Musical Intervals –
Ear Training Exercises for
Interval Recognition!

Musical Intervals are an essential part of our musical training as singers, and it is vital for us to know how to pitch these intervals, as well as how to recognise them by hearing!

There are many Ear Training resources that help us to train our ability to identify intervals as we hear them, and the simplest way to learn this is to associate intervals with songs that we are familiar with or know how to sing!

Before we learn about that, you might wish to revisit the website section on Major Intervals as well as the related section on Minor Intervals to revise what I have already written about these great musical intervals! You can also find that there are many self-practice music clips uploaded in the above sections for you to familiarise with the various major and minor intervals, and how to sing them. Once you know how to sing them well, it should be easier for you to identify them by hearing too! Now, the simplest and fastest way to learn how to identify intervals is for you to associate them with songs that are familiar to you! These may be nursery rhyme songs, oldies, pop songs or even classical tunes too! Here are some of the basic intervals and their songs:

Musical Intervals Songs To Remember Them By
Major Intervals
Major 2nd Happy Birthday Song – 2nd and 3rd notes
My Funny Valentine – 1st 2 notes
Major 3rd Oh When The Saints – 1st 2 notes
Perfect 4th Auld Lang Syne -1st 2 notes
Amazing Grace -1st 2 notes
Perfect 5th Twinkle Twinkle – 2nd and 3rd notes
Lavender’s Blue -1st 2 notes
Major 6th My Bonnie -1st 2 notes
Angels (Robbie Williams) -1st 2 notes
Major 7th Superman Theme
Somewhere Over The Rainbow – 1st and 3rd notes
Perfect 8th Somewhere Over The Rainbow -1st 2 notes
Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire -1st 2 notes
Minor Intervals
Minor 2nd Jaws Theme Music
Minor 3rd Greensleeves – 1st 2 notes
Brahm’s Lullaby -2nd and 3rd notes
Minor 6th Love Story – 3rd and 4th notes
The Entertainer – 3rd and 4th notes
Minor 7th There’s A Place For Us (West Side Story)
Theme from the Original Star Trek

Now, in order to test your interval recognition ability, let’s see if you are able to identify the following major musical intervals when played on the keyboard: Interval Recognition Ear Training Exercise – Major Intervals


Were you able to tell that the intervals being played were Perfect 5th, Major 3rd and a Perfect 8th (Octave) intervals respectively?

These intervals are considered to be the basic intervals that one should be able to recognise, and they also make up a basic major arpeggio, which is another musical scale that we can learn to improve on our pitching! Do familiarise yourselves with the respective songs for each interval before you try out this simple test, and you will see how associating intervals with songs really does help you with recognising and remembering intervals! Let us try out some minor musical intervals now, and see if you are able to do better here: Interval Recognition Ear Training Exercise – Minor Intervals

The minor intervals played were the Minor 6th, Minor 3rd and Minor 7th intervals respectively. Were you able to identify them correctly?

You will be able to find out how to sing the various major and minor intervals from my website section on pitching exercises! I have uploaded lots of practice music there, so feel free to use them for your own self-practice!

On those webpages, I have also provided various charts of major and minor intervals and their notes, as well as how to play them on the piano, keyboard or any other musical instrument! Check out the link above to find out more!

Associating popular or memorable songs with the various musical intervals certainly will help to train your ability to recognise and remember the various intervals! Once you are familiar with these intervals, you will certainly be able to sing them even better!

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