Learn music theory with Sonid app icon

Learn music theory with Sonid - Part 6 - Major Third

Today's topic: "What is a major third?" In this video you will learn how to construct and identify a major third interval in 30 seconds. Including some examples and common mistakes.

An interval is the distance between two notes. To identify an interval you must:

  • 1 (number) - count the amount of naturals
  • 2 (quality) - count the semitone steps

In music theory, a third (minor, major, diminished or augmented) is the interval between a natural and the third one above it. For example, the interval between tones C and E is a second, but the interval between E and G is as well.

Additionally, a major third consists of 4 semitones and is abbreviated with M3.

Common mistakes are often made when the notes of an interval use different naturals, but musically sound the same. An example of this would be a C sharp to a F flat. Or E to A flat. Which are both different intervals, but sound like a major third.

This may sound a little confusing at first, and it probably is. But when advancing in music theory it is an essential skill to understand. With it, you will be able to create chords, scales and progressions.

So, to correctly construct or identify a major third make sure that you count three naturals. And there are four semitones between the notes.

That's it, you can now use the major third!