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Definition: A fifth is an interval spanning five diatonic scale degrees. By itself, the word “fifth” most commonly refers to the perfect fifth (P5), which equals seven half steps. The perfect fifth is one of the essential building blocks of major and minor chords.

Other fifths include: Musical Trivia: Because of its uneasy character, the tritone – dubbed the “Devil’s Interval” – was largely avoided in compositions until the Romantic Period.

Also Known As:
  • diapente (Greek, universal)
  • quinta; P5: quinta giusta (It)
  • quinte; P5: quinte juste (Fr)
  • Quinte; P5: reine Quinte (Ger)

More About Musical Intervals:

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