Major second

In music theory, a major second is an interval that has two half steps united states of america (semitones united kingdom).

The major second requires that:

- The interval must be a second interval (two note names between the first and the last).
- The interval must have two half steps.

What does a major second look like?

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


How to recognize a major second?

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♭ / C:

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

B flat major scale

From the rule stated above, it becomes clear that B♭ / C is a major second.

Inversion of the major second

The inversion of the major second is the minor seventh.

Here is an example of a minor seventh:


Musical examples of major second

The Magic Flute (W.A. MOZART), Der Vogel fänger bin ich ja

In the aria Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja (Yes, I am the bird catcher) by W.A Mozart sung by character Papageno, there is a succession of major seconds:


Canon of the symphony no.1 by Gustav Mahler

Canon of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No.1 also features many major seconds:


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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