Ear Training INTERVALS

Posts 1 - 12 of 12
  1. 1281572
    promenade2239 : Fri 3rd Feb 2017 : 1 year ago Hello everyone,

    In following videos (see post below) I will demonstrate basic idea of how I wanted my ears to be trained. I found many materials on You Tube on ear training but only few seem to be really useful and consistent, at least for me at this moment. This is why I decided to make an attempt and created my own personal 'training'.

    Videos can be listened without looking at the screen even. You can play your instrument or sing along to internalize intervals, it is completely up to you how you use them. The main idea is to listen to the sound in a relaxed and easy manner. Simply make this a kind of a meditation and efortlessly notice the unique quality of an interval. I intentionally used different sounds (woodwinds, brasses, strings bowed/plucked, keyboards, different synthesized vocal sounds etc.) to make the ear expand and sharpen away from actual timbral qualities of particular instruments. There are 36 intervals on each video (3x12) so you will hear all possible combinations. Those intervals could be always labeled using different enharmonic spelling of course but here I wrote names that are most common. Each one is played once then 'explained' using basic sound of a synthesizer - melodically ascending/descending and harmonically.

    In (hopefully near) future I plan uploading materials and examples about harmony, melody writing and musical composition on Looperman. I think this little portion of ear training might be a good impulse for the community to start a more serious discussion regarding real musical matters (quite rare for some reason).

    So what is 'Interval'?

    In music Interval is simply a distance (or relationship) between two pitches. The smallest unit here is a semitone (half step).
    In contemporary standard Equal Temperament the Octave (as fundamental harmonious interval corresponding to 2:1 or 1:2 mathematical ratios of vibrating string) is artificially divided into 12 equal intervals (semitones/half steps). A semitone is a 1/12 of an octave. From point of view of tonal music there are 'consonant' and 'dissonant' intervals as well as 'perfect' intervals. There is a lot to say about all this in details - if you're interested go and find corresponding publications for further readings. Basically I wanted to make this rather a listening kind of training only - not a very specific music theory discussion. In advanced music there is no way around it.
  2. 1281572
    promenade2239 : Fri 3rd Feb 2017 : 1 year ago Part I: 'Dissonant' Intervals

    Here you will hear all the 'dissonant' ones:

    Minor 2nd (semitone/half step) and it's inversion Major 7th;

    Major 2nd (whole tone/step) and it's inversion Minor 7th;

    as well as a Tritone (augmented fourth/diminished fifth).

    Notice that major intervals become minor when inverted, minor become major, diminished - augmented (and vice versa). Tritone divides an octave into 2 equal parts. In tonal music 'dissonant' intervals always resolve to 'consonant' or 'perfect' ones. Apart of nature and rules of tonal music those are also independent sonorities or 'colors' only and can function perfectly without Dominant - Tonic underlying harmonic context.

    I hope you will enjoy the training! Listen carefully and gently. If you want to ask me anything regarding matters discussed above or think you can add anything useful simply reply to this thread. I will return to you soon with parts II and III.

  3. 1281572
    promenade2239 : Fri 3rd Feb 2017 : 1 year ago I had to make little corrections and re-uploaded a 'tritone' video on YT - the link above isn't working anymore.
    Here is a new link to the video:


  4. 1281572
    promenade2239 : Sun 5th Feb 2017 : 1 year ago Part II - 'Consonant' Intervals - thirds and sixths:

    Major 3rd:
    Minor 6th:
    Minor 3rd:
    Major 6th:

    (N.B. Perfect Fifth, Perfect Fourth, Unison and Octave are 'consonant intervals' too. I intentionally started with dissonant - hardest ones)

    Keep listening! :)
  5. 828980
    phatkatz4 : Sun 5th Feb 2017 : 1 year ago Great vids Alex! If more people would just invest some time in education....
  6. 1281572
    promenade2239 : Sun 5th Feb 2017 : 1 year ago Thanks Burt!

    Some may think this musical training is too hard or in opposite: ridiculously easy. My actual intention was to make a 'programming' sort of videos in which you simply listen and acquire knowledge in easiest possible way. No preparation required whatsoever, no musical levels. Yes, it is hard to believe one can't commit few minutes on real musical matters when in fact ears and good sense of pitch are most impostant in music:)
  7. 111346
    Planetjazzbass : Mon 6th Feb 2017 : 1 year ago Fascinating, it would go a long way to explain how child prodigies grasp musical progressions before they can even read and the near mystical abilities of musical savants, I have often wondered how marvellous it would be to have perfect pitch with total recall, I image it would be akin to having a 360 degree musical radar. When I hear some tones in certain keys I get instant melodic feedback whilst in many I get absolutely nothing...clearly my musical engine is only running on a few cylinders! (I will definitely check out all these videos)
  8. 1281572
    promenade2239 : Mon 6th Feb 2017 : 1 year ago Thank you @Planetjazzbass. I knew musicians will appreciate this kind of tutorial! Thank you!

    As an active musician I am frequently asked to play tunes in different keys. Developing that specific kind of flexibility requires lot of practise, that's understood. This is just one example or requirements.
    Still there are many areas I want to improve on artistic and performance level - a reason for my current work on very specific Ear Training field.

    Let's form a temporary maxim then:


    Perfect pitch is trainable (as well as relative pitch). It is a myth that one can not acquire perfect pitch (or eventually whatever else he wants). Listening takes no practise or preparation.

    Children dispose with a natural openess definitely. I am actually trying to reffer to that kind of instance of everyone's being on my videos. This dimention is accesible in meditation anyway. The problem is in finding a connection with a proper space and energy. For me personally it is hard to even get close to that kind of easyness due to my conditioning (probably) and current life situation.

    From what I experienced there are degrees of 'flatness' or 'sharpeness' qualities of 'tones'. Standard pitch value is a result of a modern standarization only. In Nature there is no refference because there is no descriptive thought to reffer to. Early Music is always performed at A=415Hz for example.

    An yes, it woud be cool to go in a concert, return and make a transcribtion of entire event with no much effort, I agree.
  9. 1281572
    promenade2239 : Wed 8th Feb 2017 : 1 year ago a little synchronization adjustment of 'Minor 6ths' video - I removed the version above. I could eventually ignore such a minor issue but really wanted to get best quality as possible (also for the reason that I won't be revisiting this work in the future). There is no option of replacing videos on You Tube under same URL so again I uploaded corrected version as a new video. All Ear Training videos can be found easily on my YT chanell anyway.
    I've checked the other ones again carefully if they need any fixing and am happy with them.

    I will give a complete list of all intervals at the end after uploading Part III anyway.

    Working 'Minor 6th' link:

    Minor Sixth
  10. 1281572
    promenade2239 : Wed 8th Feb 2017 : 1 year ago Part III: 'Perfect' Intervals

    Perfect 5th:
    Perfect 4th:

    No video for Unison. It encompasses a distance of 0 semitones meaning two voices are same pitch value. For practising this interval you can always simply pick up your instrument, make certain sound and try singing in Unison with it (a very useful exercise!).
    I think it is important to be able to sing an Octave properly and to be aware of - it not confusing it with other perfect intervals (especially other perfect intervals: 5ths and 4ths).
    Octave is an ultimate point of our intervallic refference: notice that entire structure is similar while transposed anywhere down/up an Octave apart. So I won't make further videos on compound intervals as 9ths (octave + 2nd ), tenths (octave + 3rd) and so on.
  11. 1281572
    promenade2239 : Wed 8th Feb 2017 : 1 year ago *Sorry for typos and spelling issues btw which I can not correct due to the nature of Looperman site. Hope you will appreciate and focus on the quality content of the listening experience.

    Some further comments on evaluating and finding intervals (and on inversions of intervals).

    Number of values (in semitones) of Intervals:

    Perfect Unison - 0
    Minor second - 1
    Major 2nd - 2
    Minor 3rd - 3
    Major 3rd - 4
    Perfect 4th - 5
    Tritone - 6
    Perfect fifth - 7
    Minor 6th - 8
    Major 6th - 9
    Minor 7th - 10
    Major 7th - 11
    Perfect Octave - 12

    A very useful rule for inversions of Intervals (to 'invert' any interval simply transpose it's root note an octave higher or it's upper note an octave lower):

    1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8.
    8 - 7 - 6 - 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1.

    meaning: Unison become an Octave, Second a Seventh, Third a Sixth when inverted etc. Inverted Perfect intervals become Perfect, Minor become Minor, Major - Minor, Diminished - Augmented, Augmented - Diminished.

    I hope this Listening Training will inspire you to start/improve your personal training.
  12. 1281572
    promenade2239 : Wed 8th Feb 2017 : 1 year ago another very important errata issue: MAJOR intervals become MINOR when inverted, MAJOR become MINOR
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