top of page
  • Demetri Besougloff

Blog #8: Let's look at the larger intervals: 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th.

Updated: Dec 27, 2022

For information about private lessons and questions, please visit me at Demetri4.com.

Here is the YouTube link to the video that goes with this blog: http://bit.ly/3Bj7F53


Blog #8 Intervals: 5th, 6th, 7th, and octave (8th)

Objectives: 1. Understand the steps to find an interval. 2. Recognize the different sizes of intervals. 3. Recognize the different qualities of intervals.

4. Use the Circle to navigate and find intervals.

Interval: The distance between two notes measured from the lower to the higher. The simplest way to explain intervals is to use the Natural Note Circle in your workbook. There are two parts to measuring intervals. First, we ask how many letters (size) and then how many dots (quality) are between the two notes. Today, starting with the fifth interval, we will look at the distances between the natural notes. The natural notes are C, D, E, F, G, A, and B.

Parts of the interval:

  1. Size: To identify the interval's size, we ask how many letters are from the lower note to the higher. They are always measured clockwise from the lower one to the higher one. Including both letters in the count will give us the interval size (2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc.). Count the letters outside the Natural Note Circle to find the size of the interval.

  2. Quality: We must then recognize the quality of the interval. The quality can be somewhat complicated, and the Natural Note Circle will make this much easier to visualize. To find the interval quality count the number of dots (half steps) between the two notes. Do not count the lower note's dot. The same note is the same dot.


Fifth interval: Let's look at the distance from one note to the fifth (skip three notes). Count the lower note as one. Moving clockwise, count the first note that we skip as two, the second as three, the third as four, and the higher note as five. We get C-G = 5th, • D-A=5th, E-B=5th, F-C=5th, G-D= 5th, A-E = 5th, and B-F = 5th.

Quality of fifth intervals:

  • The Perfect 5th (P5) is three whole steps + a 1/2 step (7 dots).

  • The diminished fifth (dim5) is three whole steps (6 dots)

Check this blog's end to understand the Perfect interval.

Working with the Circle starting on C, we can now explore the quality of each of the 5th intervals in the Major scale. For example, • C-G is three whole steps + a 1/2 step (P5)

• D-A is three whole steps + a 1/2 step (P5)

• E-B is three whole steps + a 1/2 step (P5)

• F-C is three whole steps + a 1/2 step (P5)

• G-D is three whole steps + a 1/2 step (P5)

• A-E is three whole steps + a 1/2 step (P5)

• B-F is three whole steps (dim5)

There are two qualities of 5th intervals in the Major scale --Perfect 5th (P5) and diminished fifth (dim5).

Diminished interval: A diminished interval removes a 1/2 step from a Perfect or minor.


Sixth interval: Let's look at the distance from one note to the sixth (skip four notes). Count the lower note as one. Moving clockwise, count the first note that we skip as two, the second as three, the third as four, the fourth as five, and the higher note as six. We get C-A = 6th, • D-B=6th, E-C=6th, F-D=6th, G-E=6th, A-F=6th, and B-G=6th.

Quality of sixth intervals:

  • The Major 6th (M6) is four whole steps + a 1/2 step (9 dots).

  • The minor 6th (m6) is four whole steps (8 dots).


Working with the Circle starting on C, we can now explore the quality of each of the 6th intervals in the Major scale. For example,

  • C-A is four whole steps + a 1/2 step (M6)

  • D-B is four whole steps + a 1/2 step (M6)

  • E-C is four whole steps (m6)

  • F-D is four whole steps + a 1/2 step (M6)

  • G-E is four whole steps + a 1/2 step (M6)

  • A-F is four whole steps (m6)

  • B-G is four whole steps (m6)


There are two qualities of 6th intervals in the Major scale --Major 6th (M6) and minor 6th (m6).

Seventh interval: Let's look at the distance from one note to the seventh (skip five notes). Count the lower note as one. Moving clockwise, count the first note we skip as two, the second as three, the third as four, the fourth as five, the fifth as six, and the higher note as seven. We get C-B = 7th, • D-C=7th, E-D=7th, F-E=7th, G-F=7th, A-G=7th, and B-A=7th.

Quality of seventh intervals: • The Major 7th (M7) is five whole steps + a 1/2 step (11 dots).

• The minor 7th (m7) is five whole steps (10 dots).

Working with the Circle starting on C, we can now explore the quality of each of the 7th intervals in the Major scale. For example, • C-B is five whole steps + a 1/2 step (M7)

• D-C is five whole steps (m7) • E-D is five whole steps (m7) • F-E is five whole steps + a 1/2 step (M7)

• G-F is five whole steps (m7) • A-G is five whole steps (m7)

• B-A is five whole steps (m7)

There are two qualities of 7th intervals in the Major scale --Major 7th (M7) and minor 7th (m7).


Eighth interval (octave): Finally, let's look at the distance from one note to the eighth (skip six notes). Count the lower note as one. Moving clockwise, count the first note that we skip as two, the second as three, the third as four, the fourth as five, the fifth as six, the sixth as seven, and the higher note as eight. We get C-C = octave (8th), • D-D = octave (8th), E-E = octave (8th), F- F = octave (8th), G-G = octave (8th), A-A = octave (8th), and B-B = octave (8th).

Quality of eighth intervals: • The Perfect 8th (P8) is six whole steps (12 dots).

Working with the Circle starting on C, we can now explore the quality of each of the 8th intervals in the Major scale. For example, • C-C is six whole steps (P8)

• D-D is six whole steps (P8)

• E-E is six whole steps (P8)

• F-F is six whole steps (P8)

• G-G is six whole steps (P8)

• A-A is six whole steps (P8)

• B-B is six whole steps (P8)

There is one quality of 8th intervals in the Major scale --Perfect 8th (P8). Let's do a quick review. First, count the letters clockwise from the lower note to the higher one. The number of letters will give you the size of the interval. When counting the letters, include both. Next, count the dots on the Natural Note Circle. The number of dots will give you the quality of the interval. When counting the dots, remember to count the first dot as zero.

Have fun with the 5th, 6th, 7th, and octave (8th) intervals.

Demetri Next, Blog #9: Harmony-Primary Chords


For information about private lessons and questions, please visit me at Demetri4.com.

Here is the YouTube link to the video that goes with this blog:

Interval quality: When talking about interval quality, the fourth, fifth, and octave intervals are Perfect in quality. However, the second, third, sixth, and seventh intervals could be better; they have Major or minor qualities. In addition, all intervals can be Augmented or diminished.


13 views0 comments
bottom of page