Seconds can be major, minor, augmented or diminished. Below you can see that the number of half steps determines the quality of a second.

Major second, 1 whole step or 2 half steps:

major second

Minor second, 1 half steps:

minor second

Augmented second, 3 half steps:

augmented second

Identifying seconds

Seconds are probably the easiest intervals to identify. Yet, it is very important to master the identification of seconds since to be able to identify other intervals.

To identify the quality of a second we must know:

With this in mind, we can count the number of half steps in a second:

Another way of identifying seconds

If both notes are natural, we don't have to count the number of half steps if we remember that only the seconds E-F and B-C are half steps. If there are accidentals, we can use the following method:

Example: G#-A#:

Another example: C#-D double sharp:

See I > Intervals for related entries. To learn about go to Tutorials > Intervals.


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José Rodríguez Alvira.