Measuring Musical Distance
In this chapter, we are going to learn how distance in music is measured. The distance from one pitch to another is called an interval. (From the Latin word, “Intervallum”, meaning “the space between two walls”; inter = between, vallum = wall)
Distance between pitches can be measured on the piano keyboard or on the staff. Measuring an interval on the keyboard is simply counting keys. We call the interval below a 5th since it encompasses 5 keys.
Measuring an interval on the staff is simply counting lines and spaces.
There are 7 basic intervals. Here an example of each (both on the staff and the keyboard).
(Chapter 12 – Audio Sample 1)