Mudcat Café message #1869586 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #95827   Message #1869586
Posted By: GUEST,Jack Campin
26-Oct-06 - 09:27 PM
Thread Name: Modes vs Scales
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
I am well aware of how many makams there are and how they are constructed. They are *not* constructed by starting a fixed pitch set in different places on a keyboard.

The point is that a makam does not usually get more than two modes derived from it by starting on a different note, as opposed to the six you get from the major scale pattern.

The Turkish mode "ushshak" has a microtonally flattened second. There is no mode derived from it by starting on the second degree of the scale analogous to the relationship between dorian and major. It would be even less sensible than Western music's putative "locrian" since the tonic would then have no simple harmonic relationship to *any* of the other pitches. Most makams have inconvenient microtones like that somewhere.

Indian music does have the idea of deriving many modes from a single scale, but in practice it doesn't use more than a tiny fraction of them.

Instrument designs reinforce this. Fretted Turkish instruments are laid out in such a way as to support only a few tonal centres.

There is a discussion of how something like a modal system works within makams, as a way of doing modulation, near the end of Signell's book. It's helluva complicated and very restrictive; in some ways it parallels what happens in jazz theory, where modes are thought of as having a local existence for the duration of a particular harmonic effect.

So the range of heptatonic scale patterns the makam system gives you does *not* get multiplied by five or six into a multiplicity of modes as happens in Western music.