CHROMATIC INTERVALS

Perfect Is Clean And Unmodified
Major Sounds Happy And Minor Sad,
Augmented Is On The Upward Slide
But Dim Can Sometimes Drive You Mad.

We have already found out how to recognize Diatonic Intervals.
They "live" inside a key center and don't attract any accidentals if the right key signature has been used.


The subject of chromatic intervals is a bit like opening the proverbial can of worms. There are many that are easy to name with a bit of practise (and using a formula), but there are some that can be quite tricky to figure out, especially when double sharps and flats are involved.

Inside music written with a key signature, they usually happen between 2 notes, one or both of which have a sharp, flat or natural sign in front of it.

Simple Chromatic Intervals In The Key Of "C":

First, let's remember the 2 groups we put intervals into:

  1. Unisons, 4ths, 5ths and Octaves are either Perfect, Diminished or Augmented NOTHING ELSE!
  2. 2nds, 3rds, 6ths and 7ths can be Major or Minor but also Diminished or Augmented.

The 5 chromatic pitches or 10 note names in the C-Major scale are:
C# - Db | D# - Eb | F# - Gb | G# - Ab | A# - Bb


Simple Chromatic Intervals in "C"

All intervals from the tonic to notes that have been raised by a 1/2 step are called AUGMENTED

All intervals from the tonic to notes that have been lowered by a 1/2 step are called MINOR or DIMINISHED.


The above info should help you decipher "normal" chromatic intervals -- BUT ...

As you can imagine there are 100's of other possibilities and where it get's a bit sneaky is when the 2nd group (2nds, 3rds, 6ths and 7ths) become diminished or augmented and when you have to deal with double sharps and flats.


To classify these "outsiders" and other unusual situations, we need to come up with a special formula.


The good news is that in most music styles
naming the span between 2 notes
is usually quite easy.

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