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Encyclopedia of Microtonal Music Theory

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major-6th / major sixth / maj6 / M6

[Joe Monzo]

The larger of the two diatonic intervals which encompass 6 degrees of the of the diatonic scale. The major-6th is composed of 4 tones (i.e., whole-tones) and 1 diatonic semitone, and is one chromatic semitone larger than the minor-6th.

 ______ major-6th _____
|                      |
C    D    E  F    G    A    B  C
  t    t   s   t    t
 M2   M2  m2  M2   M2

major-6th   =   4t    + s   =   4(t-s) + 5s
            =   4(M2) + m2  =   4(+1)  + 5(m2)

Thus, the major-6th contains 4 chromatic semitones and 5 diatonic semitones (or equivalently, 4 augmented-primes and 5 minor-2nds). In 12-edo, the major-6th encompasses 9 equal semitones.

Widening the "major-6th" by one more chromatic semitone results in the "augmented-6th".

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