Welcome to our forum. A Message To Our New and Prospective Members . Check out our Forum Rules. Lets keep this forum an enjoyable place to visit.

A A A
Avatar
Please consider registering
guest
sp_LogInOut Log Insp_Registration Register
Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
sp_Feed Topic RSSsp_TopicIcon
Modal Scale/Keys
What makes modal scales different?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (34 votes) 
Avatar
BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
November 25, 2021 - 11:37 am
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 3741
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

LOL Alf @Gordon Shumway - indeed !

And indeed - having only now gone back to read the entire thread - all I can say on the various subjects/related-topics hit-upon in the entire thread is - be thankful we have a JI capable instrument, and quite simply "don't fret..." LOL. 

The "modes" (as I see it are - well "largely as I see it" - are an ET - Western thing/concept - but - that's just me), the "scales", the micro-tones, whatever - they are all just frequencies in Hz - nothing more, nothing less, which have a particular relationship to each other.

They are all there....  for the taking/using - even if your JI capable instrument has ended up tuned to ET (which is what most "default settings" on many clip-on tuners do....  so you'll be in tune with a piano...  big deal...  the "notes" (frequencies) are still there to be found....  fretless RULES.... LOL )

as Ivan (Galamian) wrote - 

ig.jpgImage Enlarger

Fine words !  And I kind of think that says it all !  ( the notes (frequencies) you want, are always there (somewhere ROFL!) )

I'm just a hobbyist player - but I understand the way "musical forms are built".  For example, I have no issue cross-tuning one of my fiddles to DDAD for instance (or some of the many other scordatura tunings) - it is a laugh-and-a-half on first attempt - that's for sure!  - but - as I wrote already - the "notes" ( frequencies you want ) are all there, for the taking...  LOL 

sp_PlupAttachments Attachments

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

Avatar
BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
November 25, 2021 - 2:11 pm
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 3741
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
62sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

LOL - I had to go google on this - I found this on microtonality - oh - STILL referring to Western 12TET / 24TET as it happens - but it gives a good flavour / early understanding of what it's all about.. ( a 7/10 from me LOL - didn't go ALL the way, but a good start and clear description - as I see it - for those struggling with the concept/idea/why-do-it/what's-it-about etc)

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

Avatar
ELCBK
USA
Members

Regulars
November 25, 2021 - 3:51 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 5340
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

@Gordon Shumway , @BillyG -

Love you are thinking along these lines! 

Can you expound on how microtonality is used in specific scales or modes... being this thread topic? 

Do you know of any microtonal scales that haven't been posted?

What pieces of music have you found that uses a scale with microtones? 

Since you understand microtonality, would you be willing to try to play some music that uses some of the non-western scales posted here?

Here are different systems of Quarter-tone Accidentals you might run across in notation that uses a microtonal scale: 

QT-Notation.pngImage Enlarger

Here is a thread that discusses Microtonality - it would be great if you could revive it! 

Traditional Fiddle Intonation vs Classical Violinist Intonation

 

https://img5.goodfon.com/wallpaper/nbig/3/a3/skripka-listia-osen.jpg

- Emily

sp_PlupAttachments Attachments
Avatar
ABitRusty
Members

Regulars
November 25, 2021 - 5:05 pm
Member Since: February 10, 2019
Forum Posts: 2791
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I cant see intentionally practicing these type scales at this point.  Although, id say i unintentionally play them sometimes.

 

have you ever just stopped a tune ..lets say on a B a string and played a long bow to see how far off you are? maybe slowly slide finger toward nut and listen for whawhawha ( warble sound ) then back up and above note with say 3rd finger on G d string or open d?  hard to hear sometimes...also stopping and checking against tuner or drone or audio.

or going into a long note in a tune start somewhere below the correct note and slide up to pitch.   too low and it sounds wrong..its a practice thing i feel.  maybe an example of using these microtones.

 

pipers do alot of what this topic about.   maybe not the whole scale but listen to how he bends notes in this video.  beautiful playing i think.

Avatar
Gordon Shumway
London, England
King
Members

Regulars
November 26, 2021 - 12:50 am
Member Since: August 1, 2016
Forum Posts: 2142
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

ELCBK said
Can you expound on how microtonality is used in specific scales or modes... being this thread topic? 

Since you understand microtonality, would you be willing to try to play some music that uses some of the non-western scales posted here?  

Emily, we are beginners and we risk resembling non-swimmers who attempt to swim all 7 seas simultaneously! We will drown.

We have to a) choose what kind of music we want to become proficient in, then b) practise its music until our ears are used to it.

I choose western classical music, and I will never learn to play it on the violin if I don't get its notes and fingerings fixed in my DNA.

Ethnic music is interesting, but I have abandoned the urge to dabble in it (I've owned a charango; I've tuned a uke to open G like a machete; I've turned a Yamaha guitalele into a 5-string guitar and tuned it like a tenor timple. But I quit all those things because dabbling doesn't work. You need to immerse yourself in it totally abroad or in an expat group (because it's all done from memorisation and imitation). OK, immersion is good, but it will ruin my classical violin playing, and that has to come first. The rest has to come after, not during. I'm 61. If I were 21 again, I'd do things differently.

I know, you want to know what a timple is: -

Andrew

Avatar
ELCBK
USA
Members

Regulars
November 26, 2021 - 6:26 am
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 5340
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

@ABitRusty -

Yes, I have. 

Yes, that is beautiful bagpipe playing - like bending notes.

 

@Gordon Shumway -

This thread's topic is SCALES and MODES. 

They have distinct melodic differences, but are ALL just tones on the fingerboard.

Thought it was amazing when I first learned I was attracted to music in Dorian Mode.  It meant if I saw 'Dorian' in the music description, I was probably going to LOVE IT!

Since then, my eyes have started to open for all the tone choices we have available on the fingerboard  - and some of the traditional music styles using them.  There is beautiful music, anyone can play, that originated in other parts of the World.

I wanted to share that I have enjoyed playing tunes from some of these different styles and I'd like to learn more.  

There are people I reach out to with this thread:

  • Most important - people, like myself, who are curious about music they've heard that use these scales/modes.  Maybe they would like to play some music that uses them, or just get better acquainted and use these as creative tools.   
  • People visiting here who might have studied or previously played music pertaining to this subject, who would like to contribute their knowledge
  • People who visit from outside the USA & UK, who play music with non-western scales & modes.  Some have visited this forum in the past - maybe they will visit again, and contribute. 

Thank you for letting me know you aren't one of these people. 🤣 

Avatar
Gordon Shumway
London, England
King
Members

Regulars
November 26, 2021 - 11:29 am
Member Since: August 1, 2016
Forum Posts: 2142
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

BillyG said
The "modes" (as I see it are - well "largely as I see it" - are an ET - Western thing/concept - but - that's just me), the "scales", the micro-tones, whatever - they are all just frequencies in Hz - nothing more, nothing less, which have a particular relationship to each other.

Sorry for my earlier negativity. I was up at 5AM.

To go back to Billy (in response to Emily).

There's a little bit of a misunderstanding.

Western Church Modes were popular long before ET was invented in the 16th century - yes, ET is that old, but they didn't like it and didn't use it until later in the 18th century, after Bach died in 1750.

The Western Church "modes" were just artifical names for whatever their keyboard offered them when they began on each white note. I forget what system they used. Let's call it Meantone.

Bach's Well-tempered keyboard wasn't ET yet - ET is one of many well tempered systems. The latest theory is, Bach didn't write in 12 keys for his well-tempered keyboard because it was ET (it wasn't) he wrote in 12 keys to exploit how different each key souded on his well-other-than-ET-tempered keyboard.

Our C major and D minor are SCALES.

Things that don't comply with our scales are called modes. Ethnic modes don't correspond exactly to the notes on an ET keyboard or to Church Meantone modes. They are microtonally different.

I shun them with regret because I know that really they have to be in your blood. As do the ET notes of western scales. I could only justify the attempt to assimilate other modes if I lived in Greece or Turkey or Africa, however interesting they  are.

The flipside of the coin is that there are people such as Herman Vandecauter who play every type of  instrument but they play the same music on everything, which I think is a pity - if you buy the instrument, you should buy into the culture.

Andrew

Avatar
ELCBK
USA
Members

Regulars
December 3, 2021 - 10:41 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 5340
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

https://clipground.com/images/antique-christmas-ornaments-clipart-2.jpg

Just  been looking through a new book I bought, "A Visual Guide to Scales For 5-String Violin", by Benjamin M. Taylor.

This is better than I expected! 

Illustrated with over 500 fingerboard diagrams for 34 different scales and modes (even exotic), in ALL keys... up to 7th position!  Also score notation and scale intervals, plus ideas for exercises.  

There's a 4-String Violin version - also, Visual Guides to Chords & Arpeggios for Violin, Viola and Cello, by the same author.  

Only thing I don't like, and he gave his reasons, is only using sharps, instead of including flats.  I've gotten used to my tuner only showing sharps (I haven't tried to adjust it, yet), but I would like to stay connected with Music Theory.  So, this will bug me enough to pen in the flats - at least the fingerboard diagrams won't change! 

- Emily

Avatar
JohnG
Greater Chicagoland
Members

Regulars
December 3, 2021 - 10:55 pm
Member Since: April 16, 2021
Forum Posts: 1468
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
69sp_Permalink sp_Print
5

@ELCBK - Just a reminder (that you probably don't need), I addressed the Stroboclip sharp/flat setting in my blog.

The old curmudgeon!

Avatar
ELCBK
USA
Members

Regulars
December 4, 2021 - 12:01 am
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 5340
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
70sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

@JohnG -

Thank you! 

I have no excuse. 😔

Avatar
SharonC
Members

Regulars
December 4, 2021 - 8:56 am
Member Since: June 24, 2020
Forum Posts: 998
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
71sp_Permalink sp_Print
5

ELCBK said
https://clipground.com/images/antique-christmas-ornaments-clipart-2.jpg

Just  been looking through a new book I bought, "A Visual Guide to Scales For 5-String Violin", by Benjamin M. Taylor.

This is better than I expected! 

Illustrated with over 500 fingerboard diagrams for 34 different scales and modes (even exotic), in ALL keys... up to 7th position!  Also score notation and scale intervals, plus ideas for exercises.  

There's a 4-String Violin version - also, Visual Guides to Chords & Arpeggios for Violin, Viola and Cello, by the same author.  

Only thing I don't like, and he gave his reasons, is only using sharps, instead of including flats.  I've gotten used to my tuner only showing sharps (I haven't tried to adjust it, yet), but I would like to stay connected with Music Theory.  So, this will bug me enough to pen in the flats - at least the fingerboard diagrams won't change! 

- Emily

  

@ELCBK  These look interesting—I think I’m going to check out the ones for violin.  

Scale work is really important. There have been times that my teacher has said something like, “. . . and you see here the arpeggios coming up…” & I’ve said, “You see arpeggios. . . I see a whole lot of 16th notes coming up too fast. . .”  Recognizing the patterns comes with practice, both seeing it in the music & feeling the patterns on the fingerboard.

Characterize people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words.

Avatar
ELCBK
USA
Members

Regulars
March 22, 2022 - 12:51 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 5340
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Guess this also addresses some of my ranting on page 3 of this thread - about why wouldn't there be Modes for all Scales types!

Here's a new one for me!

Interesting glimpse of "How to use the Modes of The Harmonic Minor Scale"! 

 

 

 

I think the more chord progressions I learn, with 'borrowed chords', the better I'll eventually become with unlocking creative possibilities - inserting them directly into solo pieces. 

Kickin' Chords UP a notch! 

...feel like I've been missing out on SO much, especially when it comes to chord progressions! 

Avatar
ELCBK
USA
Members

Regulars
April 1, 2022 - 12:54 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 5340
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

(edited)

@ABitRusty -

Sorry, I wasn't very clear in the Super Cool, Modulated Irish Reels Thread

The version you played of New Mown Meadows Viola DEFINITELY changed from a Minor to Major sound!

 

...it all has me analyzing notation a little closer.

I'm very interested in what can give the music it's 'emotional feel' by choice of key/modes - so I'm still trying to learn (still also aware other factors contribute to 'feeling').

I have learned that a natural minor scale is supposed to feel a little more sad, more 'minor', than the dorian mode (a 'minor' mode).  AND, the 3rd scale degree basically determines if a scale/mode feels major or minor. 

From the description (at thesession.org) for "New Mown Meadows", it's listed as E dorian - and I know you basically played the equivalent on your Viola in the The Great Outdoors Party

BUT, looking at the sheet music, E dorian just doesn't accurately describe what's making this piece feel so great - the move from 'minor' to 'major'. 

B seems to be the tonic in the 'A' part.  It starts, and is dominated by, B - it 'feels' minor and uses C# & F#.  So, think the 'A' part is in B minor.

Now, E is the tonic in the 'B' part.  It starts, and is dominated by, E - it 'feels' brighter, more major, but still uses C# & F#.  This could be E dorian, except E dorian 'feels' minor & this B part doesn't.  I think the important factor is: NO 'G', the 3rd scale degree, is used in the B part - if the cleverly omitted note was G#, it would all make sense with the E mixolydian scale - not E dorian. 

Why is ANY of this important to me? 

1.) Some of it has to do with learning about my options to improvise, or chord choices that could maximize effect. 

2.) Some of it has to do with my feelings that most fiddlers don't communicate their music accurately through standard notation - leaving it up to the user to interpret/guess. 

3.) I believe more information is a 'good thing'!  I want to learn how 'emotional intent' can be notated.  Instead of just giving someone a series of pitches used in a melody, I'd like to explore ALL possibilities - whether from notes, rhythms, phrasing, dynamics, tempo changes, etc... or, maybe just footnotes.  

 

https://www.teachthought.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/IMG_5775.jpg

 

...all just food for thought. 😊

Avatar
Gordon Shumway
London, England
King
Members

Regulars
April 1, 2022 - 1:30 pm
Member Since: August 1, 2016
Forum Posts: 2142
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I've started learning this. It seems easier than other grade 6 pieces.

The middle part is in the Dorian mode of B. In other words, it sounds like C#minor.

The first part is in a sort of Eminor, although you'd be forgiven for assuming it's the Dorian mode of D, but the key sig is just one sharp. My town's youth orchestra used to play it 45 years ago.

This orchestral version is a semitone higher, probably because someone has messed with the PAL sampling rate. Unless it is a semitone higher for the orchestra, to make it easier for the transposing instruments.

Andrew

Avatar
ABitRusty
Members

Regulars
April 1, 2022 - 2:07 pm
Member Since: February 10, 2019
Forum Posts: 2791
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
75sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

@elcbk i think whats happening in traditional type fiddle music is establishing a theme of sorts in one part.  Your ear gets used to that...it sounds like home...then when the B part or whatever part introduces some new notes or changes what that repeating home sound is..your ear gets thrown.. makes it interesting.  could be caused by a mode switch or key change..  the unexpected maybe.. if that could be applied to fiddle music 😄 

"1.) Some of it has to do with learning about my options to improvise, or chord choices that could maximize effect. "

to learn how to i.provise you have to improvise.   in other words you have got to experiment.  with it.   the chord choice question really is only going to be answered by trying different stuff.  you have to hear what sounds good to you.  this is a decent book.  of course numerous youtubes on the subject

celtic backing

 

good video on key changing.  yes its piano but great.

Avatar
ELCBK
USA
Members

Regulars
April 1, 2022 - 2:13 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 5340
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Fantasia on Greensleeves - Very nice! 

I listened some violists on YouTube play this - sounded great!

The Viola solo sheet music is available to purchase, arranged by Watson Forbes.

Avatar
ABitRusty
Members

Regulars
April 1, 2022 - 2:50 pm
Member Since: February 10, 2019
Forum Posts: 2791
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
77sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

@elcbk .... also to know why music makes people feel the way they do.. Do you think may be better answered in something like this.  

physcology of music

Avatar
ELCBK
USA
Members

Regulars
April 1, 2022 - 5:06 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 5340
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

(edited)

@ABitRusty -  

Rofl Smiley Laughing Hard Emoticons

According to Michael (How to Change Keys), I guess I don't have a human brain (explains a lot)! 

I'll focus on 'C', but only if the C chord is played as an arpeggio.  When 3 (or 4) notes are played as chord or with other chords (like the progression he used) - I automatically hear/focus on the middle note(s) of each chord (not the 1st). 🥴

I really appreciate your point of view on this! 

 

🤔 I know you have a broader working knowledge/skill base to call upon, than I do - maybe more than you realize, from also playing the guitar, mandolin, etc... along with experience in jamming. 

I love to experiment, but I need to start with a small pool full of material to fish from and a toolbox - NOT the ocean and a tool warehouse!

For me to have a 'starting pool' to create from, I'm still learning to accurately assess what key(s)/mode(s) used - to not only utilize those notes and the chords it points to, but to be able to take full advantage of the "Circle of Fifths", by borrowing from related scales & modes. 

 

For me, even ONE note in a scale or mode, can make a big difference in where I start to look for notes I can use from chord progression options & ideas for improv. 

 


...I'll probably change my mind on all this, later - like everything else. 🤣 

- Emily

Avatar
ABitRusty
Members

Regulars
April 1, 2022 - 6:26 pm
Member Since: February 10, 2019
Forum Posts: 2791
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

@ELCBK said
 

BUT, looking at the sheet music, E dorian just doesn't accrately describe what's making this piece feel so great - the move from 'minor' to 'major'. 

B is the tonic in the 'A' part.  It starts, and is dominated by, B - it 'feels' minor and uses C# & F#.  So, the 'A' part is in B minor.

Now, E is the tonic in the 'B' part.  It starts, and is dominated by, E - it 'feels' brighter, more major, but still uses C# & F#.  This could be E dorian, except E dorian 'feels' minor & this B part doesn't.  I think the important factor is: NO 'G', the 3rd scale degree, is used in the B part - if the cleverly omitted note was G#, it would all make sense with the E Majorscale - not E dorian. 

  

You may have better luck looking at the ending note than the beginning note for key/mode.

Ill need to pull out the exact notation i learned from.. this is close but co.paring to what i played possibly the problem.

but on what i linked.. the statement E is the tonic of the B part...im not 100% sure there.   i. leaning toward A.  in the firat measure ...of the B part... as you said no G#   BUT there is a E and C#  ...that coupled with 3 A's an E and C# make Amaj a great choice for a chord for this first part of the B part.. not E or Em. Amaj in any order is A, C#, E.  Em will be E, G, B.   theres no G and 1 B i think so chances are the Amaj will sound better.

another thing curious about the whole piece i linked is the key signature is in D...the whole piece has how many D notes?  compared to A.  with A being 5th note of D scale and mixolydian being 5th mode is some of this A mixolydian?   the B part specifically?    idk.. but part of the thinking process until i would be able to sit down and work through it with chords as a recording of the melody plays.   probably a bad way to try and figire it out but how i would more than likely approach it.   I stumble around till i find chords i like then stick to them.  MAYBE on a repeat substitute an F#m for the Amaj ..just to see how it sounds.

anyway... theres probably errors in my thinking there but maybe it will spark something that helps process things.

Avatar
ELCBK
USA
Members

Regulars
April 1, 2022 - 6:50 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 5340
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

@ABitRusty -

Lol Laughing Emoticons

OMG!  SORRY! 

No wonder you think I'm nuts! 

I have no excuse for being BRAIN FRIED... 

Definitely NOT E Major for the B part!

I started getting mixed up, thinking "A Major", but then the E seems to be the tonic - so E dorian (but that sound minor)!  

I think I need to look for a better "E" mode - but A Major does seem a good choice, which means you DID play the version I was 1st talking about! 

 

...I'll quietly go back & edit EVERYTHING! 

 

 

THANK YOU, for keeping me on the straight & narrow! 

- Emily

Forum Timezone: America/New_York
Most Users Ever Online: 696
Currently Online:
Guest(s) 71
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Members Birthdays
sp_BirthdayIcon
Today ADK-Mark, KarenSquared
Upcoming dionysia, RossTiger, Rattus Norvegicus, Skottish, Jacen_C, HotHands, Bill97a, RealCeeJay, spirryn, Leesajohnson, Ilona
Top Posters:
ELCBK: 5340
Mad_Wed: 2849
ABitRusty: 2791
Barry: 2680
Fiddlestix: 2647
Oliver: 2439
DanielB: 2379
Gordon Shumway: 2142
damfino: 2060
Kevin M.: 1973
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 3
Members: 31139
Moderators: 0
Admins: 7
Forum Stats:
Groups: 16
Forums: 79
Topics: 10001
Posts: 125859
Newest Members:
jkortela
Administrators: Fiddlerman: 16118, KindaScratchy: 1760, coolpinkone: 4180, BillyG: 3741, MrsFiddlerman: 2, Jimmie Bjorling: 0, Mouse: 4246