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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 (18 votes) 
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Gordon Shumway
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November 24, 2021 - 12:56 pm
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ELCBK said
The "Microtonal Guitar Video", along with more discussion, was posted in this thread: Why Did History Evolve Both Flats and Sharps? 

And this won't be the last time it will be posted, lol!

Andrew

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
November 25, 2021 - 11:37 am
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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 

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

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

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BillyG
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November 25, 2021 - 2:11 pm
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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 :-)

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ELCBK
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November 25, 2021 - 3:51 pm
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@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

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ABitRusty
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November 25, 2021 - 5:05 pm
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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.

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Gordon Shumway
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November 26, 2021 - 12:50 am
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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

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ELCBK
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November 26, 2021 - 6:26 am
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@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. 🤣 

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Gordon Shumway
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November 26, 2021 - 11:29 am
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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

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