First of a series of articles in which we answer frequently asked questions. In this article: What is the difference between a flat and sharp note?
Today's topic: "What is a major sixth?" In this video you will learn how to construct and identify a major sixth 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 sixth (minor, major, diminished or augmented) is the interval between a natural and the sixth one above it. For example, the interval between tones C and A is a second, but the interval between E and C is as well.
Additionally, a major sixth consists of 9 semitones and is abbreviated with M6.
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 B flat. Or E to D flat. Which are both different intervals, but sound like a major sixth.
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 sixth make sure that you count six naturals. And there are nine semitones between the notes.
That's it, you can now use the major sixth!
After watching the video, you can read about what a major sixth is.