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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: MODES, what's in it for fiddlers?


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.fiddlehangout.com/archive/44886

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haggis - Posted - 08/22/2016:  07:12:14


Tunes in a fake book have a key signature plus an indication of the mode.... why?



If I learn a tune by ear or by the dots, how does it benefit me, a fiddler, to know which mode I am playing?

farmerjones - Posted - 08/22/2016:  07:32:46


So you can talk about it with somebody else that knows about modes.

Addie - Posted - 08/22/2016:  07:40:45


If you don't know the answer, they don't matter.  That may sound rude, but I think it's more or less true.



If we were talking just Scottish music, D Dorian or A Mixolydian would tell you it's a Gaelic/Highlands-Islands tune, and so give it that flavour.  If we're talking chords, it helps knowing, but I'm still learning here...

DougD - Posted - 08/22/2016:  07:56:47


I think its there to explain what otherwise might seem to be an error in the key signature - a tune in A written with only two sharps, for example. And also to let people know the tune is not really in D.


Dick Hauser - Posted - 08/22/2016:  08:48:06


Doug is right.   When I first learned the tune "June Apple", I wondered why every "G" note was played as a flat.  In addition I wondered why the key signature wasn't "D" instead of "A".  Later I read a thread that explained things.  I still don't like cluttering a tune with lots of flat notes.  

haggis - Posted - 08/22/2016:  08:48:42


quote:

Originally posted by Addie

 

If you don't know the answer, they don't matter.  That may sound rude, but I think it's more or less true.




If we were talking just Scottish music, D Dorian or A Mixolydian would tell you it's a Gaelic/Highlands-Islands tune, and so give it that flavour.  If we're talking chords, it helps knowing, but I'm still learning here...







Note that I am asking how  I would benefit in my fiddle playing from knowing the mode, if I already have the key signature and/or can play the tune.Perhaps you may be right about placing it's origin, but I am not sure that would help my playing. I posed the original question because my son , an army piper, to whom I put the same question could not say  how it assisted him in knowing he was playing a modal tune? I think you are probably nearer the mark when you talk of chords. Thanks for your interest.

fiddlinsteudel - Posted - 08/22/2016:  09:27:28


I'm no expert, but if you know the mode, couldn't it influence how you improvise?

DougD - Posted - 08/22/2016:  09:45:50


To elaborate: The "key signature" does not really tell what key a piece is in. It merely indicates what notes are to be played higher or lower throughout the piece. It's a convenience to avoid having to write flats or sharps throughout the piece. For example, a piece with a key signature of one sharp could be in G major, E minor, D Mixolydian or A Dorian, etc. So the modal indication is added to indicate that its not in the "expected" major or minor key. This is pretty common in transcribing folk music.



 



 



Here's an article that mentions this:  en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Key_signature



 



 



Edited by - DougD on 08/22/2016 09:46:29

pete_fiddle - Posted - 08/22/2016:  10:06:45


The mode stated is the "Home" mode ...any thing else is a departure, maybe?...



the key sig just gives you the equivalent "Ionian" mode.......but sometimes it's round the other way, like someone will give you the key sig for A, when really they mean A mixolidian, ... i think that's how i think of em in fiddle tunes, but i think  there are other ways of using em, in Modal Jazz etc, or just as handy finger patterns.



it's a minefield cause there are conflicting opinions of how they are used,(probably because there are different ways of using them) i have even heard really good players referring to a tune as a " Mogul " tune



i like it when some body tells me the mode it's like the "setting" for the tune, and it's nearest neighbors....or which part of the spectrum is central, and then i know the "colours" either side.

DougD - Posted - 08/22/2016:  11:17:46


Pete, I like your last paragraph about the mode being the "setting" for the tune and establishing its "color." However, the notion that the key signature implies a particular key is a misconception. It only shows what notes are to be played sharp or flat, not their placement in the scale. And it would only be the "Ionian" mode if that's the only one you know. Read the Wikipedia article.



 



 



Haggis - are you referring to a particular "fakebook?"



 



 



Edited by - DougD on 08/22/2016 11:25:37

pete_fiddle - Posted - 08/22/2016:  11:43:19


Doug : yeah i think most people think of Ionian (Do Re Me..etc) that's why i wrote that....personally i think of it as the Dorian mode in the middle and the other modes radiating out from it



Lydian, Ionian, Mixolidian,  Dorian, Aolian, Phrygian, Locrian....but like i said each to their own,



 could be analagous to the colour wheel ROYGBIV ??


Edited by - pete_fiddle on 08/22/2016 12:01:44

MikeM70 - Posted - 08/22/2016:  12:28:26


modes are there to put me back in my place whenever I think I'm getting my head round music theory.

Addie - Posted - 08/22/2016:  13:26:00


Army piper?  I'm impressed.  When I was piping, I didn't know anything about key signatures and modes, or even pentatonic.  Play the notes, ply like you re taught, even the piobaireachd. 



But, at a recent Irish-Scottish session, the Highland "modal" tunes I played made the Irish folks shrug and shake their heads, until I produced sheet music with guitar chords. 



So, (I think) knowing the mode, you identify, the tonic, dominant etc, rather than just playing random chords that match the key signature.  So like Mark S. says, you need the mode to improvise.  If you're just interested in the melody, modes don't really matter. 



 



amwildman - Posted - 08/22/2016:  18:33:15


It has less to do with being a better fiddler and more to do with being a better musician.

bees - Posted - 08/22/2016:  18:54:27



In a jam session, if I am going to pick or fiddle a modal tune like Old Joe Clark with a bunch of guitarists, I would tell them it is in the key of A because that way they will get most of the chords right. Then I tell them that when it sounds funny they need to play a G. That's a long-winded way of saying A mixolydian but most of them don't know what Amix means. If they knew what Amix meant they would get it right without any discussion.

pete_fiddle - Posted - 08/23/2016:  03:58:59


quote:

Originally posted by bees

 



In a jam session, if I am going to pick or fiddle a modal tune like Old Joe Clark with a bunch of guitarists, I would tell them it is in the key of A because that way they will get most of the chords right. Then I tell them that when it sounds funny they need to play a G. That's a long-winded way of saying A mixolydian but most of them don't know what Amix means. If they knew what Amix meant they would get it right without any discussion.







And to me at least, a key sig of 2 sharps would make sense.... but that may be just me, ....



That would suggest the key of D major or B minor to folk who didn't know the tune,(both would sound awful), then (on the fly), they would probably hear the A drone and try Am and E7 (yuck), then after a while they would probably sus out the A and G chords.... by then the tunes over and they are saying "what was that missing chord?".... then they go into a great rendition of a Django Reinhardt tune in Bb and expect you to be able to play the head, and improvise like Stephane Grappelli....surprise

ChickenMan - Posted - 08/23/2016:  08:02:40


quote:
Originally posted by pete_fiddle
 

And to me at least, a key sig of 2 sharps would make sense.... but that may be just me, ....


That would suggest the key of D major or B minor to folk who didn't know the tune,(both would sound awful), then (on the fly), they would probably hear the A drone and try Am and E7 (yuck), then after a while they would probably sus out the A and G chords.... by then the tunes over and they are saying "what was that missing chord?".... then they go into a great rendition of a Django Reinhardt tune in Bb and expect you to be able to play the head, and improvise like Stephane Grappelli....surprise




Except giving that info to guitar players (as in bees' example) is just as useless as saying mixolydian. Most guitar players, even if they play melody, don't know a sharp from a flat - they generally play patterns.

As for me and how modes inform my fiddling.... they don't really, at least not in relation to haggis' question. After learning the tune, I would file that sound in the noggin and then when I hear a similarly 'flavored' tune, I would be able to say to myself, "that must be blah blah mode" but the mode is not really necessary for me to play the tune. Ultimately I would just let my ears guide me if improvisation was involved.

haggis - Posted - 08/23/2016:  10:23:10


quote: I understand that all of the modes you have mentioned are containing only notes of the G major scale. The question is,with respect , how does knowing the mode  help me play the tune. In other words, assume I have a key signature of two sharps but do not know it is a D Mixolydian mode. What do I gain through being told that it is not simply a G major tune but that it centres around the tone D or a D dominant chord....... given that the melody is the melody?




Originally posted by DougD

 

To elaborate: The "key signature" does not really tell what key a piece is in. It merely indicates what notes are to be played higher or lower throughout the piece. It's a convenience to avoid having to write flats or sharps throughout the piece. For example, a piece with a key signature of one sharp could be in G major, E minor, D Mixolydian or A Dorian, etc. So the modal indication is added to indicate that its not in the "expected" major or minor key. This is pretty common in transcribing folk music.




 




 




Here's an article that mentions this:  en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Key_signature




 




 


 




 

haggis - Posted - 08/23/2016:  10:29:51


quote: Brody's " The Fiddler's Fakebook."

Originally posted by DougD

 

Pete, I like your last paragraph about the mode being the "setting" for the tune and establishing its "color." However, the notion that the key signature implies a particular key is a misconception. It only shows what notes are to be played sharp or flat, not their placement in the scale. And it would only be the "Ionian" mode if that's the only one you know. Read the Wikipedia article.




 




 




Haggis - are you referring to a particular "fakebook?"




 




 


 




 

fujers - Posted - 08/23/2016:  11:51:56


I say if you don't know anything about modes don't worry about them. There will come a time that knowing how these things work will be important to your playing.



Mark something of interest. 'I'm no expert, but if you know the mode, couldn't it influence how you improvise"



The answer is yes it does. Everything that you learn now will lead you to where you want to be.



Modes are important to know but not necessary unless you want to improvise...if you want to improvise they come very important to you. Just about every song you learn is going to use modes is it important to know witch modes you are playing in...not right now..just learn the song and as you progress it will be clearer of how things work. Jerry 

buckhenry - Posted - 08/23/2016:  16:21:00


quote:

Originally posted by haggis

 

Tunes in a fake book have a key signature plus an indication of the mode.... why?




If I learn a tune by ear or by the dots, how does it benefit me, a fiddler, to know which mode I am playing?







This is to make you seem really clever when you tell the other musos what mode of which key you are playing a tune in, just in case you could not tell that from reading the notes or not knowing that from the notes you have learnt by ear. 





But, this is very important for an improviser to know the difference between the modes. An experienced improviser will know the notes of a song upon knowing the first chord, or he will hear the notes and then know immediately the key/mode and thus know the patterns the notes make all over the fingerboard and play anywhere spontaneously. The name of such key/mode is only important to distinguish them in the learning stage and to communicate them to people whom have interest.   

peewee - Posted - 08/24/2016:  06:53:12


IMHO, the point of learning music theory isn't to learn theory, but to improve your playing. Ultimately, the goal is to get the theory into your ears and under your fingers. You don't need to actually learn theory to do so, but it's a shortcut for a lot of people.



Modes have the same notes, but a different sound and color. Everyone recognizes a minor scale as sounding "sad" even though it has all the same notes as it's relative major (e.g. Em and G). Order of the notes is important. Playing a G major scale over E minor doesn't sound the same as playing E minor over E minor. Playing a D major scale over an A mixolydian tune isn't the same as playing an A mixolydian scale. 



The mixolydian mode shows up all the time in old-time, Irish, and Scottish fiddling and you should be able to recognize it when you hear it. Learning theory helps a lot of people to recognize and categorize sounds. Other people just play a ton of tunes by ear and eventually realize that June Apple, Red Haired Boy, Salt Creek, and Old Joe Clark have similar patterns. I don't think either way is wrong, but for me, learning the theory is a shorter path to that end goal of finding which notes sound good..

fujers - Posted - 08/24/2016:  21:09:32


I know peewee, can't see the forest for the trees I would say. There are lots of people out there that don't know a thing about what they play and play some amazing stuff and of course there are some people that know everything of what they should play and can't play snot. Such as life I guess. I'm the first one. I mean I didn't know any of this stuff till I got into my early forty's and to tell you the truth I still don't know that much. It wasn't untill I got into the western band that It really opened my eyes. I could play just about anything they wanted and it was not good enough...thats when the lights went off. I did not use my modes as they are meant to be played. Now days I use them a little bit better and I still play with the western band from time to time. Do I notice the difference...hell yeah I do. Improve you just have two ways to go...you are going to play around your maj or min scales...or you are going to use maj and min and modes and pents. To me for some of the tunes you mentioned or going to be found in pent. It's just when you play on the outside of things do modes really come up..but some people use it anyway and with great taste. Now you don't have to be some wiz kid that just came up the block to improvise. You can take just one chord and play as much as you want to...just have to play something different in each passage. I do it all the time. Improve will greatly teach you a lot of things...but depending on what kind of fiddle you want to play is the question. If you are are happy with what you play and don't want nothing else..then stay there. If you want more from fiddling then you are going to have to explore arn't you. In this category I am number 2. There is nothing that you can't acheive. Weather it is the first option or the second option...you just have to want it. Jerry

Petimar - Posted - 08/25/2016:  15:08:09


Theory knowledge doesn't make a player better by itself, IMHO.

BUT: there are folks who feel knowledge of what they are playing improves their confidence in what they are playing, and that confidence usually manifests in a better sound...

boxbow - Posted - 08/26/2016:  08:50:31


Sometimes you have to say, "It goes like this" and demonstrate.  Sometimes you have to say, "It's a flatted third."  I'll never be able to use music theory predictively, like a scientist might use theory.  It's mostly useful to me descriptively, and so far, I still can't tell you what a Locrian arp over a G chord might be.  I haven't tried hard enough yet.  Maybe I never will.

pete_fiddle - Posted - 08/26/2016:  09:35:57


B locrian over G no 3rd , and G/ Fin the bass chords, sounds a bit like the start of "Garfield's Blackberry Blossom" to me :O)

alaskafiddler - Posted - 08/26/2016:  16:52:16


quote:

Originally posted by haggis

 

Tunes in a fake book have a key signature plus an indication of the mode.... why?




If I learn a tune by ear or by the dots, how does it benefit me, a fiddler, to know which mode I am playing?







A lot of music theory is just an explanation of structure; as well terminology, letter names, key, mode, major/minor, flat, sharp... 1, 4, 5 is communicating and explaining to others. The mode is listed in the fake book, because it means something; is just an extension of describing "what key is this in?" that many folks find beneficial.



Think of it this way. If you start with all the possible notes (29 on fiddle first position up to b'); just use numbers 1-29 to tell you what to play... .. one idea is to be a machine that just follows sequential instructions; just what sequence of which 1-29 to play. (like a computer, which doesn't require any more than that). Replacing numbers with letter names doesn't necessarily change that.



The alternative is it's about how the notes are organized, structured, the framework. Most of this music is music because it has organization, fits in structural framework; starting with besides octaves, then as reduced set of notes in octave (7 rather than 12 for example). Beyond just showing which 7, the sharps and sharps/flats, can be described this way:



KEY = is just the note name; as the home or central note; to which all the other notes in the melody revolve and resolve to. (also called tonic)

MODE = is then the modifier, layout about other notes as related to that note name (key) - Major, Dorian, Mixolydian.... that the tune is based on. Could be stated as scales, whole and half step sequence; but IMO it's focus of what other harmonic relationships; notes/intervals, as they relate to the the home note.  (fifth, third, sixth, seventh... and if minor/major); as well as some qualities that occur with each.



One benefit (to me) is less to think about or remember; going from just a sequence of 1 to 29 possible notes without any rhyme or reason, framework;  -  to one of having focus on structure, frames or schema; each having certain qualities, expectations/anticipations; this helps focus my mental framework, fingering, bowing to even more...So just need to think the scheme of  Ionian/major, Dorian or Mixolydian, and which tonal center. This in turn helps being able to quickly grasp the tune (picking up tunes by ear or in reading/interpreting) that it makes sense why to melody this note or that note; that also helps me recall the tunes; rather than memorize unstructured note for note sequence,  just need to think basic contour and it will thus just want naturally fit in the framework of mode and which key (tonal center).



The expansion of this, grasping the structure(s), and why of it... helps with going beyond note by note to applying nuance of emphasis/weight in phrasing, articulation and expression. It is this latter, that takes if from the dots (or memorized by ear) mere note to note quantitative instruction sequence.. like an abc/midi player...  and elevates it to qualitative music experience. That is the main benefit.



----



IMO - many, if not most folks (who play well) end up forming these concepts of structure/framework and grasping differences; at least on some built intuitive level; just from experience. Even if they have limited or lack any technical terminology or formal explanation. Names (modes, key, jigs hornpipe, reel...) are just a shorthand to encompass the longer description of structures, to convey and communicate.

bluesmode - Posted - 08/26/2016:  22:04:08


quote:

Originally posted by Petimar

 

Theory knowledge doesn't make a player better by itself, IMHO.



BUT: there are folks who feel knowledge of what they are playing improves their confidence in what they are playing, and that confidence usually manifests in a better sound...







for me, confidence is a key word (never mind the pun) If I know which mode is required, I can't hit a wrong note. The challenge then becomes turning it into music. but knowing the mode 'centers' me for 4 note arps, 5 note pents, 6 note major/minor blues scales, 7 note major scale, 8 note diminished & bebop scales. disclaimer: I can't speak for the modes of harmonic minor (yet)



Apologies to the OP, as I also can't speak to modes in relation to fiddling, But when I see the word mode, it's very hard to resist saying.....something. Petimar's statement rang a bell with me.

gapbob - Posted - 08/27/2016:  04:19:36


Mixolydian mode, chords are typically major-major, A mixolydian chords would tend to be A-G.



Dorian mode, chords are typically minor-major, so if in the key of A Dorian, chords tend to be Am-G, e Dorian, Em-D.



 

fujers - Posted - 08/27/2016:  22:04:51


George, You give a might fine expatiation of how things work. Now could you put that into laymen terms.



Most of us here don't understand of what you speak of and frankly it's out of my realm.



I mean you talk some very interesting stuff but it's way other the typical players head. If you can do...but I understand if you can't. 



 George I asked you many times to demonstrate your playing and it lands on deaf ears. Just give us something anything so we can hear you...is that to hard to ask. I like to read your responses to other fiddle player questions but they do no good unless you can play them. Demonstrations are king. Jerry  



 

farmerjones - Posted - 08/29/2016:  13:59:59


I thought we were all told 47 days ago?



Modes, Modes, Modes



 



 

fujers - Posted - 08/29/2016:  16:49:10


If you are asking me..48 years this August

buckhenry - Posted - 08/29/2016:  20:38:39


quote:

Originally posted by fujers

 

Now could you put that into laymen terms.




 









Jerry, George did put it in very basic and easy to read terms.....What you need is very simplistic terms for the Hill Billy.....ya'll  he he.............

fujers - Posted - 08/29/2016:  21:05:01


Well yeah. I like George and talks some good stuff for you and me. But he doesn't speak loud and clear to most of the people on this site. I just wished that he could talk to the novices and say what he's talking about and put it in to clear language thats all..speak so that everyone can understand not just us egg heads. Jerry

mmuussiiccaall - Posted - 08/30/2016:  09:41:33


The mode is found in the notes that are in the chords and melody. Usually they are given some life by the three blue notes b3 b5 b7.



 



for example:



song in A



1 A chord = A C# E



4 D chord = D F# A



5 E chord = E G# B



put those notes in alphabetical order starting with the key note



A B C# D E F# G# which equals the major scale (Ionian Mode)



add the blue notes into the mix   b3 C,    b5 Eb,    b7 G



total here is ten notes available, sounds easy but it’s all about when to play them and in what rhythm.



The melody will usually use close to the ten notes as above, even if you have a song with one chord the melody will still give you the pitches needed to determine the mode. If the melody and the chords don’t use certain degrees of the scale you can try to add them at your discretion, for ex. 6 or b6 etc.

Peghead - Posted - 09/02/2016:  17:38:51


It's only useful if you want it to be and you are curious. I was already a pretty good player before I knew anything about music theory. I practiced all the major scales in all the keys. It was an eye opener when It was pointed out to me that all the minor scales and others were all imbedded there. For years they were right there already under my fingers and I didn't even know it! Is it useful? I think that depends on what style and how you like to play. 


RinconMtnErnie - Posted - 09/03/2016:  11:42:42


Because the OP is from Scotland, here is a page on Scottish fiddling that includes a simple discussion of modes: fiddlingaround.co.uk/scotland/...usic.html



Here is a quote from that page: The bagpipe chanter has just 9 notes; G, A, B, C#, D, E, F, G and A. It is incapable of playing G#, and so the mixolydian mode is the natural choice.



If true, this means that is is impossible to play an A-major scale on the bagpipe. It is only possible to play an A-mixolydian scale. This means lots of Scottish tunes are going to be in A-mixolydian. If you as a fiddler play G# in those tunes, it will sound wrong.



 



 



 



 



 



 


Edited by - RinconMtnErnie on 09/03/2016 11:44:04

timfiskwa - Posted - 09/03/2016:  15:48:41


Ernie, That link describes some unusual characteristics of Scottish modal music. It emphasizes the "double tonic" concept I favor when playing modal tunes.



Cannon, in his book "The Highland Bagpipe and its Music", uses a

different system for naming pentatonic modes than anything I've used so far.

He describes three pitch sets, which he calls the A, D and G scales:



X:0

T:Cannon's A-scale (D,G-gap)

N:A lydian/major/mixolydian pentatonic

N:E major/mixolydian/dorian pentatonic

N:B mixolydian/dorian/minor pentatonic

N:F# dorian/minor/phrygian pentatonic

M:none

L:1/4

K:AMix

A2 B c e f a2 f e c B A2|]



X:0

T:Cannon's D-scale (G,C-gap)

N:D lydian/major/mixolydian pentatonic

N:A major/mixolydian/dorian pentatonic

N:E mixolydian/dorian/minor pentatonic

N:B dorian/minor/phrygian pentatonic

M:none

L:1/4

K:AMix

A B d2 e f a f e d2 B A|]



X:0

T:Cannon's G-scale (F,C-gap)

N:G lydian/major/mixolydian pentatonic

N:D major/mixolydian/dorian pentatonic

N:A mixolydian/dorian/minor pentatonic

N:E dorian/minor/phrygian pentatonic

M:none

L:1/4

K:AMix

G2 A B d e g2 a g2 e d B A G2|]



A (the pitch of the drones) is the only tonal centre that can fit

into all three scales.



Cannon sees these scales as allowing tunes to have "double tonic"

structures, or phrases which suggest alternating tonal centres.

Each has four possible centres, but in practice most tunes only

use two. Here is an example he mentions, on the G scale: the gaps

have mostly been filled in with passing notes, but the only tonal

centres are G and A, and unusually with G coming first in each

four-bar phrase. (The third part is different, moving between A

and D, but the third parts of four-part pipe tunes are often later

additions). If you were putting guitar chords to this, each part

would only need two chords.


Edited by - timfiskwa on 09/03/2016 15:49:43

Addie - Posted - 09/03/2016:  16:20:32


I did mention that A-mix is common in Scots Gaelic tunes.  cheeky



The double tonic is dealt with in Collinson, and Roderick Cannon is an authority to pay attention to!  The scale of the bagpipe and its music is sort of a chicken-or-egg question.  Each note of the chanter chords with the drones--that's how you tell if one of the notes is out, after you tune A and A' and check that they both match a drone tuned to one of them.  But a huge body of A-mix Gaelic songs have no historical relationship with bagpipes and bagpipe tunes.



There is also an alternate fingering for G' used in piobaireachd

Addie - Posted - 09/03/2016:  16:31:29


P.S. The alternate fingering changes the pitch.



For a standard bagpipe scale in ABC Notation, use



K:HP

Addie - Posted - 09/03/2016:  20:09:05


I don't know how to do a continuous drone in ABC.  Anyone?



X:1

M:None

L:1/4

K:HP

V:1

G A B c | defg | a g f e | d c B A | G4 |]

V:2

A,4 | A,4 | A,4 | A,4 | A,4 |]

V:3 clef=bass middle=d transpose=-24

A4 | A4 | A4 | A4 | A4 |]

theimprovingmusician - Posted - 09/17/2016:  12:00:54


This topic has come up before. I posted the videos I made on the topic, so perhaps I'll do it again, with this very brief explanation that changed how I saw modes:  



It's useful, as others have already pointed out, to think of the modes as tonal centers, rather than scales. Each mode/tonality has characteristic pitches and harmonic functions (chords). Understanding these tonal centers, and their characteristic pitches and chords helps you know what it is you're playing, allows for ease of improvisation, and allows you to predict where the music is likely going, either melodically or harmonically. 



Should you choose to watch the videos, the first one explains the concept of Tonality, and the second one goes through each tonality (Major, Minor, Dorian, Mixolydian, etc.). 


RinconMtnErnie - Posted - 09/17/2016:  13:35:57


Those are good videos, T.I.M.  The first thing I do when trying to identify the mode of a tune is to identify the "tonal center" or "tonic". An example tune that I think has a pretty obvious tonic is the Scottish Tune "Flora MacDonald". Here is a link to a slower version. youtube.com/watch?v=cLnQR9STiTg



And here is a link to a more sophisticated version buried in the middle of a set: youtube.com/watch?v=Eq3UTn7d1VM



If I said "I'll give you a shiny gold ingot if you whistle the tonal center of that tune", I'll bet most people could whistle an E. Flora MacDonald just keeps coming back to E, so it's pretty obvious that is the tonal center of the tune. Once you've identified the tonic, the modal scale starting from the tonic is fairly obvious. (Dorian)



 

bluesmode - Posted - 09/17/2016:  21:14:31


@theimprovingmusician: I'm glad you re-posted these, especially the Grounding Tonal Sequences, as I forgot where they were. These are nice little melodies that I don't play 'as such'. I'm just gonna call them riffs for short. I'm thinking it might be worth while to write these down in notes for all the modes for tonics of G, D, A, E, C. I'd hafta write them down as notes cuz I just can't identify with Do Re MI. I guess that would be 35 lines of riffs.... 7 modes for 5 keys? I'd hafta look at  the grounding riff and transfer the Do Re Mi's to C D E's, but with the moveable Do



This would give me a bunch of more melodic riffs that I could throw in with my more linear type riffs. I think I'll give it a go and see how far I get. At any rate, I think I'd start with Dorian, Aeolian, Lydian, Phrygian & Locrian..... that would only be 25 riffs :-)



Thanks for the inspiration. I might even find this to be relaxing!

theimprovingmusician - Posted - 09/18/2016:  05:40:24


Glad the videos were useful. Sometimes the solfege helps me, and sometimes it gets in the way. We learn the verbal association (solfege) to forget about it. I'll attach a sheet I made for the teachers in my district called "Tonal Orientation."  Hope the notation is useful. 


bluesmode - Posted - 09/18/2016:  20:22:39


T. I. M. could you please give me the Phrygian chord progression for i, vii, II, iv



Thanks a lot

theimprovingmusician - Posted - 09/19/2016:  18:29:44


Hi. I don't understand what you're asking for. 


bluesmode - Posted - 09/19/2016:  20:08:53


T.I.M. you're vid lists the essential harmonic functions for Phrygian as listed. I'm not sure if I can decipher the upper and lower case Roman numeral listing correctly. Starting with the minor i, would be Emin? What are the other chords? Can the essential harmonic functions be used as a chord progression? what I'm basically interested in, is these 4 chords as a progression for Phrygian,

theimprovingmusician - Posted - 09/20/2016:  10:01:11


quote:

Originally posted by bluesmode

 

T.I.M. you're vid lists the essential harmonic functions for Phrygian as listed. I'm not sure if I can decipher the upper and lower case Roman numeral listing correctly. Starting with the minor i, would be Emin? What are the other chords? Can the essential harmonic functions be used as a chord progression? what I'm basically interested in, is these 4 chords as a progression for Phrygian,







Yes, that is correct. You would need to put those Roman numerals into a specific key. In the Key of E Phrygian, the chords would be as follows:



i = Em



II = F



vii = Dm



iv = Am



And yes, you can of course put these into a progression! I find it great fun playing in Phrygian. Hope this helps. /tim

Addie - Posted - 09/20/2016:  10:54:30


I know this is a dumb question... I understand chords for all modes, but how do you know when a chord should be minor?  It doesn't seem to me to be determined by the scale intervals... Or is it?  blush

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