Minor sixth

Minor sixth

In music theory, a minor sixth is an interval that has eight half steps (semitones). Explanations and excerpts from famous works

In music theory, a minor sixth is an interval that has eight half steps united states of america (semitones united kingdom).

The minor sixth requires that:

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

What does a minor sixth look like?

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

minor sixth

How to recognize a minor sixth?

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 C / A♭ :

Let's take the C major scale to have C as the tonic:

C major scale

From the rule stated above, the interval C / A♮ is a major sixth, so the interval C / A♭ is a minor sixth.

Inversion of the minor sixth

The inversion of the minor sixth is the major third.

Here is an example of a major third:

Major third

Musical examples of minor sixth

Tristan and Isolde, Richard Wagner

The first interval of Richard Wagner's Prélude to Tristan and Isolde is a minor sixth:

The entertainer by Scott Joplin

Scott Joplin's ragtime entitled The entertainer has three consecutive minor sixths:

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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