The Architecture of Music


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Octave Interval Diagrams

The Architecture of Music Octave and Interval Diagrams by Greg Aranda, Architect

In Western music, there are twelve notes, or twelve divisions in sound we hear as equal steps in pitch in an octave. They are named alphabetically in ascending pitch order as can be seen above and as follows: A, A# (A-sharp), B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#. On a guitar, each fret represents one half-step or semitone. A whole step is equivalent to two half-steps or two semitones. Study the octave diagram above, an octave is the twelve semitone distance between repeating notes (A to A, B to B, etc.).

Study the octave and interval diagrams above. In the books and in this tutorial, the interval diagram is used in lieu of standard musical notation to visually describe chords and scales. Become very familiar that it represents an octave and the twelve semitones in between because it is used throughout the books and this tutorial to visually describe and document the underlying architecture of chords and scales.