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Music Theory for Computer Musicians by Michael Hewitt

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Thirds and Sixths

Musical traditions describe these intervals as being concords, due to their comparatively simple ratios. You will find it useful to play these intervals on your MIDI keyboard to learn to recognize their characteristic qualities. Bear in mind that some thirds are major, whereas others are minor. What is the difference? Looking at the third between notes C and E, you can discern a gap of four semitones between the two notes. This kind of third is called a major third (see Figure 8.6).

Figure 8.6. Major third between notes C and E.

Looking at the next third up between notes D and F, there are only three semitones between them. ...

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