"Songwriting and the Creative Process"
An Internet Tutorial

Lesson 9. Hearing Musical Intervals


Another way to talk about intervals is to give examples of each interval in the context of a well known song. Since the study of intervals is such an essential part of writing good melodies, it is directly helpful to see how these elements work in songs that we know.

Here are one or two for each interval, ascending and descending. Be sure to sing them to yourself to get a feel for the notes and think of other examples from the music of your own experience.

Ascending Intervals

Second:

HapPY BIRTH day to you

Good King WEN-CES-las went out

ARE YOU sleeping?

Minor Third:

WHAT CHILD is this?

The WORMS CRAWL in...

Major Third:

The Marine Hymn - FROM THE halls

KUM BA ya, kum ba ya

IF I loved you...

Fourth:

HERE COMES the bride

A-MAZ-ing grace, how sweet the sound

The Mexican Hat Dance,

DA DUM, DA DUM, DA DUM,

Fifth:

TWINKLE, TWINKLE little star

Bah, BAH BLACK sheep have you any wool?

DON'T THROW bouquets at me,

Sixth:

MY BON-nie lies over the ocean

IT CAME upon a midnight clear,

BE-YOND the blue horizon

Minor Seventh:

THERE'S A place for us,

Major Seventh:

All at ONCE AM I, several stories high

Octaves:

SOME-WHERE over the rainbow,

Hap-PY TRAILS to you,

YOU GO to my head...

Descending Intervals

Second:

MEM-RIES, light the corners of my mind

THREE BLIND mice

Minor Third:

Sixteen Tons and what DO YOU get?

SOME- DAY I'LL WISH UP- ON A STAR

WHEN EV- er I feel afraid...

HEY JUDE,

Major Third:

NOW IS the hour,

GOOD NIGHT ladies...

Fourth:

BORN FREE

Seventy-SIX TROM- bones led the big parade,

Fifth:

YOUNG AND foolish

From the MOUN- TAINS...(to the prairies)

...AS TIME goes by.

Sixth:

From the mountains, to the PRAIR- IES

MEAN TO me, why must you be mean to me?

BYE-BYE blues

Major Seventh:

Up a lazy riv-ER BY the old mill stream

Octaves:

YOU ARE my lucky star

WIL-LOW weep for me

This course is based on materials from the book, "Songwriting and the Creative Process" by Steve Gillette. Published by Sing Out! Press. Used by permission.

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