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Encyclopedia > Major third

A major third is the larger of two commonly occuring musical intervals that span three diatonic scale degrees. The prefix 'major' identifies it as being the larger of the two (by one semitone); its smaller counterpart being, a minor third. The major third is abbreviated as M3 and its inversion is the minor sixth. In music theory, an interval is the difference (a ratio or logarithmic measure) in pitch between two notes and often refers to those two notes themselves (otherwise known as a dyad). ... Jump to: navigation, search In music theory, a diatonic scale (from the Greek diatonikos, to stretch out) is a seven-note musical scale comprising five whole-tone and two half-tone steps, in which the half tones are maximally separated. ... The musical interval of a half step, semitone, or minor second is the relationship between the leading tone and the first note (the root or tonic) in a major scale. ... Jump to: navigation, search A minor third is the smaller of two commonly occuring musical intervals that span three diatonic scale degrees. ... In music theory, the word inversion has several meanings. ... The musical interval of a minor sixth is the relationship between the first note (the root or tonic) and the sixth note in a minor scale. ...

The major scale is so named because of the presence of this interval between its tonic and mediant (1st and 3rd) scale degrees. Major chords too, take their name from the presence of this interval built on the chord's root (provided that the interval of a perfect fifth from the root is also present or implied). In music theory, the major scale (or major mode) is one of the diatonic scales. ... The tonic is the first note of a musical scale, and in the tonal method of music composition it is extremely important. ... For mediant in mathematics, see Mediant (mathematics) In music, the mediant is the third degree of the diatonic scale. ... In music or music theory a scale degree is an individual note of a scale, both its pitch and its diatonic function. ... Generally speaking, a major chord is any chord which has a major third above its root, as opposed to a minor chord which has a minor third. ... a cow In vascular plants, the root is that organ of a plant body that typically lies below the surface of the soil (compare with stem). ... The musical interval of a perfect fifth is the relationship between the first note (the root or tonic) and the fifth note in a major scale. ...

A Major third in just intonation most often corresponds to a pitch ratio of 5:4 or 1:1.25, or various other ratios, while in an equal tempered tuning, a Major third is equal to four semitones, a ratio of 1:24/12 (approximately 1.259), or 400 cents, 13.686 cents larger. The older concept of a ditone (two major seconds=major third) is the pythagorean ratio 81:64 (1.2656= 1.1252, two major seconds). Just intonation is any musical tuning in which the frequencies of notes are related by whole number ratios. ... Equal temperament is a scheme of musical tuning in which the octave is divided into a series of equal steps (equal frequency ratios). ... The musical interval of a half step, semitone, or minor second is the relationship between the leading tone and the first note (the root or tonic) in a major scale. ... The cent is a unit in a logarithmic scale of relative pitch or intervals. ... The musical interval of a ditone is literally two tones, whole tones or major seconds, often called a major third. ...

In the common practice period thirds are considered the most interesting and dynamic consonance along with its inverse the sixths, but in previous times it was considered an unusable dissonance. The Major third of a Major chord is what gives it its description as "happy", as opposed to the "sad" minor third of a minor chord. The Major third is considered the most consonant after the octave, perfect fifth, and the perfect fourth. In music the common practice period is a long period in western musical history spanning from before the classical era proper to today, dated, on the outside, as 1600-1900. ... In music and music theory, a chord (from the Middle English cord, short for accord) is three or more different notes or pitches sounding simultaneously, or nearly simultaneously, over a period of time. ... Jump to: navigation, search A minor third is the smaller of two commonly occuring musical intervals that span three diatonic scale degrees. ... In music, an octave (sometimes abbreviated 8ve or 8va) is the interval between one musical note and another with half or double the frequency. ... The musical interval of a perfect fifth is the relationship between the first note (the root or tonic) and the fifth note in a major scale. ... The perfect fourth or diatessaron, abbreviated P4, is the interval between the first note (the root or tonic) and the fourth note (subdominant) in a major scale. ...

Major third
# semitones Interval class # cents in equal temperament Most common diatonic name Comparable just interval # cents in just interval Just interval vs. equal-tempered interval
4 4 400 major third 5:4 386 14 cents smaller
Other diatonic intervals
unison | minor second | major second | minor third | major third | perfect fourth | tritone | perfect fifth | minor sixth | major sixth | minor seventh | major seventh | octave

Results from FactBites:

 Sonic Glossary: Third (1168 words) The Third in the Diminished and Augmented Triads The third is the element in the triad that determines whether the triad itself is major or minor, diminished or augmented. Note: Having learned about the third, you may want also to consult the definition of the Sixth, since the sixth is closely related to the third (they are in fact the inverse of one another), and the two behave quite similarly.
 Major third - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (273 words) The prefix 'major' identifies it as being the larger of the two (by one semitone); its smaller counterpart being, a minor third. The major third is abbreviated as M3 and its inversion is the minor sixth. Major chords too, take their name from the presence of this interval built on the chord's root (provided that the interval of a perfect fifth from the root is also present or implied).
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