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DYAD -- Showing Interval Collections

In the program DYAD, the pitches are arranged around a circle as in the circle-of-fifths color wheel, but when you play two notes, a line is drawn between them; the color of the line depends on the interval type:

  • fifths and fourths, the most consonant intervals, are BLUE,
  • thirds and sixths are GREEN,
  • major seconds and minor sevenths, which are more dissonant, are VIOLET,
  • minor seconds and major sevenths, more dissonant still, are YELLOW, and
  • the most dissonant interval, the tritone, is RED.

    When you play a chord into DYAD, you see all the intervals that are present. This turns out to correspond well to the effect of the chord, in terms of consonance and dissonance.

    For example, in this major seventh chord there is just one very dissonant interval in it, the major seventh (yellow), which is softened considerable by the thirds and fifths:

    By contrast, in this chord, there are lots of dissonant intervals present, and the sound is much more harsh:

    In this variant of DYAD, the notes are shown in all their ranges, instead of just one; this allows you to see when the same interval relationships exist in more than one octave:

    Another variant of DYAD combines the interval connections with the vertical pitch idea of the Music Animation Machine (the colored lines only connect the pitches which are currently sounding):