What is a jump?

  • While a singular jump is a fifth or a fouth, by adding jumps together, a simultanous jump can represent any chromatic interval.  An accidental jump refers to an modal operation which simultaneously involves a jump key change and an accidental operation; they can also be singular or simultanous.

    Step = M2 or m2
    Skip = M3 or m3
    Jump = P5 or P4

When we speak of changing notes, the distance between the two notes is known as an interval.  Thus the distance between C and D is a whole tone or two half-steps.  There are 12 intervals each corresponding to a specific distance from the root:



It is customary to refer to the minor second and major second intervals as steps.  This gives rise to the whole-step and half-step nomenclature.  Similarly, it is customary to refer to a minor third and major third movement as a skip.  Here, we extend the step and skip definition by referring to any perfect fourth or a perfect fifth movement as a jump.  Furthermore, it will be customary to refer to a forward jump as a movement in fifth and a backward jump as a movement in fourth.

While the notion of a jump is universal and merely refers to a generic musical interval, when we combine the fact that any accidental movement also corresponds to a key change jump, then we arrive at the concept of the accidental jump.