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Semiditone

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Semiditone

Minor Third
Inverse major sixth
Name
Other names -
Abbreviation m3
Size
Semitones 3
Interval class 3
Just interval 6:5 or 19:16[1]
Cents
Equal temperament 300
24 equal temperament 300
Just intonation 316 or 298



In the music theory of Western culture, a minor third is a musical interval that encompasses three half steps, or semitones. Staff notation represents the minor third as encompassing three staff positions (see: interval number). The minor third is one of two commonly occurring thirds. It is called minor because it is the smaller of the two: the major third spans an additional semitone. For example, the interval from A to C is a minor third, as the note C lies three semitones above A, and (coincidentally) there are three staff positions from A to C. Diminished and augmented thirds span the same number of staff positions, but consist of a different number of semitones (two and five). The minor third is a skip melodically.

A helpful way to recognize a minor third is to hum the first two notes of Greensleeves or Light My Fire.

The minor third may be derived from the harmonic series as the interval between the fifth and sixth harmonics, or from the 19th harmonic.

One author feels that the minor third is commonly used to express sadness in music, and research shows that this mirrors its use in speech, as a tone similar to a minor third is produced during sad speech.[2]

The minor scale is so named because of the presence of this interval between its tonic and mediant (1st and 3rd) scale degrees. Minor 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).

A minor third, in

Other pitch ratios are given related names, the septimal minor third with ratio 7:6 and the tridecimal minor third with ratio 13:11 in particular.

The minor third is classed as an imperfect consonance and is considered one of the most consonant intervals after the unison, octave, perfect fifth, and perfect fourth.

Instruments in A are a minor 3rd lower than the written pitch in the concert pitch ( C ), i.e. how they are heard. Therefore, to get the written pitch, transpose the concert pitch up a minor 3rd.

Minor Third (just intonation, 6:5 ratio)
File:MinorThird-just-sawtooth.ogg
The file plays A440, followed by C528, followed by both tones together.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

Pythagorean minor third


In )

It can be thought of as two octaves minus three justly tuned fifths. It is narrower than a justly tuned minor third by a syntonic comma.

See also

References

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