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Modes vs Scales

24 Oct 06 - 02:06 PM (#1867428)
Subject: Modes vs Scales
From: DonMeixner

I could probably search this out but today I am lazy and I think this has a very simple answer. Remember I don't read a note of music and my theory skills only go as far as creating chords and transpositon.

It is my understanding that Modes are really scales, is this correct?

And if they are scales why do call them myxolidian or Phrygian or some such instead od Am, Cmaj, Bm, or D or any other scale.

I guess I am asking if there is a benefit to me to know the letter equivilent to Ionian?

Don


24 Oct 06 - 02:30 PM (#1867445)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: Charlie Baum

The letter tells you the starting note, or the tonic.

Modes give you at least seven possibilities for the distribution of whole and half steps as you go up ordown the scale (to use the classical seven modes of the Western musical tradition). Major/minor gives you only two. Major = aeolian. Minor - ionian.


24 Oct 06 - 02:34 PM (#1867452)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: Stewart

Don, yes modes are really scales. Here's a piece I wrote for the Victory Music Review. I think this will answer some of your questions.

Of Scales and Modes

Cheers, S. in Seattle


24 Oct 06 - 02:42 PM (#1867454)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)

You could also look at MODES FOR MUDCATTERS: A SYNTHESIS PRIMER

Mick


24 Oct 06 - 05:57 PM (#1867625)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: GUEST,Jack Campin

You could also look at the tutorial on my site:

http://www.purr.demon.co.uk/jack/Music/Modes.abc

It adds two main things to that Mudcat thread:

- a thorough discussion of how modes work for pentatonic and hexatonic scales
- lots of examples you can play or listen to.


24 Oct 06 - 06:02 PM (#1867628)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: GUEST,DonMeixner

Thank you all. this is great stuff. I do appreciate it greatly.

Don


24 Oct 06 - 06:27 PM (#1867653)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: Richard Bridge

To put it very simply (the only way I know it) you can have every mode using the scale of C. You just start on the white notes on the piano and then go up (and back down again) - but you start on a different note. So you have C to C, D to D, E to E, and so on. They are all in C (ie no sharps, no flats) but they are different modes.

Then if you take those "note patterns" and start them elsewhere on the piano but preserve the same order of tones and semitones, you have the same modes, in each different key.

Others here know a huge amount more about it, but sometimes the simplicity gets lost in the vast learning displayed.


24 Oct 06 - 06:38 PM (#1867661)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: Sorcha

Backwards, Charlie. Ionian is major, aeolian is aeolian.


24 Oct 06 - 07:31 PM (#1867700)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: The Fooles Troupe

"It is my understanding that Modes are really scales, is this correct?"

In the music that developed in Western Europe - and the tradition with which you are familiar - the two Major & (the Harmonic) Minor scales grew out of two particular modes as mentioned by means of a change of name.

The "Melodic Minor" - with different notes ascending and descending developed from the same root as the "Harmonic Minor" but took a different path.

"The Modes" are certain 'scale patterns' (each pattern being a particular specified sequence of tones or musical pitches) which refer to particular historical named patterns in Western Europe.

The very slight differences between the 'just' and 'equal' temperament tuning methods just use very slightly differing methods of spacing the same 'names' of pitches in the octave.

I have seen recent books aimed at guitarists which list dozens of various 'scale patterns' - i.e. ways of placing pitches in ascending/descending order.

'Musicologists' trained in that 'Western European' system want to lump everything under their own rather narrow viewpoint (which like all Religions they believe to be 'The One True Path') - but there are MANY OTHER "specified sequences of tones" in OTHER CULTURES too - some of which have a certain currency today in "Western European Music" - i.e. the stuff you mostly hear around you, which is organised using only 'tones & half tones' - i.e. two particular styles of spacing the pitches in an octave.

In 'Classical Indian Music' for example - they use 'micro tones' and 'quarter tones' - i.e. they space some of the pitches closer together, and sometimes can have more or less separate pitches in an 'octave'. Also there are rather complex rules for assigning the pitches in various 'scales' - some of these rules may involve such variables as the time of day, etc.



Don, it's a bit similar with 'rhythm patterns' - Western European Music has 'formalised' around a few rigid REGULAR SIMPLE PATTERNS - such as regular groupings of 2, 3, or 4 regular beats. "Commercial Music" as spawned by the 'Music Industry' focuses mainly on a very restricted set of 'scales and rhythms'.

Other cultures play with many other groupings - for instance El Greko (George) and his current 'rebetiko' song in another thread here.

Those people who are burdened with more "book larnin'" than you music wise, have just spent (wasted?!!!!) more time on it than you!! :-)

If it sounds pleasing to the ears, just play it - the 'theorists' will come along after you and 'explain' it all later on....

:-)

Robin


24 Oct 06 - 07:51 PM (#1867721)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: The Fooles Troupe

I forgot - some people use the word "Mode' to refer to many other non-Western European scale patterns as well -

Well originally in our Greco-Romanic cultural heritage influenced 'Western European' modern culture - the word 'Mode' had a very narrow particular specific meaning (as explained elsewhere) - but I suppose we do need SOME word to refer generically to all various 'specified notes sequences' in all cultures...


25 Oct 06 - 04:12 AM (#1867945)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: Dave Hanson

Modes are just scales with different arrangements of intervals, no need to get complicated, in fact as players, if you read music you don't even need to know, the key signature tells you which notes are either sharp or flat and a G is a G in whatever scale or mode.

eric


25 Oct 06 - 08:58 AM (#1868124)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: The Fooles Troupe

"the key signature tells you which notes are either sharp or flat"

... except for those keys/modes which have - by intent - added deliberate 'accidentals'....

And if you don't know WHAT I'm talking about, then that's right - you just don't know!

Robin
{:-P


25 Oct 06 - 09:09 AM (#1868131)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: Bernard

Here's a little confusion to throw in for good measure...!

The 'flat' as we know it was introduced originally into Gregorian Chant to correct the 'Diabolo Musica', which was the augmented fourth interval between F and B.

That is why the 'flat' symbol is a 'b'.

The note became known as 'B', and the note we now call 'B natural' was called 'H', which explains both the 'natural' and 'sharp' symbols.

In Europe, many countries still refer to 'B' as 'H' and 'Bb' as 'B'...

We are now more informed, but none the wiser...!


25 Oct 06 - 09:20 AM (#1868143)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: Dave Hanson

Who pissed on your bonfire Foolstroupe ?

eric


25 Oct 06 - 09:24 AM (#1868151)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: Scrump

In Europe, many countries still refer to 'B' as 'H' and 'Bb' as 'B'...

Bl**dy h*ll, it's enough to make you go back to the tonic sol-fa (see other recent thread).

Or maybe a gin and tonic would be a better idea...

:-)


25 Oct 06 - 09:35 AM (#1868177)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: The Fooles Troupe

"In Europe, many countries still refer to 'B' as 'H' and 'Bb' as 'B'... "

And Bach had great fun - he even spelt his name in some of his music with the B A C H sequence... :-)


"And if you don't know WHAT I'm talking about, then that's right - you just don't know!"

Ignorance is only Bliss for the Ignorant!

Robin
{:-P


25 Oct 06 - 12:14 PM (#1868370)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: GUEST,Jack Campin

: I have seen recent books aimed at guitarists which list dozens of various
: 'scale patterns' - i.e. ways of placing pitches in ascending/descending order.

These are all derived from Slonimsky's "Thesaurus of Scales and Musical Patterns", which was intended as a reference for musicians working with atonal or highly chromatic music and was picked up by bebop-and-later jazz musicians as a source of ideas and practice material. (Unfortunately some of them seem to have thought it was a tune book...)

Foolestroupe (who is Joan Frankel, I think; at least they write in a very similar style) likes getting into a high dudgeon over this stuff.


25 Oct 06 - 08:51 PM (#1868727)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: The Fooles Troupe

"likes getting into a high dudgeon"

Better than getting into a deep dungeon - dug myself into enough holes over the years...

Wrong guess Jack - I'm male - and you could easily have checked my Mudcat profile.... :-P

As to my writing style, I was influenced strongly by a fellow Aussie called Lennie Lower - Author of "Here's Luck"


26 Oct 06 - 12:14 AM (#1868841)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: Bert

Hmmmm, I wonder what happened to my earlier post?

It said "I, IV, V7"


26 Oct 06 - 12:29 AM (#1868848)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: GUEST,DonMeixner

Robin,

You can get as dudgeony as you like. I appreciate the help.

Thanks, Thank you all.

Don


26 Oct 06 - 02:28 AM (#1868876)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: M.Ted

The short answer is that you don't need to know anything about modes. Real modes are more than just scales, they are systems with rules that are used for composition. In western music, the   modal theory eventually became more cumbersome than useful, and was replaced by the major/minor system, which really includes all the modal stuff, and expands upon it--Arabic, Turkish, Persian, and Indian Classical music still use they modal systems, and they are different from ours--


26 Oct 06 - 05:29 AM (#1868950)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: Scrump

Bert, try here.


26 Oct 06 - 09:46 AM (#1869082)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: Canberra Chris

Don,

I find modes intuitively simple and fun to play with, especially for improvisation.

Take a piano, and forget the black keys, or take a penny whistle. Start on any note, and go on up for an octave. That will be one of the modes. Doesn't matter which one.

If you happened to start with C, you will recognise the sequence as also being the major scale. If you started with A, you will recognise it as the minor scale.

If you start one one of the others, it will sound a bit weird, funny, sad, haunting, ethnic or something, but each has its own flavour. It is that flavour that matters, and gives music in that mode its characteristic feel, in just the same way that major and minor scales (which are just two of the modes) are different in mood.

Whichever one you picked, go up and down a bit til it starts to sound familiar, rather than odd. Then, with the first note being '1', go 1, 3, 5, 8 (8 being also 1 for the next octave), then down again, and play around with that sequence.

Now vary that sequence, playing around, like maybe 1, 5, 3, 8, or 1, 8, 5, 3 or whatever, til you start to find a sequence that gives you an idea for a little tune, using those notes as the backbone, but straying into others if you like. Keep it simple, and repeat it til it is familiar, and try to write down the number sequence some simple way so that you can repeat it again.

OK, now comes the magic. Pick any different starting note to find a new mode, doesn't matter which one. Play up and down the new octave, play the 1, 3, 5, 8 starting of course from the new '1', til you get the feel of the mode and its mood. That sequence will still be the backbone of the new mode. Now play your first tune but from the new position, going up and down the same number of notes. It will 'work' and be the 'same' tune in one sense, but with the different flavour of the new mode.

Now, if your mind is anything like mine, it will go WOW! and you will start exploring a new, wonderful, simple, rich, elegant, expressive universe, needing only a few white notes, and not having to know any theory or what anything is called.

5/7 of our musical world (the five unfamilar modes) is as unexplored as the ocean deeps.

It is so easy, and so creative, that I am tempted to do little else musically but pick a mode at random, explore it, and allow tunes to unfold out of it like flowers.

Chris


26 Oct 06 - 12:12 PM (#1869204)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: Stewart

Well said Chris. Different modes or scales evoke different moods. This is an old idea that goes back to the ancient Greeks and probably before that. The Greeks used music for healing of the body and to influence the spiritual state or soul. Certain melodies were associated with the four humors (corresponding to the four elements: Phlegm or Phlegmatic (water), Bile or Choleric (fire), Blood or Sanguine (air), and Black Bile or Melancholic (earth)), and were used to affect the soul and the body. Music was thought to amplify or weaken the humors. Eight modes or musical scales were used. More about this in my article linked in my earlier post.

So play around with these different scales and see what moods they evoke.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


26 Oct 06 - 01:59 PM (#1869276)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: harpmolly

All I know is, I'm completely addicted to Mixolydian ;) Maybe it's the pernicious influence of the hammered dulcimer. But my favorite tunes (aside from Si Bheg Si Mhor) are Banish Misfortune, Atholl Highlanders and Red-Haired Boy, and I even managed to write the melody to "The Wiser Maid" in D Mix. In a fit of madness, I even put an extra 1 1/2 fret on my mountain dulcimer so I could play in D Mixolydian more easily (a foolish idea given that I'm a new dulcimist in the first place).

There's just something about that flatted seventh...

In other modal fun, Beth Kollé (a wonderful Seattle harper) has taken the Carolan tune "Kitty Magennis" and arranged it in G Major (Ionian), instead of Amin Dorian (key signature of G, starting one note up). It's got a fabulous feel to it, and I love playing it at gigs and seeing people's eyes cross as they try to figure out what incredibly familiar-sounding tune I'm playing...

Modes are fun!

Molly


26 Oct 06 - 03:39 PM (#1869346)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: GUEST,Jack Campin

Re M.Ted's posting: the major/minor system didn't generalize the modal one, it replaced it, and there are places where it gives wrong answers when applied to modal music. If you are trying to improvise on a Dorian or Mixolydian tune, what you play will sound wrong (or at least, obviously different) if you switch to the minor or major pitch set on the same tonal centre.

The music of the Middle East and India is somewhat of a red herring as typically, while they have many more scale patterns, they don't have as many modes as we do. It is fairly common in Turkish music for a scale pattern to have only one mode associated with it, and two (based on the tonal centre and a fourth up) is the usual situation.

Every musical genre has its own special kind of complication that it takes to its bosom and goes overboard with. For Indian music it's microtonal scale patterns, for common-practice Western art music it's harmony, for didgeridoo music it's timbre, and for British Isles folk music it's modes built on gapped scales.


26 Oct 06 - 08:46 PM (#1869565)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: M.Ted

Jack-- There are literally hundreds of Turkish and Arabic modes, though they use the word makam, or maqqam, for mode--here is a link with some basic info--Turkish and Arabic Makams

I am not sure what you mean by your other point--or whether it is worth discussing--


26 Oct 06 - 09:27 PM (#1869586)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: GUEST,Jack Campin

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.


26 Oct 06 - 09:28 PM (#1869587)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: GUEST,Richie

The problem I have discussing modes is the fundamental definition.

Most people talk about the "Western Music" modes as if there are only the 7 modes which are based on each degree of the scale. In the "Western Music" system there are many modes including hexatonic and pentatonic.

When I teach modes I try and have my students learn modes from the same root so they actually learn each mode independantly instead of playing a C scale and then playing a C scale starting on D (dorian).

Examples of songs in different modes helps someone understand the mode instead of playing a pattern that doesn't relate to anything.

Good luck,

Richie


26 Oct 06 - 09:55 PM (#1869595)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: Stilly River Sage

Great thread. Great links and articles. I have a classical guitar student in the house (he started this month!) and I think his teacher is going to introduce him to the works. This thread should be a tread reference. (And yes, that would be John Dwyer's grandson picking up the guitar as his instrument of choice--I'll be interested to see if he follows a similar path as Dad did).

SRS


26 Oct 06 - 10:19 PM (#1869607)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: GUEST, Arthur the Ferret

Ignoring non-western scales for a bit, using only the white notes of a keyboard (& as someone said above, transpose to other keys by maintaining the appropriate tone/semitone pattern from the desired starting note) C - C is the Ionian, D - D is the Dorian, E - E the Phrygian, F - F the Lydian, G - G the Mixolydian, A - A the Aeolian, and B - B the Locrian. The Ionian is what we call 'major', Dorian and Aeolian are 'minor' sounding, though the Aeolian more so for its flattened sixth. Many a beautiful Irish air is written in those. Mixolydian is just Ionian with a flattened seventh and very common in Scottish music due to the highland pipes being brought by aliens in the middle ages from the planet Mixolydia, where in fact a sharpened seventh is considered to be somewhat less than gentlemanly and punishable by a gruesome end. The Phrygian mode sounds a bit Spanish, and requires more than just a bit of common sense to harmonise. The Lydian is.. er.. foreign sounding but not unpleasant in the right hands, and the Locrian mode is bugger all use for anything unless you're an obsessive jazz player trying to impress other jazz players, or you're just trying to get thrown off a bus. If you play the notes of any mode in ascending and/or descending order, then you are playing a scale.


27 Oct 06 - 01:22 AM (#1869696)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: M.Ted

What have you been smokin' Jack? Nobody was talking about anything like that, except maybe the little people that talk in your head. It is an interesting subject that you bring up--but, as they say, not one anyone was talking about--


27 Oct 06 - 02:55 AM (#1869719)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: pavane

I believe the Beatles did one song in Locrian mode - can't remember which one it is at the moment.

The important thing to remember is that you do not harmonise the modes in the same way as you would a major or minor scale.

For example, if playing a Dorian mode tune, such as Scarborough Fair, with tonic note D, you would use the notes of a scale of C Major. But you would NOT normally use the chord G7.

How to recognise a Modal tune?
As others have said above, we need to distinguish the "Scale notes" from the tonic note of the tune. If you use the scale, for example, of the key of C, but the tune starts and ends on a different note than C, then you are PROBABLY using a mode.

(My program HARMONY can usually identify the mode of a tune automatically in this way.)

Key signatures for modes have been a topic of debate for a long time. There are two main schools of thought.

One way is to use the key signature as if it were in the major key of the tonic.
Imagine a song in Myxolydian mode (such as Rambling Sailor), starting on G (i.e. playing only the white notes). If you give this a key signature of G, or one sharp, then you have to put a natural on each occurrence of the note F in the tune. The advantage is that it is easily read by a musician, but it does not reflect the true nature of the tune.

The other is to use a signature containing only the accidentals which actually exist in the mode. In this case, you would use a key signature with NO sharps or flats. This does reflect the type of tune, but may mislead the reader.

If a complete score is provided, no harm will be done either way, and the sight-reader may not even notice, but where a tune is to be harmonised, it could make a big difference.


27 Oct 06 - 04:35 AM (#1869755)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: GUEST,Jack Campin

Pavane, could you run the examples in my modes tutorial through HARMONY and send me the results? (I don't have a Windows machine so I can't run your program).


27 Oct 06 - 09:33 AM (#1869922)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: Stilly River Sage

That should have read "great reference." Duh.


27 Oct 06 - 11:31 PM (#1870510)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: Canberra Chris

Thanks Harpmolly. I'd love to hear that Carolan piece transposed modally!

It was the mountain dulcimer that got me into modes since the instrument is set up to work modally. It also starts with a Myxolidian structure, as the fret pattern has as the open fret the first note of the Myxolidian mode. This also inspired me to modify another instrument.

I too love the flattened seventh. Because I got fed up with constantly half-stopping that hole on a penny whistle, I had a Myxolidian whistle made for me, which has been a revelation, as most folk tunes fit much more naturally within its range.

To put it simply, conventional whistles start (all holes stopped) with the first note of the major scale. My whistle starts a third below that, and the major scale starts with the top three holes stopped. Most tunes dip down to a note three below the first note of the major scale (eg to G below C, if played on a C whistle). Therefore they have to be played with normal fingering mostly in the upper register, dipping down only three notes into the lower. On mine it fits neatly into the bottom range, and makes the playing less shrill.

I also have heaps of fun handing it to an unsuspecting conventional whistle player!

Chris


27 Oct 06 - 11:58 PM (#1870533)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: harpmolly

Canberra,

I don't think Beth has recorded it yet, but the arrangement is in her book "The Wandering Folk Harp" (shameless plug *grin*). I really enjoy Beth's harp arrangements because they are lovely but spare, and she includes chords so the lazybones like me can improvise my own accompaniment ;)).

Wow, a Mixolydian whistle! Sounds loverly...

M


28 Oct 06 - 01:28 PM (#1870855)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: GUEST,Jack Campin

If you want a Mixolydian whistle, get a recorder - you have that lower flattened seventh just by putting your little finger down, and the upper one is just as easy to finger as the sharpened one. (A recorder in C is basically a whistle in D with added notes; I use a G alto recorder because it works like a pipe chanter in A).

There is also somebody who makes "chanter whistles", with the fingering even closer to that of a pipe chanter and in B flat. I haven't tried one. I think there's one going on eBay just now.


28 Oct 06 - 02:01 PM (#1870885)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: harpmaker

Fish have scales.


28 Oct 06 - 11:25 PM (#1871076)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: The Fooles Troupe

"To put it simply, conventional whistles start (all holes stopped) with the first note of the major scale. ... Most tunes dip down to a note three below the first note of the major scale (eg to G below C, if played on a C whistle). Therefore they have to be played with normal fingering mostly in the upper register, dipping down only three notes into the lower."

Actually, many of the tunes in G that fit on a C whistle (add a tone to each note and then think 'D whistle'!!!) drop down to notes below the C at the bottom of the top octave, easily to the G in the middle of the lower octave. I have always recognised these tunes as being in the "plagal" version of the modal system... :-)


"Because I got fed up with constantly half-stopping that hole on a penny whistle"

I have seen some 'Irish whistlers' drill an appropriately positioned thumb hole on the back to allow 'single hole' access to that note.


Robin


29 Oct 06 - 06:27 AM (#1871217)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: Tootler

If you really want to find out more about modes and scales try here

The focus of the site is on Renaissance and Mediaeval Art music, but that is where the basic musical theory for the modal system largely discussed in this thread came from. The whole topic is a complex one, but fascinating.

If you go up a level to here, you will see the World Music link deals with various oriental music systems.


29 Oct 06 - 07:40 AM (#1871257)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: GUEST,Jack Campin

It isn't clear which bit of the Early Music FAQ Tootler is pointing to.

In any case, the modal system of chant-centred early music is not adequate for describing folk music, and never was. Gapped scales (which do not occur in chant) need special consideration.

As Todd says himself, he wasn't aiming to provide much detail about non-Western traditions, just to share his personal enthusiasms. www.maqamworld.com is one several more recent sites that goes into far more detail.


29 Oct 06 - 02:13 PM (#1871522)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: DonMeixner

Thank you all for contributing. This has been a fun thread and I learned something as well.

Don


29 Oct 06 - 06:42 PM (#1871690)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: Tootler

To Jack Campin;

I put the link to the index page so that people could browse and explore for themselves rather than direct to a specific page as the information is quite scattered with links within each page to other topics.

In any case, the modal system of chant-centred early music is not adequate for describing folk music, and never was. Gapped scales (which do not occur in chant) need special consideration.

I see the point you are trying to make, but I am not sure I entirely agree.

The underlying principles of the modal system are the same both for Art music up to the renaissance and folk music. In fact the application of modal rules to folk music is probably simpler as there is no issue of musica ficta.

I agree that gapped scales need extra consideration as they lead to ambiguity.


30 Oct 06 - 01:17 AM (#1871900)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: M.Ted

This is quite an ambitious assertion, Tootler--"The underlying principles of the modal system are the same both for Art music up to the renaissance and folk music. In fact the application of modal rules to folk music is probably simpler as there is no issue of musica ficta."

What folk music are you talking about? And what do you mean by "art music"? Which "principles" are you talking about? Do you have any examples to prove your point?


30 Oct 06 - 06:39 PM (#1872545)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: GUEST,r.kaul

Their are many different ways to look at modes. modal music, a mode of a certain scale, and also chord/Scale theory. The altered scale is the seventh mode of the melodic minor scale. Here we look at a certain scale and think starting on the seventh tone of the melodic minor gives us an altered scale. Just like the fifth mode of the major scale is the Mixolydian mode. You can also refer to Old mid-evil music as modal, because even though harmony exsisted, it wasn't grouped into modern day progressions, this happened in the Brouque era. Chord prgressions for the most part have not changed all that much since then, the biggest change is Blues tonality, where the tonic is actually a Dominant or flat seventh chord. Their is also, Atonal, and bi-tonal music, which first appeared in 20th century classical music, however thats a whole different conversation. Modal music been included in Jazz, Funk, and some Rock songs. For example, "Kind of Blue" by miles Davis, or "Oye comma Va", by Santana. Both are great examples of the dorian mode. However if you listen to Kind of Blue, you'll notice he'll play notes outside the dorian scale which are known as "outside" notes, but the song is still considered modal. However people also talk about modes in Chord/Scale theory for example. Dm-G7-Cmaj chord progression or a ii-V-I you could say that the Dm would take the D dorian scale, and the G7 woul take the G mixolydian scale, (or for the adverterous, G Altered scale), and the Cmaj would take a C Ionian, or Major scale. You'll also notice that these scales are just C major scale starting at different points(except the G Altered), but here is an example which doesn't quite work like that. take the chord progression D7-G7-C7-F7-and resolving to BMaj or Bmaj7. over the D7, D Mixolydian, over the G7, G mixolydian, over the C7, C mixolydian, over the F7, F mixolydian/F Altered, and over the Bmaj7, B major, or Ionian. notice that these scales cant be confined as a starting point of a different Major scale like the previous example.


30 Oct 06 - 06:55 PM (#1872557)
Subject: RE: Modes vs Scales
From: The Fooles Troupe

Precisely my point in being so pedantic about what "modal" means.... :-)

all these 'developments' are just that... :-P