5. Intervals of a  4th, 5th or octave sound stark or ‘monastic’.   Once you have identified which category you’re hearing you ask yourself how wide apart the notes are.  That will then tell you what sort of interval you’re hearing. So for example you decide you’re hearing a pretty interval with the notes quite far apart – that would be a 6th. Or if you hear a dissonant interval where the notes are close together – that would be a 2nd.   We hope this helps.  We’ll get some audio examples up soon.