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major

Greater. A major third consists of four semitones, a minor third of three. A major tone is the whole tone having the ratio 8:9; a minor tone, that having the ratio 9:10. Intervals have had the term major applied to them in a conflicting manner. (Stainer, John; Barrett, W.A.; A Dictionary of Musical Terms; Novello, Ewer and Co., London, pre-1900)

"In music a system derived from certain primes in ratios ascending." The Scientific Basis and Build of Music

To determine the number name of an interval we must be able to count from one to nine, and to say the first seven letters of the alphabet. To determine the specific name of an interval we must know the Major Scale of the lower tone of the given interval. This will inform us if the upper tone of the given interval be in the Major Scale of the lower tone, or if it be above the Major Scale tone, or if it be below it.

RULE: An interval is Major when the upper tone is found in the Major Scale of the lower tone.

D is the sixth degree or step or tone in the Major Scale of F. Numerically F to D is a Sixth. Hence the interval is accurately described when we say it is a Major Sixth. Major Intervals are the 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 7th and 9th.

Major Mode
The ordinary diatonic scale, having semitones between the third and fourth, and seventh and eighth degree. (Stainer, John; Barrett, W.A.; A Dictionary of Musical Terms; Novello, Ewer and Co., London, pre-1900)

Major Scale
A scale in which the half steps occur between the third and fourth and the seventh and eighth tones.

The major scale consists of consecutive tones (half and whole steps) from one letter name to its repetition above or below, such as C D E F G A B C, in which all are whole steps except those from E to F (3 to 4) and B to C (7 to 8) in succession, which are half steps. This is called a diatonic scale, because the scale steps follow the letter names in succession without alteration and include five whole steps and two half steps in a definite pattern. (Brye, Joseph; Basic Principles of Music)

See Also

Interval
Minor
Minor Tone
Perfect
Pitch

Page last modified on Wednesday 29 of December, 2010 04:39:55 MST

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