I have two simple question about intervals.


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I'm just learning the piano. I'm using a couple free online sites. I was instructed to find sheet music from easy beginner songs and practice. I did. Twinkle Twinkle was the first. Then old McDonald. I came upon IF Your Happy and You Know It next. It has intervals I hadn't been taught intervals. I'm using flash cards to learn the different notes. There are intervals on the flash cards. That's how I figured out what they're called. I searched the internet for info. This is what I found.
If the notes are on top of each other they are played at the same time. For example: an interval of the notes A and D in the treble clef would be played at the same instant. TOGETHER.
HERE'S MY QUESTION: If the notes of the interval are in front and behind, not on top of each other. How are those intervals played. There are intervals like that in the If Your Happy song. I couldn't find them talked about any where on the net.
 
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SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
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A better way to say it is that either the notes are attached to the same stem (vertical line) or their stems are lined up with each other vertically (if the music is written on two or more staffs, or if they're very far apart on the same staff). Usually the actual notes (ovals) are drawn to the left of the stem if the stem goes upward from the note, or to the right of the stem if the stem goes downward. There's no difference in the note according to whether the stem goes up or down; it's just to help keep things tidier on the staff, so notes below the middle line of the staff usually have stems that go up, and notes above the middle line usually have stems that go down.

As for your specific question, when two notes share the same stem but are facing in different directions, they're still played at the same time as each other. Usually notes that are attached to a common stem will be drawn on the same side of the stem as each other, but in cases where two notes are very close together-- a minor second interval or a major second interval-- they are drawn on opposite sides of the stem so it's easier to see which line or space they're drawn on. In that case the majority of the notes will be drawn on the same side of the stem-- facing left or facing right depending on whether the stem goes up or down-- and the notes that are too close to the others will be drawn facing the other way. Again, it's done to help keep the music looking tidier and easier to read.
 

SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
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You're welcome!

By the way, I was hesitant to say this before because I don't want to confuse you, but there are basically two types of intervals-- the interval between two notes that are played at the same time, and the interval between two notes that are played one after the other. The intervals themselves are the same either way, they just occur in different situations.
 
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Fred Coulter

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One way to differentiate between simultaneous intervals and melodic intervals is that simultaneous intervals are commonly called chords. (A chord is two or more notes played simultaneously.)

Naming the interval is another whole ball of wax which I'm not going to go into here. It's more complicated than merely counting the notes in between. You also need to know how the note is written. If you're interested, I'll post that later.
 

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