Thirds


seconds - thirds - fourths & fifths - sixths - sevenths

Perfect Intervals - Augmented Intervals - Diminished Intervals



3rds: Major & Minor


Thirds are usually either major or minor. The overall mood of a piece of music is determined to a large extent by the quality of its intervals - in particular, the thirds.

MAJOR THIRDS can evoke feelings of happiness, joy, confidence ... while MINOR THIRDS can bring on feelings of sadness, depression and uncertainty. These unique qualities are determined by the distance from the first note to the second note.

A major third consists of 2 whole steps; for example C to E is a major third (C to D = whole step and D to E = whole step.)

A minor third consists of a whole step and a half step; for example, C to Eb is a minor third (C to D = whole step and D to Eb = half step.)

MAJOR THIRDS

Below are some examples of major thirds. Each one consists of 2 whole steps:

major 3rds

MINOR THIRDS

Below are the same intervals EXCEPT they have been changed from major thirds to minor thirds. These consist of a whole step plus a half step:

minor 3rds

If necessary, use the keyboard diagram below to visualize the whole step, half step construction these intervals.

keyboard sharps flats

Below are some MAJOR THIRDS on various chromatic notes. Each of these major thirds consists of 2 whole steps. (Use the diagram above if necessary.)

more major 3rds

Below are some MINOR THIRDS on various chromatic notes. Each of these major thirds consists of 1 whole step plus 1 half step. (Use the diagram above if necessary.)

moreminor 3rds

MAJOR & MINOR THIRDS

The thirds below are either major or minor.

  • Major = M
  • Minor = m

The major thirds consist of 2 whole steps - the minor thirds consist of
1 whole step plus 1 half step.

mixed 3rds

seconds - thirds - fourths & fifths - sixths - sevenths

Perfect Intervals - Augmented Intervals - Diminished Intervals


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