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Topics of discussion

Compound intervals explained

1. Topics of discussion

In this tutorial, we will be looking at the concept of compound intervals. So, let's have some fun.

2. Compound intervals explained

In a previous tutorial, we discussed what musical intervals are. As a reminder, a musical interval is the dfference in pitch between two notes. And in said tutorial, I also stated that we will be discussing simple music intervals, which are intervals between two notes located in the same octave.

Compound intervals on the other hand are intervals between two notes located in different octaves. The two octaves are consecutive ones of course. As you're about to see, compound intervals are obtained by compounding two intervals together: an octave and another interval from second to ... well, another octave. The many different compound intervals are the following:

ninth (9th) - can be major or minor and is obtained by compounding an octave and a second

tenth (10th) - can be major or minor and is obtained by compounding an octave and a third

eleventh (11th) - is a perfect interval and is obtained by compounding an octave and a fourth

twelfth (12th) - is a perfect interval and is obtained by compounding an octave and a fifth

thirteenth (13th) - can be major or minor and is obtained by compounding an octave and a sixth

fourteenth (14th) - can be major or minor and is obtained by compounding an octave and a seventh

fifteenth (15th) - is a perfect interval and is obtained by compounding an octave and another octave

Let's take a look at some examples now. I'm going to start with a regular octave and slowly build up to the fifteenth interval. Let's take a look at these examples:

And here they are played back:

As you can see, for a ninth, we have an octave between the low and high C notes and another second between the high C and D notes. For a tenth, we have an octave between the low and high C notes and a third between the high C and E notes and so on.

So where do these intervals come into play? Well, starting with the next tutorial we will be discussing advanced chords that are obtained by using these intervals. See you then.

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