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Old 01-15-2013, 04:42 PM   #21
AlanHB
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I think you can refer to the "Dorian scale", much like the "blues scale" to explain the accidentals used. However in the example posed, D Dorian in the key of C major, it is pointless to use this term as you are simply playing the C major scale with no accidentals.
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:43 PM   #22
jazz_rock_feel
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:14 PM   #23
Hail
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanHB
I think you can refer to the "Dorian scale", much like the "blues scale" to explain the accidentals. However in the example posed, D Dorian in the key of C major, it is pointless to use this term as you are simply playing the C major scale with no accidentals.


well at its root (no pun intended) a scale is nothing but a series of intervals. it can be anything you want it to be. it's a blank canvas. dorian as a qualifier just sets out 7 of these intervals.

the problem is when people are disillusioned by the priority of scales. since modes, functionally, are essentially a series of conventions that restrict themselves (with our current tonal system) to a very primitive realm of tonality, it's easy to call them obsolete, so we (I) do for the sake of ease. of course, there's merit in any form of music, and it'd be restricting to tell somebody to avoid something musical to learn (or, really, anything to learn). however, people get shaken by the duality of modes

since the modal system was incredibly simple, it's easy to define it, even in terms of conventions, as mostly a series of intervals that allowed for a certain sound and that designated a particular tonic, much like keys.

however, when you add in a modern palate that is familiar with strong cadence and complexity, it's very difficult to maintain that actual "feel" without being simply masturbatory to maintain the modes' sake

so that (rough) definition of a series of intervals, when taken out of context, leads us to 2 definitions of modes (ignoring the major/minor modes of keys - IE as used, nomenclaturally, in context with modal interchange, modulation - just, again, to keep things simple) wherein there's a series of intervals with an incredibly restricted (or potentially nonexistent) harmony that is essentially now (as i consider it) a genre of primitive tonality, as well as the minimalist interpretation of just a series of intervals - AKA a scale.

it's easy to get lost somewhere in here, as well, because of how the modes all relate to the major scale, particularly in the realm of guitar where shapes and fingerings potentially supersede sounds and conventions for many players. it becomes easy to say 'oh, yeah, these shapes just need to move around the root'. in a historically modal context, it actually can be that simplified provided the listener has an understanding of it in context (which they don't - of all the modes articles on here with tabs and videos of scales, how often do you actually hear any church hymns?) and an ability to internalize it and use those shapes accordingly.

however, since we naturally have "our" tonal system shoved into our brains at birth, without engrossing yourself in that music, you'll fall back into tonality. this is fine - you can create some interesting things with accidentals - but at this point you're deprioritizing keys

as i've said before and will say again: keys and scales are two separate entities. a scale will help solidify or suggest a key, especially for beginners, but within a key you can use any scale, series of scales/note, series of notes.

when you're talking about modes as a scale, they absolutely exist - but then we get to the quandary of the value of scales without a proper understanding of functional harmony.

when you're talking about modes as modes, they absolutely exist - but only for a very niche region of music that shouldn't be explored until you have a proper foundation because of the very confusion i'm talking about.

you can have music in the D dorian mode (although as Snoop Lion/Joseph would probably point out, you could still probably argue that it's just D minor in an incredibly simplistic setting, but it's semantics haha)

you can have music built off the D dorian scale - or, you could say, in the D dorian scale - but it's important to remember that that scale is going to be in a key (unless used in context as above). this is why we (I) emphasize the use of keys early on to understand a piece (unless the piece is simplistic enough - as in almost exclusively that scale - where the performer would benefit from the specificity, but again, semantics)

once i realized that all that music i was playing "in D dorian" was just in a key - and that that key had an incredible amount of openness, and that i could move around keys to greater effect as i please - i realized how simple theory actually is. that's why, typically, i steer people away from textbooks - if you can understand music in context, and realize how easy it is to manipulate through changing any little component, it's absolutely an open book to run with

if you just enjoy theory, there's nothing to lose from attacking that as well, but i always find it difficult to fathom the confusion associated with scales - particularly with the TS. there are 12 notes, each note can have a major or minor key. you can have as many keys as you want in a piece. the only rule is to make it sound good (or bad, if you're into the whole Dadaist/post-modernist kinda thing like me).

anything else is just overcomplicating things if you have to ask these kinds of questions about it

by the time you're able to analyze music properly, you won't need to ask for tabs.

my .02, idk
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