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Hayden Tutorial, Chapter 10 (Intervals Ii)


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Chapter ten of Judy's harum scarum Hayden tutorial


rats... it edited my title and made it say Intervals Ii instead of

Intervals II --- and I don't know how to fix it.

---------------- Section One -----------------


The fourth, and the fifth -- this is about two intervals

with notes a little further apart from each other than

the seconds and thirds.


First, let's find a "fifth" in a familiar tune.

Play "The First Leaves of Spring" -- play the tune in your right hand,
and the accompaniment in your left hand.

Play it a couple times, get it firmly in hand.

Now just play the left hand, very slowly.

The first two notes -- C to E -- make a major third.
The next two notes -- E to F -- make a minor second....
(hmm, what's that doing here? I'll get into that later...)

The next two notes -- F to G -- well, there's a major second --
(remembering that a major second is two buttons along a row)

and then the next two notes -- G to C --
that big leap there, across the rows, is a "fifth."

Get that one into your head: notice things about it, like how it feels
on the buttons, and how it has its own sound, different from the major
third, different from the minor second and the major second.

Especially notice how it can be made up out of several smaller

you could count it out by seconds (both kinds):

C D (major second) plus D E (major second) plus E F (minor second)
plus F G (major second)

a shorthand for that would be

C D (M2)
D E (M2)
E F (m2)
F G (M2)


and shorthand for the fifth

C G (p5) for perfect fifth (there are other kinds...)

Here's another way of counting out the perfect fifth:

C E (major third) plus E G (minor third)

or, in shorthand:

C E (M3)
E G (m3)

(I'm going to use that shorthand a lot in the future.)

Noodle around with that for a bit.



Ok, and now for the fourth.

Play C and F together.

That's a fourth. Compare it with the fifth: how it sounds, how it
feels, where it is on the instrument.

Add up smaller intervals to get the fourth:

C D (M2)
D E (M2)
E F (m2)

or ----

C E (M3)
E F (m2)

or EVEN, if you want to get really complicated....

subtract a Major Second from a Perfect Fifth, like this:

C G (p5) minus G F (M2) = C F

Noodle around with that -- find fourths in the tunes you know,

and come up with some way of describing their sound to yourself.


Fourths and fifths sound a lot alike; in fact, they are very closely

related to one another: C up to F is a fourth, but F up to C is a fifth.


Hmmmmmm... that could get confusing!


The difference is this: how many notes of the scale fall between the

notes, so C d e F is a fourth, but F g a b C is a fifth.


C d e F


F g a b C


Having mentioned "notes of the scale" -- here's one more chunk

of verbiage.


Those 5 notes are the first five notes of the C Major scale --

as well as all the notes used by both hands playing "The First

Leaves of Spring."

If I number them, thus:

1 2 3 4 5

C D major second
C E major third
C F perfect fourth
C G perfect fifth

that gives you another perspective on why these things are named this
way. Here's the picture for the first five notes of the D minor
scale, which is what "The Last Snows..." is written in:

1 2 3 4 5

D E major second
D F minor third
D G perfect fourth
D A perfect fifth

Here's some more things to notice and noodle around with:

You can make a major third (M3) out of two intervals:

C D (M2)
D E (M2)


C E (M3)

and a minor third (m3) out of two intervals:

D E (M2)
E F (m2)


D F (m3)

If you're feeling really comfortable with all this and want a bit of a

challenge -- notice the location of the minor second in both

scales, the C major and the D minor. It's a small interval with a

disproportionately large amount of influence. Where it falls in

the scale makes the difference between the sound of major

and minor -- even though both scales use it, the place they

put it is what makes the different sound.


That happens to be a favorite topic of mine, I'll bring it up again.


There's getting to be a lot of information here, all these different
intervals and how they sound; noodle around with it, and if it's
feeling like a lot, that's ok.

Over time I'll be pointing these out again and again, and they will
become more and more comfortable to you.

But take some time here with "The First Leaves of Spring" to notice
each of the different intervals, and get a strong memory built up of
where they show up, in each place in the tune.

If you do that, you'll always have this little basic map to come back

If you're feeling comfortable with this stuff, move it around on the
instrument. Play "The First Leaves..." starting on different notes,
and notice how very much things stay the same -- the buttons are at
the same distance no matter where you start (unless you fall off the
edge of the button layout!)


What I've done for you, and also for myself, is to give you as small a
chunk of music theory-and-terminology as I could, while covering enough

ground to have a useful set of common language-about-music.

I want to be able to point out features about these tunes that I love,
and which I think make them do their thing so especially beautifully;
and I want to give you some concepts to make learning the tunes easier
-- give you more of that "Oh, I see how that fits together!" and "how
that works!" which makes it all a lot more interesting and fun.


------------------ Section Two ------------------------------


One of these days I'll get back to inventing bigger challenges for

people who want a stretch; I'm going to try and make the stretches be

just past the most basic stuff that I present, so that different people moving

at different paces have material to work with that feels comfortable, and

comfortably challenging.

Edited by judyhawkins
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