Replies

  • Mixolydian mode (in its root form it's the white note scale starting from G)

  • Thanks.  

  • Just my own view but these modes are defined by intervals between the degrees of their scale. By putting definite note names to the degrees it gets difficult because B flat doesn't occur in any mode derived from the Ionian mode based on a 'white-note' scale of C. I'd personally say it's the Hypodorian mode based on a final of F, C being the cofinal (dominant) sometimes used as the cadencial note in a piece. 

    Another way of saying it is it's a Dorian based on a final of F but shown starting from its cofinal. The 'hypo' modes also became known as 'plagal' modes. I don't know if the drop from the final to the cofinal  (a fourth) gave rise to the plagal cadence. I'd just be guessing.

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    • As I know virtually nothing about theory, I thought I might be a good person to give you a pretty basic answer your question. Dane, who has actually studied these things, will be in a far better position to give you an authoritative answer. Not that I understand it personally...😁

  • There are always different ways to look at things.  The point of theory is to help us understand what we are hearing, playing and writing but it's just a tool that can be helpful, it's not a definitive explanation of anything. I'll paraphrase a famous musician: "Learn everything you can and practice, practice practice. Then forget all that and just play (compose)."

    Asking questions on a forum is not a good way to learn theory if that was anyone's intention here. This is a good starting point.

    https://evanwill.github.io/open-music-theory/contents.html

    Just my 2 cents!

    Table of Contents – Open Music Theory
    ## Introduction[Introduction to this “textbook” (for instructors & scholars).](about.html)## Fundamentals[Basic notat...
    • Great answer, Ingo. 

      To me, theory became just a way to getting where you want to be (musically!) a lot quicker than faffing around experimenting. It was good ear training too since I acclimatised to hearing the intervals inwardly so had some idea of where I wanted to do. To some composers this is instinctive without theory. (Sounds like Owen is able to lean on his instincts well.)

      But what you said is certainly true. You learn a lot of theory then through the incremental experience of practice, forget it and subvert all the rules driven more by creative instincts!

      My involvement with a particular mode came from a fairly deep interest in Peter Mennin and how he preserved long passages of tension without let up. I've never been sure whether that was good because it seems to pervade things I write now.

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  • Thanks for the further answers.  The motive for the question was that I was composing a melody that started to look like it was tending towards being in that scale , and I wondered whether there was a name for it.  I'll keep the references given on fill for future study.

    “La théorie, c’est bon, mais ça n’empêche pas d’exister.”  Freud, quoting Charcot

  • Modes are a wonderful tool to put in any composer’s toolkit. By using a mode, you force yourself to produce new sounds without having to do anything beyond comporting to the notes of the scale. For example, a fun exercise using modes would be to take a melody and transpose it into each of the modes, altering it to fit what works. There are 7 basic modes, each based on a “white key run” (no black keys) on the piano. The 7 basic modes are:

    1-A white key run from C up to the next C (major scale, also called the Ionian mode)

    2) D up to the next D (Dorian mode)

    3) E up to the next E (Phrygian mode)

    4) F up to the next F (Lydian mode)

    5) G up to the next G (Mixolydian mode)

    6) A up to the next A (minor scale, also called the Aeolian mode)

    7) B up to the next B (Locrian mode)

    Here’s a short example of a familiar tune written using a mode:

    • Thanks for the information.  I'll look into that.

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