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Music Theory for Computer Musicians by Michael Hewitt

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Interval Inversions

Viewed overall, there are three basic families of intervals: perfect, major/minor, and augmented/diminished. These are related in a special way. Each interval has what is called its inversion. The notes C to G give a perfect fifth. G to C, on the other hand, is a different interval—a perfect fourth—but it uses the same notes. It is thus like an “upside down” perfect fifth. Having this relationship to the perfect fifth, the perfect fourth is said to be the inversion of the perfect fifth (see Figure 12.8).

Figure 12.8. Perfect fourth as inversion of perfect fifth.

Each of the intervals considered earlier has an inversion. ...

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