Augmented fourth

Augmented fourth

In music theory, an augmented fourth is an interval that has six half steps (semitones). Explanations and excerpts from famous works

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
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