Mudcat Café message #40595 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #6800   Message #40595
Posted By: Barbara
06-Oct-98 - 04:37 PM
Thread Name: Modes?
Subject: RE: Modes?
Peter, if you look at Alan's post above, he tells you something about the structure of the different modes. I find the simplest way to understand modes is to look at the ionian scale, the one we are all familiar with.
It runs: whole step, whole step, half step, whole step, whole step whole step, half step.
Look at it on the piano, key of C. There's a black key between C and D notes, so it's a whole step. Ditto D and E, but when you get to E and F they're only a half step apart. So the pattern in ionian is 2 whole, 1 half, 3 whole, 1 half. That last interval, from B to C, gives you the dynamic tension and the resolution, right? Well, each of the modes has that same spacing of whole and half notes, but dorian will begin on the second note of the ionian scale. I.e. play an all white key scale from D to D and you will be in dorian. An all white key scale from E to E is phrygian. And so on.
The dorian pattern therefore, is whole step, half step, 3 whole steps, half step, whole step. See? They all have two half step intervals in them, which creates the dynamic tension, but they occur in different places in the chordal structure, and the tune structure because they happen at a different place in the scale.
Dorian thru locrian modal tunes have melody and rhythmic structure, same as ionic, but they will have the half steps in different places, which changes where the tension is.
Does that make anything clearer?