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.

AAA
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 (35 votes) 
Avatar
Gordon Shumway
London, England
Members

Regulars
May 5, 2022 - 10:20 am
Member Since: August 1, 2016
Forum Posts: 2251
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

ABitRusty said

I think maybe lick was read as link and there was an expectation of a web address or something to follow.  i only say that because I read it that way at first.  

Ah, lol!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.....ck_(music)

I don't know if riff is a better word. Motif is possibly the word in theory books.

If I were in a naughtier mood, I'd subject you to Wild Man Fischer's Guitar Licks.

Why not

People expressed disappointment that people like Grappelli practised licks. They thought improvisation meant improvisation. That's not how it works.

Anyway, I need to practise my violin now, so goodbye y'all.

Andrew

Avatar
ABitRusty
Members

Regulars
May 5, 2022 - 10:24 am
Member Since: February 9, 2019
Forum Posts: 3002
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
102sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Gordon Shumway said

ABitRusty said

" also want to be able to convey, to another musician, what scale or mode I'm playing something in.

Please accept, that for me as a Fiddler, I ONLY see any of this as relevant if I want to add harmony ...  

  

There is some blinding with science in the music-theoretical aspect, as you have observed.

The choices are fewer than you think.

If you look at Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, you'll see that only one is a minor mode (Dorian), and the differences between it and the natural minor (Aeolian) are trivial.

So a musician might suggest Dorian, or they might suggest "a minor mode" and if composing a tune, you might reach mutual consent on which 6th and 7th you prefer the sound of, without naming them. And if you want an augmented 4th, why not?

And if you want "a major mode", you just have a choice of which 4th for Lydian or Mix, or a bit of each, maybe.

And Phrygian is a speciality all of its own.

  

My teacher just says modal minor .. at first i was wondering WHAT minor.. lol. but as time went on.. who cares.. i understand the point.  which was her teaching all along.

I wonder if maybe we should study modes and theory but dont sweat the details till you need them.   The fact that you know about them will allow you to try stuff which will cause you to think outside the box maybe when noodling on instrument.  That can be part of some AH-HA moment in practice and be motivation to try even more.  Or go back and experiment with older things.   Maybe try new music that sounds like what you just heard. 

All of it can be important ( in relation to musical progress ) .. The playing music part is the most important.

Avatar
ABitRusty
Members

Regulars
May 5, 2022 - 10:28 am
Member Since: February 9, 2019
Forum Posts: 3002
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
103sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

wild man fischer!  that dude is awesome!!

roflol

Avatar
ELCBK
USA
Members

Regulars
May 5, 2022 - 11:09 am
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 5929
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I'm sorry, after all 3 years of fast Irish music we've been listening to since I got here - I just can't be so easily impressed with "wild man fischer". 🤨 

I could have sworn I learned that Dorian, Phrygian, Aeolian and Locrian are all MINOR modes - Ionian, Lydian and Mixolydian are MAJOR.  Mixolydian always seems to me to be the mode that can have a major or minor feel.

 

...still think riffs & licks are just related to whatever scale or mode used. 

 

Need more 'splaining'! (lol)

Avatar
ABitRusty
Members

Regulars
May 5, 2022 - 11:30 am
Member Since: February 9, 2019
Forum Posts: 3002
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
105sp_Permalink sp_Print
5

ELCBK said
I'm sorry, after all 3 years of fast Irish music we've been listening to since I got here - I just can't be so easily impressed with "wild man fischer". 🤨 

I could have sworn I learned that Dorian, Phrygian, Aeolian and Locrian are all MINOR modes - Ionian, Lydian and Mixolydian are MAJOR.  Mixolydian always seems to me to be the mode that can have a major or minor feel.

 

...still think riffs & licks are just related to whatever scale or mode used. 

 

Need more 'splaining'! (lol)

  

i was being sarcastic about wild man fischer..

 

and it seems like you have it as i do on modes.. if thats of any comfort.. rofl.

riffs... repeated phrases underlying in a particular tune

lick.. a sequence of notes that can be inserted in any song of same key.  Think of it as an exclamation point.. or period.   

Avatar
ELCBK
USA
Members

Regulars
May 10, 2022 - 3:15 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 5929
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Ref back to Gordon Shumway:

I've been trying to revise modes recently (from Eric Taylor). It's difficult, because it's a mixture of booklearning and personal opinion about the more ancient stuff where there are few sources. And then there's the fusion problem of churchmen not understanding the ancient Greeks, and moderns not understanding either of the two.

 

And personal opinion in that I've always been cynical about them, because they are not understood in certain circles. My cynicism began when people on diatonic harmonica forums (and guitarists are as bad) wanted to play chromatically and they wanted to practise every (church) mode; and I always responded, just play the major scale and you've played every church mode. For the justification of that see on licks below.

 

...I'm pretty slow sometimes (well, most of the time 😉), so bare with me. 

I think some of my frustration with modes/church modes might boil down to the answer of TWO questions. 

1.) Are 'Church Modes', aka. 'Ecclesiastical Modes', 'Gregorian Modes' - ONLY THESE 8 SCALES?  In other words, there's ONLY ONE, specific 'Dorian' Scale and ONLY ONE, specific 'Hypodorian' Scale, etc...? 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d7/The_eight_musical_modes.png/600px-The_eight_musical_modes.pngImage Enlarger

2.) My next question is, "are one of these scales, along with it's 'hypo' counterpart, ever used TOGETHER in Ecclesiastical music?"  In other words, like an 'extended' scale/mode?

Avatar
Gordon Shumway
London, England
Members

Regulars
May 10, 2022 - 4:42 pm
Member Since: August 1, 2016
Forum Posts: 2251
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
107sp_Permalink sp_Print
5

ELCBK said
 

1.) Are 'Church Modes', aka. 'Ecclesiastical Modes', 'Gregorian Modes' - ONLY THESE 8 SCALES?  In other words, there's ONLY ONE, specific 'Dorian' Scale and ONLY ONE, specific 'Hypodorian' Scale, etc...? 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d7/The_eight_musical_modes.png/600px-The_eight_musical_modes.pngImage Enlarger

2.) My next question is, "are one of these scales, along with it's 'hypo' counterpart, ever used TOGETHER in Ecclesiastical music?"  In other words, like an 'extended' scale/mode?

  

There is ambiguity in your questions, but yes, there's only one, in the sense that Dorian is tone, semitone, tone, tone, tone, semitone, tone. No, in the sense that it doesn't have to start on D. If you had a scale of B major, the mode starting on C# would also be Dorian. Modes only extended over one octave - the hypo things (known a dominants, but also tenors?) are extensions of the modes (I said Locrian didn't exist - Hypolocrian would have to be F#-F#, but F# didn't exist!). Hypodorian is A-A but it's an extension of Dorian, not Aeolian, by dint of having Dorian licks, Aeolian licks being forbidden. But finally (your question 2) there's the extra problem you face that this stuff isn't constant in time - all these modal systems developed between 500AD and 1500AD, and the hypo-modal extensions were employed for the purposes of contrapuntal harmony also. More than that, I don't know and I'd have to read up on it, so I'd prefer you to read up on it instead.

Andrew

Avatar
ABitRusty
Members

Regulars
May 10, 2022 - 5:49 pm
Member Since: February 9, 2019
Forum Posts: 3002
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
108sp_Permalink sp_Print
5

First time seeing any of this.   interesting Elcbk and Gordon.  

Avatar
ELCBK
USA
Members

Regulars
May 10, 2022 - 5:57 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 5929
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

@Gordon Shumway -

You're killin' me! 

I wouldn't ask the questions if I was willing to search further! 🥴

 

If a composition is contrapuntal, with 2 completely different melody lines, each using a different octave of the SAME scale/mode, e.g., dorian & hypodorian - then, to me, that composition is essentially comprised of an 'extended' scale/mode & this whole 'hypo' scale/mode thing is just unnecessary. 

So, is this the case? 

Are Modes ever mixed - like, Dorian for the 1st line melody and maybe Hypolydian for the 2nd line?

Btw, you don't have to answer - it's just rattling around in my head, whether or not I should ever give a second thought to the term 'Church' modes, again. 😊

Avatar
stringy
Members

Regulars
May 10, 2022 - 6:32 pm
Member Since: August 23, 2020
Forum Posts: 1649
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Absolutely no idea at all what you  are talking about.

Maybe Andrew H would know or fiddlerman they are both soloists, to whom it is probably a commonplace question.

Or Bach if he were still alive, only joking.

Bit more, bit more, snap #*÷?×[email protected]?#[email protected]

Avatar
Gordon Shumway
London, England
Members

Regulars
May 11, 2022 - 3:26 am
Member Since: August 1, 2016
Forum Posts: 2251
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

ELCBK said

 I wouldn't ask the questions if I was willing to search further! 🥴

Yes, I often employ that method - "please find out for me while I watch TV."sleeptongue

If a composition is contrapuntal, with 2 completely different melody lines, each using a different octave of the SAME scale/mode, e.g., dorian & hypodorian - then, to me, that composition is essentially comprised of an 'extended'scale/mode & this whole 'hypo' scale/mode thing is just unnecessary. 

So, is this the case? 

"Each mode existed in two forms, authentic and plagal." D-D is the authentic form of the Dorian mode and A-A (with Dorian licks), Hypodorian, is the plagal form of the Dorian mode. The first note of the mode is called the final (because a piece always ends on it, hence we tend to look at the last note of a piece now to see what key it is in?), so D is the final of both Dorian and Hypodorian.

Taylor says the music broke the rules - Victimae Paschali Laudes has a range of an octave and a fourth, therefore it is both authentic and plagal. And Jesu dulcis memoria ends on the dominant, not the final. But like I said, they were developing the rules between 500 and 1500AD. (1500 is probably a bit late, but it will do).

I'm guessing you've visited this page already: - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.....lagal_mode

Are Modes ever mixed  

No.

Andrew

Avatar
ELCBK
USA
Members

Regulars
May 11, 2022 - 3:48 am
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 5929
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Gordon Shumway said:

"Each mode existed in two forms, authentic and plagal." D-D is the authentic form of the Dorian mode and A-A (with Dorian licks), Hypodorian, is the plagal form of the Dorian mode. The first note of the mode is called the final (because a piece always ends on it, hence we tend to look at the last note of a piece now to see what key it is in?), so D is the final of both Dorian and Hypodorian.

Yeah, that's written everywhere, but my off-the-wall theory is 'Church Modes' don't actually exist in '2 forms', but as ONE, 'extended', 2-octave form. 

...need more proof otherwise.

So, does one form, say 'plagal', ever exist on it's own, without the other - in a multiple voice composition of that time period? 

 

...just rocking the boat a little. 🤭

Avatar
Gordon Shumway
London, England
Members

Regulars
May 11, 2022 - 3:48 am
Member Since: August 1, 2016
Forum Posts: 2251
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Are Modes ever mixed  

No.

Because of the licks, modes in ancient Greece were considered highly characterful. One would be suitable for a war-dance, another would be suitable for a friendly drinking song (although the instrumentation and the rhythms would obviously have added to the character). That's probably the origin of their not being mixed.

I'm reminded - there was question of whether a mode was major or minor a while back, along with consideration of whether baroque music was major, minor or modal, and I got the impression, possibly mistaken, that there might people who don't realise that the only thing that makes a piece major or minor is the third note.

C, D, E (tone, tone) is major: C, D, Eb; or D, E, F (Dorian) are both tone, semitone, which is minor.

A blue third is between a major third and a minor third.

Andrew

Avatar
ELCBK
USA
Members

Regulars
May 11, 2022 - 3:56 am
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 5929
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
114sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Thanks, that's GREAT! 

...helps support my theory, though!

Sorry, done editing my last post - you're too quick for me!

Avatar
Gordon Shumway
London, England
Members

Regulars
May 11, 2022 - 3:59 am
Member Since: August 1, 2016
Forum Posts: 2251
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

ELCBK said

does one form, say 'plagal', ever exist on it's own, without the other - in a multiple voice composition of that time period? 

I guess it's possible - the plagal contains the final - although the melody would never be able to go above the dominant.

Ugh, and after half a dozen edits, I see the multiple voice stipulation in the question!

Yeah, same answer.

Andrew

Avatar
ELCBK
USA
Members

Regulars
May 11, 2022 - 4:40 am
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 5929
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Yeah, I'm mad that info about the 3rd being the deciding factor between Major & Minor wasn't up front & in my face when I started learning to play - would've helped me see more clearly... only first learned about it back in 2020 (a year after I started playing violin)! 

There are more minor modes than just Dorian - Phrygian Aeolian and Locrian*.  You can see a similar deciding factor by the 3rd in Modes, but I think it's easier to visualize in terms of how many total half steps to the 3rd (instead of just 'flatted 3rd') compared to the Major modes (3 vs 4). 

MINOR MODES 

 

MAJOR MODES 

 

*LOCRIAN

    The Locrian mode could be considered a minor mode, although its diminished 5th interval makes it more useful to play over diminished chords where it won’t clash against the perfect 5th present in both major and minor chords. 

 

AND, Modes CAN be described as Diatonic SCALES - even if they can also be described as other things. 

https://www.beyondmusictheory......nic-modes/

https://hellomusictheory.com/l.....ic-scales/

 

LOVE ALL THIS, but I can't keep staying up all night! 😊 

bye 😴

Avatar
Gordon Shumway
London, England
Members

Regulars
May 11, 2022 - 5:03 am
Member Since: August 1, 2016
Forum Posts: 2251
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Locrian. Does. Not. Exist - Never. Has.

CDEFG major

DEFGA minor

EFGAB neither

FGABC major

GABCD major

ABCDE minor

BCDEF doesn't exist

https://www.musicca.com/piano
https://www.onlinepianist.com/.....ual-piano/

Andrew

Avatar
ELCBK
USA
Members

Regulars
May 11, 2022 - 5:13 am
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 5929
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

...well. (I know, it's a deep subject)

 

 

 

You have to watch the WHOLE video!

Avatar
Gordon Shumway
London, England
Members

Regulars
May 11, 2022 - 5:17 am
Member Since: August 1, 2016
Forum Posts: 2251
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
119sp_Permalink sp_Print
5

The problem with finding a link for everything is that it implies that everything on the internet is true!

And yes modifying Locrian is a contradiction in terms.

If you want semitone, tone, stick with Phrygian and all its ethnic variants - they already sound good.

Andrew

Avatar
ELCBK
USA
Members

Regulars
May 11, 2022 - 9:24 am
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 5929
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

@Gordon Shumway -

You are right not to trust everything on the internet. 

I don't. 

Just sharing my opinions and music stuff I'm learning, along the way. 

I come to my own conclusions based on multiple sources & rarely stand by any info I haven't cross-checked, then supply links so people can check for themselves to determine if info is worth retaining. 😊  

Thanks for this GREAT discussion! 

https://alexanderlafollett.com/site/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Symphony-No.-1-Sys1_0001-Copy.pngImage Enlarger

 

 

 

There's actually some pieces to play in Locrian at Musecore!

...I don't think I'll be using Locrian any time soon, unless I want Kevin to leave me (he's not a cat or musical instrument). 

- Emily

Forum Timezone: America/New_York
Most Users Ever Online: 696
Currently Online:
Guest(s) 99
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Members Birthdays
sp_BirthdayIcon
Today MikeV
Upcoming Kevin M., NewFiddlerGirl, Soldier, srogers, sampow, oldtimebanjo, bus4us5
Top Posters:
ELCBK: 5929
ABitRusty: 3002
Mad_Wed: 2849
Barry: 2687
Fiddlestix: 2647
Oliver: 2439
DanielB: 2379
Gordon Shumway: 2251
damfino: 2084
Kevin M.: 1973
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 3
Members: 31214
Moderators: 0
Admins: 7
Forum Stats:
Groups: 16
Forums: 79
Topics: 10149
Posts: 128123
Newest Members:
Karen
Administrators: Fiddlerman: 16250, KindaScratchy: 1760, coolpinkone: 4180, BillyG: 3744, MrsFiddlerman: 2, Jimmie Bjorling: 0, Mouse: 4430