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Intervals and Chords Ear Training

recognizing and identifying intervals, triads, seventh chords and extended tertian harmonies used in jazz.

Interval and chord ear training is a set of exercises to develop the ability to identify the quantity and quality of intervals or the quality and inversion of chords. The settings of these exercises allow a user to isolate specific parameters of the exercise to assist in the development of this skill. For a curriculum to guide and pace your development of these skills, see the interval and chord lessons in the SonicFit lessons.

The ability to identify intervals and chords by ear is considered a fundamental skill of most ear training and aural skills pedagogies. SonicFit agrees that this is an essential skill of the trained musician, however, we depart from other pedagogies regarding when and how to develop this skills. Recognizing intervals by ear and properly identifying them by both quantity and quality requires a significant understanding of music theory. While a student may memorize the names of intervals by how they sound, they won't really understand what the quantity and quality terms really mean until after they reach that part of the theory curriculum.

In contrast, students need no background in theory whatsoever to begin scale degree ear training exercises. For that reason, SonicFit considers scale degree recognition to be a rudimentary skill, and interval and chord recognition to be an extended skill build upon the former combined with an understanding of theory.

After developing fundamental skills of scale degree recognition and the theory behind intervals and chords, a student may then embark on the aural study of intervals and chords. A full curriculum for this study is found in the SonicFit lessons, which will fully explain the appropriate settings to use for each step of this study. Those settings include:

• set melodic, harmonic, or harmonic followed by melodic presentation of pitches
• isolate ascending or descending melodic presentation of pitches
• set the lowest or highest note to the same pitch every time
• in interval drill, set pitches to those in major or minor scale
   - or pick the specific intervals drilled
• in triad drill, select which quality and inversions are presented
• enforce theoretical understanding by requiring note input
• set the instrument sounds played