What Is A Fifth
Not only is this interval present in virtually all the chords and scales of conventional
harmony, but it also plays an important role in music composition. We’ll use this interval to help build our Major and Minor triads, and we’ll see how it can be used as a learning tool for organizing scale relationships. This interval is also related to something called “The Circle of Fifths", which we'll see in the upcoming lessons, and will help us in creating chord progressions that will define the underlying harmony of our compositions.
As you can see, you should definitely master this interval.
Now the question is...
Q: How can we build up a Fifth Interval?
Let’s see some examples of what the Perfect Fifth Interval looks like:
You won’t have to remember all the individual notes of each one. If you count the notes by key, including both the black and white keys, you'll notice that there are 7 keys (not counting the key that you are starting on) from the first to the last key of ANY Fifth interval. In music terms, where the distances between the keys are referred to as half tones, you will use 7 key distances, or half-tones to travel the distance we call the Fifth Interval. You might also see the music term “Whole-Tone” in some texts, which represents 2 half tones. Throughout the lessons we’re going to be naming distances only using half-tones, as they are easier to count.
Back to our information, the good thing to know, is that the distance from the first to the last note is 7 keys (not including the first key that you play), which means that you're now ready to build the Fifth Interval on ANY key!
Let's do an example; if you wanted build a D Fifth Interval, you would play the D key:
D Fifth Interval
…and then you would count up 7 half-tones starting from D. In this way you would be able to build the D Fifth Interval by playing both simultaneously:
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- The Perfect Fifth Interval Part 2
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