What is the difference between major and perfect?

Posted by Ryan on Tue, 06/13/00 - 03:03:37.

In studying theory, I've noticed that some intervals are said to be major, and some are said to be perfect. 2nd, 3rd, 6th, and 7th are major. 4th, 5th, and 8th (octave) are perfect. What makes major intervals major and perfect intervals perfect?
Or does it have nothing to do with the interval, and only the frequency of the note?(because I am looking at the C scale as an example).
I've lost sleep over this problem. Please help.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Re: What is the difference between major and perfect?

i think that its just names. like, they're just called that cause thats the way it is. just focus on the difference in sounds rather than the names. im not totally sure about the names, but my second bit is true.


The distance from the Root to any note is a Quantitive interval.
The distance from any any note to any other is called a qualitive interval.
The interval names are built in half steps and are named after the terms major and minor.As you probably know they run in the order of;

When you take away all of the Major intervals they become the Major scale R,M2,M3,P4th,P5th,M6th,M7th,Oct.
Leaving behind..m2,m3,b5th,m6th,m7th
So the distance from any min. or Maj. relates to Qualitive or Quantitive.But when you go backwards from say Oct. to m6th.this is called a lowered 5th.
So the distance from Root to any note is a Quana
tive.Any distance from one note to another is Qualitive
Any desending can be considered a lowerd interval

Re: What is the difference between major and perfect?

U are correct in saying that 2nd, 3rd, 6th, and 7th are major. 4th, 5th, and 8th (octave) are perfect. But
1 (unison)like 2 instruments playing the same note is also perfect. Intervals are various combinations of half-steps. Changing the intervals
with flats or sharps, changes them from Major and Perfect into minor, diminished and augmented. The entire set of major and perfect intervals are called diatonic intervals. I hope this helps
Black Owl

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions. Do not include any spaces in your answer.
Copy the characters (respecting upper/lower case) from the image.

Contact | Contents | Privacy Policy | Forum

Copyright © 1999 - 2023 , All Rights Reserved.

Affiliate Notice: As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.