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Classical musicians sometimes miss terrific musical riches and resources right under there own noses: plenteous, powerful, familiar, and fun. I’m referring to familiar tunes and songs. We just harnessed their power in creating the Song-O-Nome – quick & easy ways to come up with a fairly accurate metronome marking using familiar tunes. Now we are going to use these tunes to help our ear training and memory in another way: using the first (or prominent) interval of the tune to help us hear and be able to sing and identify all of the simple intervals. This list is incomplete; there are many other such lists on the internet if you care to pursue it further.

Using Familiar Tunes for Interval Recognition


Minor 2nd: Jaws (shark theme), White Christmas

Major 2nd: Happy Birthday, Frere Jacques, Doe a Deer, Silent Night

Minor 3rd: Greensleeves (What Child Is This?), Brahms Lullaby, Georgia on My Mind

Major 3rd: Kum Bah Yah, Oh When the Saints, Marines’ Hymn

Perfect 4th: Here Comes the Bride, Amazing Grace, Auld Lang Syne, Simple Gifts

Augmented 4th (tritone): Maria (West Side Story), The Simpsons

Perfect 5th: Twinkle Twinkle, Hey There Georgie Girl, Blackbird (Beatles), My Favorite Things

Minor 6th: Love Story (3rd & 4th notes), Go Down Moses

Major 6th: My Bonny, Jingle Bells, NBC theme, My Way, Take the A Train, Midnight Clear, Days of Wine and Roses

Minor 7th: Somewhere (West Side Story)

Major 7th: ? [use Bali Hai: octave then half step down]

Octave: Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Bali Hai, Superman, Let It Snow, Blue Bossa, Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting…)


Minor 2nd: Mozart Sym. 40 (Mvt. 1 theme), Für Elise, Joy to the World

Major 2nd: Mary Had a Little Lamb, Deck the Halls, Yesterday, Three Blind Mice

Minor 3rd: This Old Man, Caisson Song, Star Spangled Banner, Hey Jude

Major 3rd: Beethoven’s 5th; Summertime, Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, Good Night Ladies

Perfect 4th: I’ve Been Working on the Railroad, O Come All Ye Faithful, Born Free, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Clementine

Augmented 4th (tritone): Blue Seven (Sonny Rollins)

Perfect 5th: Flintstones, Bring a Torch Jeanette Isabella

Minor 6th: Theme from “Love Story”

Major 6th: Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen, Music of the Night (Phantom of the Opera)

Minor 7th: Watermelon Man, American in Paris

Major 7th: I Love You (Cole Porter) Hee Haw (Grand Canyon Suite)

Octave: Willow Weep for Me