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Music Theory for Computer Musicians by Michael Hewitt

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Working Out Intervals

When you are trying to work out intervals, remember to include the starting note. From C to G, there are five notes including the starting note and the ending note: C D E F G. Therefore, the interval between C and G is a fifth.

The “first” is counted as an interval because it represents a situation in which two notes of the same pitch are sounding at the same time. Because two sound sources are producing the same note, there is a relationship between their pitches—in other words, they are the same. This interval is therefore called a first—or, alternatively, a unison or a prime. On polyphonic instruments (that is, instruments capable of producing more than one note at the same time), this interval would not usually occur ...

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