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> Learning Intervals
Cosmin Lupu
post Jun 5 2011, 09:55 AM
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Since I was a kid, I associated intervals with different sounds surrounding me (unconsciously of course, because I had no idea on what an interval was, back when I was 10 years old, for instance). Later when I grew up and studied intervals, I realized that some of them sounded very familiar to me and others didn't.

The most familiar was the perfect fifth, which I instantaneously associated with the sound of a medieval trumpet announcing something like the arrival of guests at a castle. tongue.gif Another one was the minor third which always reminded me of a sad Russian singer biggrin.gif

So the question is:

Have you guys ever thought about intervals in this way and how did you manage to memorize their sound?


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Ben Higgins
post Jun 5 2011, 01:28 PM
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I think the major third was the one that I recognized the most.. probably from the typical 'barber shop quartet' sound, where 4 guys do harmonies together, starting from the root, 3rd, 5th then 7th (I think) all going 'Ahhhh.'

That's a very good observation about the medieval trumpet thing.. I can hear it in my head now ! biggrin.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jun 5 2011, 02:30 PM
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That's an interesting topic smile.gif When I was a kid, I had a habit of counting my steps, and singing some simple phrases in my head. After years later I found that those were actually intervals within the pentatonic scale. Not sure how I started to do this, I still do this, but more complicated, but still short phrases, with various combinations of rhythm, matching the rhythm with environment sounds, breaking it down, it sounds a bit crazy, but I can't help it biggrin.gif


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Daniel Realpe
post Jun 5 2011, 10:45 PM
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of course I use interval association to help me recognise them:

for minor 7th I use the first two notes of this:



It's actually a major second but if hear the last low note of the phrase you see the context



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dark dude
post Jun 6 2011, 12:27 AM
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I used a combination of Earmaster, a program that Daniel mentioned (I think?), and the same technique you guys are talking about. Going back to more intense ear training in the next few days, cheers for the reminder!


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Gerardo Siere
post Jun 6 2011, 04:37 AM
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I usually asociate the interval with some known tune. The drawback is that you memorize that interval with the harmony of that tune and may fail to recognize it later in other context.
The perfect fifth sounds medieval cause ones of the earlies form of polyphony was playijng gregorian chants in parallels fifths.


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jun 6 2011, 07:55 AM
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QUOTE (Gerardo Siere @ Jun 6 2011, 03:37 AM) *
I usually asociate the interval with some known tune. The drawback is that you memorize that interval with the harmony of that tune and may fail to recognize it later in other context.
The perfect fifth sounds medieval cause ones of the earlies form of polyphony was playijng gregorian chants in parallels fifths.


Yes. yes! Indeed biggrin.gif now that i think of it - I can hear the chant sounds in my mind biggrin.gif


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Daniel Realpe
post Jun 6 2011, 11:21 PM
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QUOTE (dark dude @ Jun 6 2011, 12:27 AM) *
I used a combination of Earmaster, a program that Daniel mentioned (I think?), and the same technique you guys are talking about. Going back to more intense ear training in the next few days, cheers for the reminder!

yeah, me too. Earmaster was of great help for me!


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