You are here

Intervals in Music: Their Use, Meaning & Power

The Royal Conservatory

In music, an Interval is the distance between two notes. Intervals are an intrinsic component of all Western music. They are a powerful force. Both melody and harmony are based at their most fundamental levels on Intervals. Melody is simply a series of intervals heard horizontally in music. Harmony is simply a series of intervals heard vertically in music.

Some intervals sound "pretty"; some do not. Some intervals provide moments of repose in music; some do not. Some intervals move music forward; some do not. Each type of Interval in the musical lexicon has real meaning.

This course will immerse you in the sound and meaning of the individual Intervals which make up Western music. You will learn to "tune" your ears to the beautiful consonance (and consonant beauty) of 3rds and 6ths, the restless dissonances (and dissonant restlessness) of 2nds, 7ths and 9ths, and the hollow perfection of 4ths, 5ths and octaves. You will learn that some Intervals sparkle; some are tender; some are sorrowful; some are yearning; and some are angry. And you will learn this in the context of hearing some of the Western world's most glorious music.

We will take a broad approach, exploring works from all eras of music. Each week will be an exploration of different Intervals, and most importantly, their context in specific musical works.

This lively presentation/performance series will guide you through the significant and signature Intervals found in music from the Renaissance to the Modern era. Among works selected for study may be those of Palestrina, Gesualdo, Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Schoenberg, and Webern.

Key passages will be demonstrated at the piano and discussed. Classes will include active listening with "guided tour" commentary, interactive components related to understanding the musical characteristics of different Intervals, and opportunities for score study (no experience necessary!). Some classes will feature live performances by students of the Glenn Gould School.

5-week series
Fee: $295

About the Instructor:

Clayton Scott, ARCT (Piano Performance, RCM), BA (University of Toronto), has taught piano, harmony, and music history since 1969. She is a Member of the College of Examiners, Royal Conservatory of Music. In 1992, Ms. Scott developed the lecture/performance series Music Through the Ages, a music appreciation and history course now consisting of over 75 titles that she has presented in Canada and the United States. Ms. Scott has a particular interest and expertise in working with the adult learner both individually at the piano and in group workshop classes such as Perform with Poise and Pizzazz!, which help musicians of all ages and stages gain comfort, security, and joy in sharing their music. In addition to her teaching, Ms. Scott adjudicates piano festivals; conducts piano master classes; gives professional development and motivational lectures for teachers, parents, and students; and presents opera, ballet, and music history workshops for a range of associations and institutions across North

April 19, 2018 10:00am to May 17, 2018 12:00pm
Event Type: 
Event Details: