A common way to identify intervals by ear is to associate them with songs. For example, a descending minor third is equal to the beginning of the song "Hey Jude". Use the charts below to make a list of reference songs you know well. Pick one song for each interval. Keep in mind, some intervals are easier to identify because of their unique sound.

1. Ascending intervals

Interval Song Click to play
Unison God Save the King (John Bull, 1745)
Jingle Bells (James Lord Pierpont, 1857)
Happy Birthday to You (Mildred Hill, 1893)
Let It Be (The Beatles, 1970)
Candle in the Wind (Elton John, 1973)
Minor second As Time Goes By (Herman Hupfeld, 1931)
White Christmas (Irving Berlin, 1954)
A Hard Days Night (The Beatles, 1964)
Jaws Theme (John Williams, 1975)
Isn't She Lovely (Stevie Wonder, 1976)
Minor second
Major second Frère Jacques (folk song)
Silent Night (Franz Xaver Gruber, 1818)
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (J. Marks, 1939)
Autumn Leaves (Joseph Kosma, 1945)
Never Gonna Give You Up (Rick Astley, 1987)
Major second
Minor third Greensleeves (folk song)
O Canada (Calixa Lavallée, 1880)
Georgia on My Mind (Hoagy Carmichael, 1930)
What the World Needs Now (Burt Bacharach, 1965)
Axel F (Beverly Hills Cop, 1985)
Minor third
Major third Spring (Antonio Vivaldi, 1721-25)
For He's a Jolly Good Fellow (folk song)
Oh, when the Saints (folk song)
Morning has Broken (folk song)
What a Wonderful World (George Douglas, 1967)
Major third
Fourth We Wish You a Merry Christmas (folk song)
Amazing Grace (John Newton, 1773)
Someday My Prince Will Come (F. Churchill, 1937)
Love Me Tender (Elvis Presley, 1956)
Black or White (Michael Jackson, 1991)
Tritone Maria – chorus (Leonard Bernstein, 1956)
The Simpsons Theme (Danny Elfman, 1989)
The Saint (Edwin Astley, 1997)
Fifth Scarborough Fair (folk song)
Byssan lull (folk song)
Can't Help Falling in Love (Elvis Presley, 1961)
Perhaps Love (John Denver, 1981)
Top Gun Anthem (Harold Faltermeyer, 1986)
Minor sixth Go Down Moses (folk song)
Waltz in C-sharp minor (Frédéric Chopin, 1847)
In My Life – intro (The Beatles, 1965)
A Town With An Ocean View (Joe Hisaishi, 1989)
Close Every Door (Andrew Lloyd Webber, 1991)
Minor sixth
Major sixth My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean (folk song)
Nocturne in E-flat major (Frédéric Chopin, 1830)
La traviata (Giuseppe Verdi, 1853)
My Way (Frank Sinatra, 1969)
Only Love (Nana Mouskouri, 1985)
Major sixth
Minor seventh Maman les p'tits bateaux (folk song)
Somewhere (Leonard Bernstein, 1957)
Theme from Star Trek (Alexander Courage, 1966)
The Winner Takes It All – chorus (ABBA, 1980)
Minor seventh
Major seventh Fantasy Island Theme (John Ottman, 1977)
Take on Me – chorus (A-ha, 1984)
Popular (Nada Surf, 1996)
Don't Know Why (Norah Jones, 2002)
Major seventh
Octave Singin' in the Rain (Nacio Brown, 1929)
Over The Rainbow (Harold Arlen, 1939)
The Christmas Song (Robert Wells, 1945)
Blue Bossa (Kenny Dorham, 1963)
Ironic (Alanis Morissette, 1996)

2. Descending intervals

Interval Song Click to play
Unison God Save the King (John Bull, 1745)
Jingle Bells (James Lord Pierpont, 1857)
Happy Birthday to You (Mildred Hill, 1893)
Let It Be (The Beatles, 1970)
Candle in the Wind (Elton John, 1973)
Minor second Joy to the World (Isaac Watts, 1719)
Für Elise (Ludwig van Beethoven, 1810)
Fly Me to the Moon (Frank Sinatra, 1954)
All My Loving (The Beatles, 1963)
Fields of Gold (Sting, 1993)
Minor second
Major second The First Noel (folk song)
Mary Had a Little Lamb (folk song)
Eight Days a Week (The Beatles, 1964)
Yesterday (The Beatles, 1965)
Wonderwall (Oasis, 1995)
Major second
Minor third The Star-Spangled Banner (Francis Key, 1814)
Morning Mood (Peer Gynt, 1875)
Frosty the Snowman (Walter Rollins, 1950)
Hey Jude (The Beatles, 1968)
They Don't Care About Us (Michael Jackson, 1996)
Minor third
Major third Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (folk song)
Symphony No. 5 (Ludwig van Beethoven, 1804)
Summertime (George Gershwin, 1935)
Giant Steps (John Coltrane, 1960)
Tears In Heaven (Eric Clapton, 1991)
Major third
Fourth O Come, All Ye Faithful (John Wade, 1751)
Eine kleine Nachtmusik (W.A. Mozart, 1787)
I've Been Working on the Railroad (folk song)
Shave and a Haircut (folk song)
All of Me (Gerald Marks, 1931)
Tritone Blue 7 (Sonny Rollins, 1956)
Turn Back, O Man (Godspell, 1971)
YYZ (Rush, 1981)
Even Flow (Pearl Jam, 1991)
Fifth Minuet in G (Christian Petzold, 1725)
The Way You Look Tonight (Dorothy Fields, 1936)
Have You Met Miss Jones? (Richard Rodgers, 1937)
Flintstones Theme (Hoyt Curtin, 1961)
Love Will Keep You Warm (Swan Lee, 2004)
Minor sixth Forêts paisibles (Jean-Philippe Rameau, 1735)
Chega de Saudade (Antonio Carlos Jobim, 1957)
Love Story Theme (Francis Lai, 1970)
You're Everything (Chick Corea, 1973)
Minor sixth
Major sixth Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen (folk song)
A Weaver of Dreams (Nat King Cole, 1925)
The Music of the Night (Andrew L. Webber, 1986)
Man in the Mirror – chorus (Michael Jackson, 1988)
No Surprises (Radiohead, 1997)
Major sixth
Minor seventh An American in Paris (George Gershwin, 1951)
Watermelon Man (Herbie Hancock, 1962)
Lady Jane – chorus (Rolling Stones, 1966)
Minor seventh
Major seventh I Love You (Cole Porter, 1944)
Major seventh
Octave Willow Weep For Me (Ann Ronell, 1932)
Doogie Howser Theme (Mike Post, 1989)
Todos los días un poco (León Gieco, 1993)
To Zanarkand (Uematsu, 2002)