How to Recognize Descending Intervals

Updated: May 18, 2019

Learn to recognize descending intervals with these songs. For ascending intervals click here.

Descending Minor 2nd

Für Elise

The first two notes of the melody are a minor second.


Between "Espe" and "ci" is a minor 2nd.

Descending Major 2nd

Mary Had a Little Lamb

The major second is from "Ma" to "ry".


From "Yester" to "day" is a major 2nd.

Descending Minor 3rd

Hey Jude

The first two words are a minor 3rd apart.

The Star Spangled Banner

The two notes contained in the first word "Oh" are a minor 3rd (this version is worth a listen all the way through).

Descending Major 3rd


The first word "Summer" is sung on a descending major 3rd.

Giant Steps

The first two notes make a descending major 3rd.

Descending Perfect 4th

Under Pressure

This classic bass line is a descending perfect 4th.

Softly, As is a Morning Sunrise

The first two notes of the melody at 00:08 seconds are a perfect 4th.

Descending Tritone (Augmented 4th/Diminished 5th)


From "Free" to "zin'" is a descending tritone.

Descending Perfect 5th

The Way You Look Tonight

A perfect 5th is from "Some" to "day".

Game of Thrones Theme

The first two notes of this recording are a descending perfect 5th. Don't worry if you miss them, the main theme begins with a descending perfect 5th as well.

Descending Minor 6th

100 Years

Between "fif" and "tee" you can hear a minor 6th.

Descending Major 6th

Man in the Mirror

A major 6th is found between "I'm" and "start" at 01:07.

Descending Minor 7th

Something Wonderful

Beginning from 01:00 the first two words, "He will" are a minor 7th apart.

Descending Major 7th

I Love You

From the "love" to "you" is a major 7th.

Descending Octave

Someone to Watch Over Me

Starting at 01:42 the words "watch" to the "o" of over is a descending octave.

Learn more about ear training and learning your favorite songs by ear here:

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