Augmented fourth

In music theory, an augmented fourth is an interval that has six half steps united states of america (semitones united kingdom).

The augmented fourth requires that:

  • The interval must be a fourth interval (four note names between the first and the last).
  • The interval must have six half steps.

What does an augmented fourth look like?

Here is an example of a melodic augmented fourth (two music notes in a melody) and a harmonic augmented fourth (in a chord):

How to recognize an augmented fourth?

Rule of music theory: All intervals in a major scale starting with the tonic (degree I) are either major or perfect, and only unison, octave, fourth and fifth are perfect (the others are major).

Example with the interval B♭ / F♯:

Let's take the B flat major scale to have B♭ as the tonic:

B flat major scale

From the rule stated above, the interval B♭ / F♮ is a perfect fourth, so the interval B♭ / F♯ is an augmented fourth.

Inversion of the augmented fourth

The inversion of the augmented fourth is the diminished fifth.

Here is an example of an diminished fifth:

Musical examples of augmented fourth

Maria theme from West Side Story by Bernstein

The melody of the theme Maria (from West Side Story) by Bernstein start with an augmented fourth:

Interval identification game

You will find this interval in my Intervals identification game:

Find all my music theory games by clicking this link music theory games
music theory games


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