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Posted: December 31, 1969


Posted: July 26, 2011
you also get to a point eventually, when you are more advanced in your playing that knowing the theory will help you in a way. It's probably not necessary but it does kind of help I would say , at least I find it does help me in my lessons with my teacher....no need to be a 'theory genius' but to know the ropes.....

or maybe you just naturally 'get the thirst' for it, like Eileen found out LOL

Posted: July 25, 2011
You guys are making my head hurt. lol
ps. I'd go for the cookie!

islam dodeen
Posted: July 25, 2011

Correct about the thirds, Eileen. And you can diminish/augment anything, also an octave, also a prime. Of course the result is really dissonant but still goes by the name of octave or prime, just not a perfect one anymore.

I am really glad you got my point about being more kind to yourself. I firmly believe that you (and we all) deserve kindness!

islam dodeen
Posted: July 25, 2011

From a practical point of view, it is sufficient to accept that prime, forth, fifth and octave are considered perfect, and if you flatten (resp. sharpen) them the result is called a diminished (resp. augmented) prime/forth/fifth/octave.

All other intervals have a small and a large variant, so a small third has three half-steps and a large third has four half-steps. If you flatten a large non-perfect interval, you get the corresponding small interval and vice versa for sharpening. You need to flatten a small non-perfect interval to get the diminished counterpart, and you need to sharpen a large non-perfect interval to get its augmented counterpart.

When counting the number of half-steps, some intervals have different names but are of equal size. So, a major third is the same as a diminished forth. This is called enharmonic conversion. On a keyboard, for example, F# and Gb are the same key. Measured from D, the interval D-F# is considered a major third, because three letter-named notes (D,E,F) are involved, but D-Gb is a diminished forth since four letter-named notes (D,E,F,G) are involved.

There is an interesting name for the augmented forth, which is, when measured by half-steps, identical to a diminished fifth. It is called a tritone (three full steps) or the devil's interval. In medieval music, the tritone was considered evil.

I am sure this is more than anybody ever wanted to read...

islam dodeen
Posted: July 25, 2011

Eileen, LOL, that's what you get when trying to learn from a self-proclaimed idiot. Or how is it meant, "Idiot's Guide"? Alternative explanation is he/she promises to confuse you until eventually you feel like an idiot?

Beth Blackerby
Posted: July 25, 2011
That's probably right Simon. Eileen, I'm not truly qualified to answer your question, because I'm not 100% sure, and I wouldn't be able to explain it well. But it has to do with the oscillations per second for each pitch and their relationships. Like an octave is 2:1, and the fifth is 3:2. Those are such simple ratios, and maybe that's why it's easier to hear them "lock in" so to speak when we are tuning...?

Posted: July 25, 2011
At the risk of confusing even more:

He could be trying to say that if you lower the 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 7th by a half-step, the interval becomes minor.

However if you lower the 4th or 5th (the 'perfect' intervals) by a half-step they do not become minor, but are described instead as 'diminished'.

Beth Blackerby
Posted: July 24, 2011
It was a silly non-qualified statement. Those "idiot guide" book series are not always that good and leave you with more questions than before you started. I think what he meant was that we frequently lower (flatten) the 3rd, 6th and 7th notes of the scale to get minor scales and chords. We don't alter the 4th, 5th and octave so much. They are common to both major and minor. There are a few modes (ancient scales that we don't use much, maybe in jazz..) one having a raised 4th and one with a lowered 2nd.

Just skip that part. We'll save it for next July. ; )