You are here

Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Arrangement, instrumentation, lyric writing, music theory, inspiration… it’s all here.

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby Chucho » Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:15 am

Pabs! wrote:Examine this example:

'So What' by Miles Davis (download it off iTunes if you don't have this recording) is rooted around D min but the key is NOT F maj/Dmin. The Key is ACTUALLY C Maj. The D min chord is the ii chord not the vi chord.

The reason the Key is C Maj is because they are all improvising in C Major...


This it total BS and it serves no purpose to spread this muddle headed nonsense to people who are trying to learn this stuff.

Go and ask some real musicians what key 'so what' is in.
Then come back and tell us what they said.
User avatar
Chucho
Poster
Posts: 37
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 12:00 am
Location: NYC
I've got rhythm, I ain't got pitch

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby ClayButler » Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:23 pm

I think the problem with modes is that people mentally make them more difficult than they really are (myself included). For folks trying to wrap their minds around modes for the first time, here's a practical way of looking at their use in your performing/improvising. It focuses on the chord progression to find your mode.

http://claybutlermusic.com/blog1/2009/09/11/music-theory-going-modal/

http://claybutlermusic.com/blog1/2009/09/15/music-theory-modal-chord-progressions/
ClayButler
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:00 am

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby Guitar Wizard » Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:27 pm

Ian Stewart wrote:Am I alone in thinking that the subject of modes is the most boring subject in music? I personally would rather discuss the different qualities of paper software manuals are printed on. This obsession with modes is responsable for some of the most boring jazz ever produced.

I'm with Feline1 here - as far as I am concerned a Cmajor chord over Db is precisely that. It is not related to any mode, you do not hear it as a mode and cannot be explained as a mode.

Modes are the Linus blanket for people who can't let go and just use their ears.


mmmm you are wrong C chord over Db would be an altered interval
C add b9 which also could be a altered dom mode if you used a b7 to support the b9 or a maj7th b9 would be a mode.Modes can be derived by any number of note selection.So anything you play is in actuality a mode.
User avatar
Guitar Wizard
Poster
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:00 pm

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby Pabs » Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:53 am

Chucho wrote:
Pabs! wrote:Examine this example:

'So What' by Miles Davis (download it off iTunes if you don't have this recording) is rooted around D min but the key is NOT F maj/Dmin. The Key is ACTUALLY C Maj. The D min chord is the ii chord not the vi chord.

The reason the Key is C Maj is because they are all improvising in C Major...


This it total BS and it serves no purpose to spread this muddle headed nonsense to people who are trying to learn this stuff.

Go and ask some real musicians what key 'so what' is in.
Then come back and tell us what they said.

It's modal. Thats the whole point.. but if someone doesn't know what D dorian I'm just gonna tell em to play in C Major.

Hope this helps

How shall we proceed?

Thank you, come again!
User avatar
Pabs
Regular
Posts: 160
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2004 11:00 pm
 

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby ElecTrika-MixTek » Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:50 am

David Etheridge wrote:
Modes have a long history back to medieval days; the days when 'official' music was the province of the church and many melodies were sung by monks in unison in chuches and monasteries.
Hence they were given names from ancient Greece (I believe) in keeping with the academic nature of the music.
Hi Dave,
I believe the names of the modes refer to the prominent tribes of Ancient Greece and the fact that such scales/modes were actually in use in ancient times. Naturally the medeival developments (Gregorian modes) are based on the earlier Greek texts, but the names are more than just passing academic references; the substantial theory was already well developed by the time Aristotle was teaching, so the medeival developments are a later evolution, or a response to some mathematico-aesthetic problems ultimately solved by what is now know as contemporary scale theory.
User avatar
ElecTrika-MixTek
Regular
Posts: 185
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:00 am

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby David Etheridge » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:11 pm

Hi EMT,
many thanks for the clarification- it's all Greek to me! :headbang:

(bad joke -okay officer, I'll come quietly..... :roll:)

Dave
:lol:
David Etheridge
Regular
Posts: 334
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2002 11:00 pm
Lots of Ataris which keep on going, 12 Kurzweil 1000 modules, a bunch of hardware synths. Still recording to tape -the old ways are best.....

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby agent funk » Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:54 pm

"Well my lord, if it sounds like Greek it probably is Greek."

sorry couldn't resist - Blackadder series 1.
User avatar
agent funk
Frequent Poster
Posts: 769
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 11:00 pm

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby Adrian Clark » Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:48 pm

ElecTrika-MixTek wrote:I believe the names of the modes refer to the prominent tribes of Ancient Greece and the fact that such scales/modes were actually in use in ancient times. Naturally the medeival developments (Gregorian modes) are based on the earlier Greek texts, but the names are more than just passing academic references; the substantial theory was already well developed by the time Aristotle was teaching, so the medeival developments are a later evolution, or a response to some mathematico-aesthetic problems ultimately solved by what is now know as contemporary scale theory.

All three modal systems (ancient Greek, medieval, modern) are similar in concept... different melodic results produced by different combinations of intervals built from a central root note. If I recall correctly, though, there's no continuity in the names used. Our Lydian has nothing to do with the original Greek Lydian mode.

The medieval system was a bit more fiddly than ours. We just have a root and a set of intervals, but in the medieval modes there was a distinction between the 'final' (root) and the 'reciting tone' (the main note used in a liturgical chant).

There were four basic modes, equivalent to our Dorian, Phrygian, Mixolydian and Lydian, but each one had 'authentic' and 'plagal' variants, depending on where the root sat in relation to the vocal range.
Adrian Clark
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2002 11:00 pm
Location: Epsom, UK

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby Daniel Davis » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:23 pm

Most songs today are indeed in Major and Minor (Ionian and Aolian)

Locrian is barely used due to the lack of a major or minor chord on the root - Sad But True

The remaining 4 common scales with a distinct modal feel are


Dorian Mode - Greensleeves, What shall we do with the drunken sailor?, Scarborough Fair, Smoke on the Water, Eleanor Rigby

Myxolydian Mode - Sweet Home Alabama, Norwegian Wood, I feel free, Sympathy for the Devil

Lydian - the Simpson's theme

Phrygian - White Rabbit
Daniel Davis
Regular
Posts: 460
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 12:00 am

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:00 pm

Daniel Davis wrote:Most songs today are indeed in Major and Minor (Ionian and Aolian)

Locrian is barely used due to the lack of a major or minor chord on the root - Sad But True

Why sad? Locrian (like the VII chord) exists in theory. In practice it's not much use, or always actually sounds like something else. That's fine, isn't it?
Exalted Wombat
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5659
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:00 am
Location: London UK
You don't have to write songs. The world doesn't want you to write songs. It would probably prefer it if you didn't. So write songs if you want to. Otherwise, dont. Go fishing instead.

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby Daniel Davis » Tue Jun 28, 2011 4:41 pm

Exalted Wombat wrote:
Daniel Davis wrote:Most songs today are indeed in Major and Minor (Ionian and Aolian)

Locrian is barely used due to the lack of a major or minor chord on the root - Sad But True

Why sad? Locrian (like the VII chord) exists in theory. In practice it's not much use, or always actually sounds like something else. That's fine, isn't it?

That would be the song 'Sad but True' by Metallica
Daniel Davis
Regular
Posts: 460
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 12:00 am

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby meritonemusic » Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:37 am


I've put together a playlist of free practice backing tracks for the 7 major scale modes that you guys might find useful as well...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m37y2mltNNI&list=PLVVk2nQ5iO89AH9bzJPESyjrgs7QUCQUo

They all start from the same place (C), so that you can really learn, compare and internalise the unique pattern of each mode.


Happy practising :)
meritonemusic
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:00 am

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby Daniel Davis » Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:29 am

It's not that any of you are saying anything wrong, it's all good, but I am going to give away a secret. This will be in a book I am writing, so credit me it you reproduce it.

The only reason the 7 modes (not the more exotic ones) line up on a keyboard is because the keyboard and modes are derived from the same theory and NOT BECAUSE THE MODES ARE DERIVED FROM A MAJOR SCALE. Yes it's not a bad way of remembering patterns - I'll give you that. But the pattern of the keyboard hides the underlying pattern of the modes.

If you pick 7 tones from 12 = 7C12 = 792 possible 7-note scales. So why do we use these 7? and why are there only 7?

I have some lovely diagrams demonstrating all these points, but don't know if I can attatch a file here. but see if you can follow the main points without picture...

The most popular mode before the introduction of tonality in the 18th Century was Dorian.

Dorian has the Tonic (or Final) plus 3 steps up on the cycle of 5ths and 3 steps down on the cycle of fifths. It was seen as balanced and perfect.

e.g. F - C - G - D - A - E - B

All of the other modes are also consecutive steps on the cycle of fifths just with different numbers of fifths up and down. That is why there are 7.

Lydian = 6 up F - C - G - D - A - E - B
Major = 5 up 1down F - C - G - D - A - E - B
Mixolydian = 4 up 3 down F - C - G - D - A - E - B
Dorian = 3 up 3 down F - C - G - D - A - E - B
Aolean = 2 up 4 down F - C - G - D - A - E - B
Phygian = 1 up 5 down F - C - G - D - A - E - B
Locrian = 6 down F - C - G - D - A - E - B

The same reason gives us the pattern of the keyboard - all the white notes are consecutive steps on the cycle of fifths.

The same reason shows why in order to go up a fifth you need to add one more sharp to the key signature.

The same reason shows why the sharps and flats come in the order that they do.

The same reason is used to derive Temperaments.

and so on...

That cycle of fifths diagram you find in all the textbooks is not just for show!

So remembering the white notes is a good memory aid - but I hope understanding the actual derivation of modes makes them simpler for you.

Editor... if you want an article on this just ask.
Daniel Davis
Regular
Posts: 460
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 12:00 am

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby Sam Inglis » Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:21 am

Daniel Davis wrote:
The most popular mode before the introduction of tonality in the 18th Century was Dorian.

I'm curious about this -- most popular in what context?

As part of my slightly random quest to dig up obscure folk songs I bought a copy of Simpson's The British Broadside Ballad And Its Music. Most of the tunes printed there are from the 16th and 17th century, and it's noticeable that very few of them use the minor modes that have a flat seventh, such as Dorian and Aeolian. I'm not sure you would hear those modes much in composers like Dowland or Purcell either, would you?

In songs collected from folk singers in the 19th and 20th centuries, by contrast, these modes are very common.
Sam Inglis
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2318
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 12:00 am

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby Daniel Davis » Tue Jun 17, 2014 12:09 pm

Dorian was the most popular mode in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Something like half of all plainchant is Dorian. Obviously polyphonic music derived from plainchant has a similar distribution of modes.

The move from modal to tonal music happened gradually - so yes, there is a lot of music in 16th and 17th century which starts flattening the 6th in Dorian - even though to our ears with a flattened sixth it must be Aeolean and the major sixth is THE characteristic of Dorian. There is also a lot of musica ficta where accidentals were used in performance which are not notated.
Daniel Davis
Regular
Posts: 460
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 12:00 am

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby Sam Inglis » Tue Jun 17, 2014 2:14 pm

Interesting. So when did the modern minor scale with the sharp seventh become the norm? It must have been well under way by the late 16th century at least in some quarters -- it's very noticeable in the Elizabethan tunes in Simpson etc (like the most well known version of Greensleeves).

I wonder whether folk song as transmitted orally continued to use the older modes all the time, or whether it reverted to them later.
Sam Inglis
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2318
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 12:00 am

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby Jathon Delsy » Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:04 pm

Modes and scales are great, but as a composer I think in terms of interval and harmonies, trying to reflect the poetry and message of my vision as best I can using all the notes and intervals.
But in the past I studied all the modes extensively, and this has been an invaluable help in training my ear and learning my technique.
I suppose modes are a bit like the rules of grammar when speaking or writing. They're there, but it's what your saying that really matters.
However, it's good to be able to hear clearly in your mind the distinctive sound of each mode, and develop an emotional connection(s) with this sound, as this will give you a palate of colours and feelings to use, and the ability to articulate them musically.
Jathon Delsy
Regular
Posts: 76
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2014 12:00 am
Location: London, England.
https://www.youtube.com/user/jathondelsy

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby Vilen » Wed May 13, 2015 5:55 pm

Vilen
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat May 09, 2015 11:00 pm

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby Vilen » Wed May 13, 2015 5:59 pm

The use of the mode D in plainchant may be possibly explained in the following way: if we consider diatonic scale in in order of Pythagorean tuning then we get the sequence of notes F, C, G, D, A, E, B.
It is known that the nearer notes in sequence of Pythagorean tuning the stronger their temporal ties, namely those which exist thank to overtones. The note D is exactly in the center of this sequence. It may mean that the note D is most valid as central note of melody. Later temporal ties were more and more provided by chord and chord progressions and d mode was driven back by major and minor modes.

Greetins
Yuri Vilenkin
Vilen
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat May 09, 2015 11:00 pm

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby Guest » Wed Sep 07, 2016 9:32 pm

Without knowing nowt about say nuclear fusion, I’m fully aware that our Sun gets bloody ‘ot and its ‘eat travels 90 odd million miles to Earth and can burn me skin and or scorch the Earth…

All this pontificating is all well an’ good, but intervals/voice leading are intervals/voice leading regardless of modes, ain’t they?

So just use your ears, I’d written a good few tunes in several modes I was completely unaware/ignorant of at the time of writing, didn’t even know there was such a thing as a pentatonic scale, but it didn’t stop me composing plenty of half decent music within its narrow defining parameters

Also, for the record, there’s no such thing as a “key change,” especially as it opposes most of wot’s being touted ‘ere… er, I think.

Those that can do, those that cain’t, teach.

Teachers, (though highly valuable) I can do without, especially when concerning the Arts, you can’t be instructed in genius.
Guest

PreviousNext

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users