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Dorian scales
Dorian ?Pentatonic?
Topic Rating: 4.3 Topic Rating: 4.3 Topic Rating: 4.3 Topic Rating: 4.3 Topic Rating: 4.3 Topic Rating: 4.3 (7 votes) 
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TerryT
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is a Dorian scale the same as a pent atomic scale?

I see that a pentatonic scale is five notes, which confused me at first when one can play it on all four strings, but I guess it's the same 5 notes just in different octaves, but what exactly is a Dorian scale?

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TerryT
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Pent atomic????

Apologies for my phones auto-correct predictive text!

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RosinedUp
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The usual scales are the diatonic scales, which are heptatonic scales.  Heptatonic scales are scales that have seven pitches per octave.

Pentatonic scales have only five pitches per octave.  I am barely familiar with them, but they seem to be less conventional, less common, and less important.

Dorian, major, and minor are modes of diatonic scales. There are four other modes of diatonic scales.

In the context of diatonic scales:

Any minor scale is just a rotation of a major scale.  Consider the C-major scale:  CDEFGAB.  Rotate it by lopping AB off the back end and putting them in front to get the A-minor scale: ABCDEFG.

Similarly a Dorian scale is a rotation of a major scale.  Starting with the C-major scale, you can take the C off the front and put it at the back to get DEFGABC, and that is the D-Dorian scale.  It is also (confusingly) called the D-minor Dorian scale.

All seven modes of diatonic scales are rotations of the major-mode scale.

Another example, starting with the D-major scale: DEF#GABC#.  Cut BC# off the back and put it at the front to get BC#DEF#GA---the B-minor scale.  Or cut D off the front and put it at the back to get EF#GABC#D---the E-Dorian scale.

Think rotation.  The amount of rotation is the mode.

See http://fiddlerman.com/forum/le.....ian-scale/ for more explanations including my analogy of a clock.

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Mad_Wed
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TerryT said
Pent atomic????

roflol That was LOLable!

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Picklefish
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RosinedUp said
The usual scales are the diatonic scales, which are heptatonic scales.  Heptatonic scales are scales that have seven pitches per octave. Since Octave means 8 how are there only 7 pitches in 8 notes?

Pentatonic scales have only five pitches per octave.  I am barely familiar with them, but they seem to be less conventional, less common, and less important. Many simple tunes, melodys, and childrens songs start with, are composed entirely of or are based on a Pentatonic scale.

Dorian, major, and minor are modes of diatonic scales. There are four other modes of diatonic scales.

In the context of diatonic scales: I like how you described these though.

Any minor scale is just a rotation of a major scale.  Consider the C-major scale:  CDEFGAB.  Rotate it by lopping AB off the back end and putting them in front to get the A-minor scale: ABCDEFG.

Similarly a Dorian scale is a rotation of a major scale.  Starting with the C-major scale, you can take the C off the front and put it at the back to get DEFGABC, and that is the D-Dorian scale.  It is also (confusingly) called the D-minor Dorian scale.

All seven modes of diatonic scales are rotations of the major mode.

Another example, starting with the D-major scale: DEF#GABC#.  Cut BC# off the back and put it at the front to get BC#DEF#GA---the B-minor scale.  Or cut D off the front and put it at the back to get EF#GABC#D---the E-Dorian scale.

Think rotation.  The amount of rotation is the mode.

See http://fiddlerman.com/forum/le.....ian-scale/ for more explanations including my analogy of a clock.

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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RosinedUp
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picklefish said

RosinedUp said
The usual scales are the diatonic scales, which are heptatonic scales.  Heptatonic scales are scales that have seven pitches per octave. Since Octave means 8 how are there only 7 pitches in 8 notes?

Pentatonic scales have only five pitches per octave.  I am barely familiar with them, but they seem to be less conventional, less common, and less important. Many simple tunes, melodys, and childrens songs start with, are composed entirely of or are based on a Pentatonic scale.

You know more about pentatonic scales.  Note my use of the word "seem".  I needed to establish context and separate "Dorian" from "pentatonic".  I would like to learn from you about pentatonic scales.

Seven vs. eight: I should have used the term "pitch class" rather than "pitch", but I was hesitant for fear of being weighed down with detail.  I chose to be incorrect instead!  Sorry.  The thing is that if you include the octave in the scale, then the tonic (first note) is the same as the octave (last note) in that they are of the same pitch class.  So there are seven pitch classes in a heptatonic scale.  Seven = hepta = επτά (google translate to Greek).  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitch_class  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H....._scale   Nothing that either of us didn't know, but we cleared it up for others who might not.
Glad you liked what I wrote about diatonic modes.  Understanding that was a breakthrough for me, so I show it off whenever I can.

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Kevin M.
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Dorian-Scale.jpgImage EnlargerTerry,

I hope this helps you understand a Doriann Scale.

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Picklefish
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@ Rosinedup- thanks, I wasnt trying to correct but had not heard of that before. Im not a scales guy, nor do I pretend to understand all the ins outs and modes. It makes my brain hurt so I am taking it slowly. Ive almost got the easiest 7 maj scales down, the 5 harder ones left. Almost like being back in school.

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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TerryT
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Kevin M. said

Dorian-Scale.jpgImage EnlargerTerry,

I hope this helps you understand a Doriann Scale.

As always Kevin, you come to the rescue!

far easier to understand than the very informative posts above you
roflol

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TerryT
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Thanks RosinedUp, that's helps my head get round them!
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RosinedUp
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picklefish said
@ Rosinedup- thanks, I wasnt trying to correct but had not heard of that before. Im not a scales guy, nor do I pretend to understand all the ins outs and modes. It makes my brain hurt so I am taking it slowly. Ive almost got the easiest 7 maj scales down, the 5 harder ones left. Almost like being back in school.

 

Does 2212221 mean anything to you?  If not, you are due for an easy theoretical breakthrough with your scales.  Actually getting your left fingers to do the work is something else though.

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TerryT
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5

A

RosinedUp said

picklefish said
@ Rosinedup- thanks, I wasnt trying to correct but had not heard of that before. Im not a scales guy, nor do I pretend to understand all the ins outs and modes. It makes my brain hurt so I am taking it slowly. Ive almost got the easiest 7 maj scales down, the 5 harder ones left. Almost like being back in school.

 

Does 2212221 mean anything to you?  If not, you are due for an easy theoretical breakthrough with your scales.  Actually getting your left fingers to do the work is something else though.

aha! 1 is 'close' and 2 = gap. Makes it easy to play any major scale, whichever finger you start with, follow that pattern and you have a major scale.
Is it ? Tone tone semitone tone tone tone semitone?

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RosinedUp
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TerryT said
A

RosinedUp said

picklefish said
@ Rosinedup- thanks, I wasnt trying to correct but had not heard of that before. Im not a scales guy, nor do I pretend to understand all the ins outs and modes. It makes my brain hurt so I am taking it slowly. Ive almost got the easiest 7 maj scales down, the 5 harder ones left. Almost like being back in school.

 

Does 2212221 mean anything to you?  If not, you are due for an easy theoretical breakthrough with your scales.  Actually getting your left fingers to do the work is something else though.

aha! 1 is 'close' and 2 = gap. Makes it easy to play any major scale, whichever finger you start with, follow that pattern and you have a major scale.
Is it ? Tone tone semitone tone tone tone semitone?

A+ for you, Terry. 

Right-rotate by 2 to get the minor mode: 2122122.

Left-rotate by 1 to get the Dorian mode: _______ (fill in the blank).

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Picklefish
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Just added something else to my daily practice routine, thanks. lol As if I didnt have enough to do already! Seriously, its cool. Thanks for sharing.violin-1260

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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ratvn
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RosinedUp said

picklefish said
@ Rosinedup- thanks, I wasnt trying to correct but had not heard of that before. Im not a scales guy, nor do I pretend to understand all the ins outs and modes. It makes my brain hurt so I am taking it slowly. Ive almost got the easiest 7 maj scales down, the 5 harder ones left. Almost like being back in school.

 

Does 2212221 mean anything to you?  If not, you are due for an easy theoretical breakthrough with your scales.  Actually getting your left fingers to do the work is something else though.

@Picklefish: with 7 you're doing much better than me. I don't think I even got one down yet.

@RosinedUp: I love your explanation of "All seven modes of diatonic scales are rotations of the major mode". It's so simple and I know....I need to learn them and I am willing to. It's just they don't like me at all.

@TerryT and everyone: please let me participate in the pentatonic scale...things as it's my observation/thinking/question over the years.

Oh, forgot about the disclaimer. Here it is, "if your dogs and cats don't like you as much or your violins are out of tune after reading this then it's not my fault", and let me borrow yours, Daniel. For those of you who drink coffee, please make a fresh pot for easier digestion of whatever you drink or eat.

My beloved father taught me how to play mandolin when I was 9 or 10, and he is my first official music teacher, albeit just a few basic lessons of reading notes, playing beat and fingering. Well, that were all the poor old man knew anyway, but it's so luxurious in a very small village where people labored hard for basic living essentials. Later on, in college in US, I had opportunity to take piano classes studying western classical musics, fulfilling my musical dream. In short, I came from the equal tempered music scale school as most of you here (equal tempered scale, about 17th century/baroque music/JS Bach).

When I was working on completing my degree (too bad, it's in engineering, not music as it doesn't like me at all) I met a music professor who privately taught me traditional Vietnamese music and instrumental base on its various pentatonic scales.

Sorry for the long introduction. Back to the traditional music, it has several pentatonic scales (yes, about 6, 7 or more different scales per octave, employed different pitches among the notes for various moods/airs/feelings, all non-tempered scales, and for easier tuning/learning there is a chromatic tuner to register deviation in cents from western-scale notes). Of course, for the purpose of fair comparison/observation between itself and western equal tempered scale, in this context onward, the tonic "note" is always at exactly the same pitch (in some music cultures and notation, there are different names for "notes" but it's referenced to the same thing).

My question was since ancient time, there are musics around the world from different cultures. Some cultures are even without written language, all spoken, left alone music notation, and we're here with the tempered scale, derived from a mathematical calculation formula. How did they come up with it, most are so beautiful and adorable with no math/no calculation/no formula? Human hearing? Is it possible?

To the trad music again, in those different scales, one thing I noticed was that there is always a "note" at 3 and 1/2 steps from the tonic existed, even with other notes  in different pitches as measured with the tuner (three and a half steps, Oh, Wow, isn't that the PERFECT FIFTH? Isn't it the one for our loved violin tuning system? and various instruments as well?) Was it a coincident? Or was it from human hearing somehow? Observation from some nature phenomenon?

I brought that to my professor and his reply was "it's very strange. Not only for this traditional music scales, but in other music cultures in the West and so many in the East, pentatonic or not, everyone has that "note" and tuned exactly the same" (he referred to the interval of 3 1/2 steps) and that was all. It still left me wonder but since he earned his Ph D from a very famed music school in France, I had nothing to say and that question was with me for 20+ years.

I am thankful for learning violin as there are many related subjects related to it that are interesting themselves. I think I got an answer just a few days ago while reading about violin and Celtic music from Ireland, Scotland and other countries and its influence as the root of American old traditional music. There is another pentatonic scale used in Celtic music and I posted a question about the tuning as some of the notes seem flat, 15-30 cents maybe, from our tuning, and that the reason for research.

What I read about that "strange note", the perfect fifth, was it is based on a "natural scale" in which every note is a part of the same harmonic series of the tonic, unlike in our tempered scale where only the tonic and its octave notes are in the series.

It's physics in string vibration (air column as in flute, pipe organ and others). It happens in nature and that is why human hearing picked it up without even rely on complex mathematical formula as we use science methods to decipher nature phenomenon.

The easiest frequency/pitch from the tonic that our hearing would pick up is the octave (double the frequency). In the natural scale it's denoted as 2/1, 4/1 and so on with 1/1 being the tonic (the scale is denoted as integer ratios of the tonic frequency, the smaller number the easier recognition). The next most important interval to our hearing/brain is the simple 3/2, and in nature, in a string vibration that is 3/4 of the physical distance (there is an instrument in Vietnam called monochord, for having only one string, which plays with the harmonics/overtone only, and the primary frequency/pitch is dampened/minimized using a special plugging technique and it relied heavily on correctly touching those natural harmonics physical points for making sounds . If you play natural harmonics on violin, 1/2 distance of the string (divide string length in half physically, with a light finger touch at that point) would give an octave above the open string. Assumed the tonic/open string is C then that is the C one octave above. So half of the 3/2? That is 3/4 of the length (you can check this for yourself) will yield the G note. C to G, the perfect fifth, the interval used for tuning many instruments, and also the most important/recognized  interval to our hearing which has a root in nature phenomenon. No wonder why so many cultures has that "strange note".

About the pentatonic, it's also the simple form/structure of note/pitch from that natural octave scale.

I'm so sorry if you're reading this far, because I can't no longer bear this anymore.

Best Regards everyone,

Robert

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ratvn
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I forgot one thing for those who really into the math about that perfect fifth.

In our tempered scale, that is 3 whole steps and one half step. 

3 steps X 200 cents = 600 cents, 1/2 step = 100 cents, so the perfect fifth in equal tempered scale is 700 cents exactly.

Guess what, the perfect fifth in nature scale, which is in the harmonics series with the tonic (some referred to as Just Intonation/Pure intonation scale), after some math conversion comes out at 702 cents. At two cent difference it's so close that it would be hard to distinguish. Haha...not me anyway.

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DanielB
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Great stuff, ratvn.

Monochords are actually played as an instrument in Vietnam?  I never knew that.  They've been used in western music over the centuries for studying harmonics and scales, but I didn't know anyone anywhere actually plays them.

I made one back in college when I was taking theory.  Just a board, a single guitar tuning machine, a guitar string, part of a yardstick, and some small bits of wood and a few nails and some glue.  Neat little toy for studying harmonics and scales.  I copied the open string length and etc off my main guitar of that time.  It was good for taking the concepts in the textbooks and turning them into something that could be seen, touched, measured, and heard.

I've thought about making one with a violin string length, since I felt it did help with understanding some things for guitar.  It also would be interesting to see what (if any) differences there are with bowing the string instead of plucking it.  Back then I didn't have a home computer or sound analysis software, either, so building in a mic and a piezo pickup might be handy. 

Maybe a duo-chord (two strings), instead.  That way it could be used for studying doublestop intervals and maybe some of the sympathetic vibration that gives violin it's distinctive sound.

LOL  I can think of so many interesting little projects and experiments for sound/physics that are violin related.  But I've been trying to hold off on jumping in on those just yet.  Too easy to get distracted with side projects when one should be focusing on learning to actually play during the first year with the instrument, so I just add them to the list of things I may get around to at some point. 

Great post though!  Definitely something that gets the old wheels in the head turning.

thumbs-up

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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Fiddlerman
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Good stuff ratvn, and for those of you who can't relate to 700 cents, it's the same interval we use between our strings. Once you learn to hear a perfect fifth you can tune your instrument much easier and quicker. smile

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
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DanielB said
Great stuff, ratvn.

Monochords are actually played as an instrument in Vietnam?  I never knew that.  They've been used in western music over the centuries for studying harmonics and scales, but I didn't know anyone anywhere actually plays them.

I made one back in college when I was taking theory.  Just a board, a single guitar tuning machine, a guitar string, part of a yardstick, and some small bits of wood and a few nails and some glue.  Neat little toy for studying harmonics and scales.  I copied the open string length and etc off my main guitar of that time.  It was good for taking the concepts in the textbooks and turning them into something that could be seen, touched, measured, and heard.

Yes, Daniel. It was evolved from an ancient instrument and is constructed very similar to yours. It was not very popular until recent due to being so soft/subtle (with the primary muted) so amplification is a must, and yes, they put a guitar pickup in it. Wow, I did not know that the West and East meet at some point. If the violin is regarded as the Queen of western classical music then that monochord is the king of the Vietnamese instruments since it sounds very beautifully, very close to human voice/spoken language, being all harmonics/overtones (mostly as the primary/fundamental sound/frequency is heavily suppressed/muted with its special playing technique). And the previous mentioned different pentatonic scales (Vietnamese music are actually employed 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 note scale per octave, but 5/pentatonic is more common) are actually evolved from different language dialects of various region in the country as the musics/instruments mimic human voice/language. Since there is no official written language (all spoken, so instrument/music learning was passed down face to face) until just a few hundred years ago, the monochord is played in natural scales (the physical points along the string which produce natural harmonics as defined by string length divided by an integer number). If you like to, I have one of those with beautiful mother of pearl inlay all around, water-buffalo horn stick, maybe I can post a picture, perhaps.

Yes, I know, I got distracted too. Need to focus in practicing.

I like to post a link to a person who play the instrument in a tune that you can recognize. Not very good playing as his intonation is far from perfect, and using tempered scale limits the instrument capability, but it's something maybe interesting to you to know (BTW, he is not quite familiar with/using those mentioned scales effectively as he is from a different region of the country).

Best wishes,

Robert

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Fiddlerman said 

for those of you who can't relate to 700 cents, it's the same interval we use between our strings. 

Yes, that is why our violins are so very valuable. There are always 7 bucks between those strings.

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