Minor second

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Not to be confused with minor tone.
minor second
Inverse major seventh
Other names diatonic semitone
Abbreviation m2
Semitones 1
Interval class 1
Just interval 16:15
Equal temperament 100
24 equal temperament 100
Just intonation 112
Minor second on C. About this sound Play 

In modern Western tonal music theory a minor second is the interval between two notes on adjacent staff positions, or having adjacent note letters, whose alterations cause them to be one semitone or half-step apart, such as B and C or C and D.[1] The interval is also called a diatonic semitone.

Its inversion is a major seventh.

A helpful way to recognize a minor second is to hum the first two notes of "Rosemary's Lullaby".[citation needed]

In other temperaments[edit]

In just intonation a 16:15 minor second arises in the C major scale between B & C and E & F, and is, "the sharpest dissonance found in the [major] scale."[2] About this sound Play B & C 

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Second". Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Retrieved August 2011.  (subscription needed)
  2. ^ Paul, Oscar (1885). A manual of harmony for use in music-schools and seminaries and for self-instruction, p.165. Theodore Baker, trans. G. Schirmer.