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Music Theory for Computer Musicians by Michael Hewitt

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Types of Intervals

In this chapter, I have described intervals both in terms of their aural quality and in terms of their mode. Aural quality tends to be generalized in terms of whether an interval sounds concordant or discordant. To a large degree, these qualities are relative to the type of music being considered. Jazz harmony is full of sevenths and ninths, which traditionally are regarded as being discordant. However, when discord becomes the norm, as in jazz, the ear comes to accept such discords as being relatively stable harmonies. Consequently, the classification of whether an interval is concordant or discordant is not absolute.

In terms of the mode of interval, this concerns whether it is perfect or imperfect. Perfect intervals—the ...

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