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Encyclopedia of Microtonal Music Theory

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minor-2nd / minor second / min2 / m2

[Joe Monzo]

The smaller of the two diatonic intervals which encompass 2 degrees of the of the diatonic scale. The minor-2nd is synonymous with the diatonic semitone, and is one chromatic semitone smaller than the major-2nd. Here are some examples:

          minor-2nd            minor-2nd
             / \                   / \
C     D     E   F     G     A     B   C
              s                     s

minor-2nd   =   s

In 12-edo, the minor-2nd encompasses 1 of the 12 equal semitones, and in this tuning there is no difference between it and the chromatic semitone. The minor-2nd is thus an interval in the range of 100 cents.

The minor-2nd always involves a change of letter-name and may or may not involve a change of accidental (as opposed to the chromatic semitone, which keeps the same letter-name but always involves a change of accidental). Here are some examples of minor-2nds:

Ab : Bbb
A  : Bb
A# : B
Ax : B#
Bb : Cb
B  : C
B# : C#
Cb : Dbb
C  : Db
C# : D
Cx : D#
Db : Ebb

Narrowing the minor-2nd by one more chromatic semitone results in the diminished-2nd.

See the diatonic-semitone entry for more information.

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