+3 votes
in Arts & Humanities by (7.6k points)
edited by

This is actually a question for Other Tink, but I thought everyone might enjoy pondering...here is her comment: "I think universal or near-universal archetypes occur in music too.  For example, the fifth interval, do-so, stirs heroic or joyful feelings."


So, I was thinking of some other examples that make me feel heroic, and came up with Beethoven's Ninth, The Ode to Joy; also the French national anthem, The Marseillaise; and the German national anthem, Deutschland Über Alles. I don't know much about music, but are these perhaps examples of that (possibly archetypal) fifth interval?

2 Answers


Here are a couple of examples.  :)

Virginia TheOtherTink

A new concept for me, O'Tink - archetypal music forms - and as you can tell I am enjoying it!


I am not such an expert, but I think that Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring" includes some "fifth Interval":


Virginia Marianne

ty Marianne...I googled, and learned that "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" is another example! Also, following this idea of music-creating-a-mood, apparently an interval called the augmented fourth or flatted fifth can create a feeling of evil or dread; called the devil's interval! Found for example in the theme song for The Simpsons... :dizzy:... ah, the things we learn on SOLVED, here!


TheOtherTink Marianne

Yes, Virginia, the infamous tritone, used by Bach in the St Matthew Passion, "Lass ihn kreuzigen," let him be crucified, the mob's answer to Pilate's question of what he should do with Jesus.

Virginia Marianne

Fascinating, O'Tink! Bach and Beethoven clearly knew what they were doing here...and, I read that the pop group BLACK SABBATH also relies heavily on this devil's interval, which it appears you also can refer as "infamous tritone"...!

TheOtherTink Marianne

Yes, Virginia, it's called a tritone because there are three full steps in the interval, rather than 2 1/2 for a do-fa fourth or 3 1/2 for a do-so fifth.   Usually, tritones are avoided, unless the scary/sombre dissonance is intended. :O

Virginia Marianne

O'Tink, I was reading about that...apparently our Western, Sound of Music (do, a deer...) eight-note scale is NOT comprised of full steps; just for that reason of the ominance/dissonance! (Ominance being my way of changing ominous into a noun...:D)

So today I have been pondering, "just what makes an archetype?" - because apparently not confined to images with universal significance!

TheOtherTink Marianne

That's right, Virginia, Western scales are comprised of 8 notes, usually with 5 whole steps and 2 half-steps in the intervals.  You can easily play all of the classic ones on a piano's white keys.  If you start on a C, you will get our usual major scale. If you start on a D, you will get a natural minor scale (again playing only the white keys). The ancient Greeks knew all of these scales, and gave them names, and some of these modal scales are used a lot in folk music.


Marianne Marianne

You're very welcome, Virginia, and thank you for the information.


Virginia Marianne

Marianne, and I think Tink will see this also, I did with that link begin the process of understanding the concept of a musical MODE.

Marianne Marianne

Lol, yes, Virginia - I got still a lot to learn.