# Understanding Numeric Intervals

Step, skip, and leap are general terms that can be used to describe intervals, but they can also be identified more precisely by using numbers. To determine a **numeric interval**, count the steps between the two pitches. In counting the steps, always include both pitches involved and any staff lines or spaces between them.

For example, the distance between C and D is a 2nd. The distance between E and F is also a 2nd, and so is the distance between G and A. Therefore, the interval of a 2nd is the same as the interval of a step.

To determine the interval between C and E, count the pitches as shown below. C is 1, D is 2, and E is 3, indicating that the interval between C and E is a 3rd. F to A is also a 3rd. Therefore, the interval of a 3rd is the same as a skip.

The distance from C to F is a 4th, as shown below. The distance from C to G is a 5th. Any interval greater than a 3rd is also called a leap.

The example below shows several intervals and how to calculate them. Note that the interval of an 8th is called an **octave**. When two pitches are the same, the interval is **unison**.

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