Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Third Music Lesson


Time for another installment in the Music Lesson series. As before, do not read this one until you have thoroughly digested the previous ones. You now are familiar with the half-step and the whole-step. Look at our keyboard diagram and imagine the sequence CDEFGABC numbered instead 12345678. The interval between C and E (or between 1 and 3) is called a "third." The interval between any other two notes skipping one note is also called a third. So E to G is a third and so is A to C.

If you try to apply what we learned previously, and you think about how these thirds break down, you will notice that the thirds we are now discussing come in two types. C to E is made up of 2 whole-steps. E to G is made up of a half-step and then a whole-step (because E to F is a half-step). C to E is an example of a "major third." E to G is an example of a "minor third." Starting to get too complicated? Perhaps it is time to reveal something really awesome to you about thirds which will make it all worthwhile. Ready? Chords are built out of thirds. I have not mentioned it yet, but thinking about intervals helps understand notes played one after the other and also notes played at the same time. That's it for now, but we are close to understanding basic chords.

Previous Posts in this Series:
A Music Lesson
Another Music Lesson

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