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#1
Sorry for another mode thread.
I was just wondering...

When playing the major scale:
the leading tone(7) wants to resolve to the tonic(1)
subdominant(4) to Mediant(3)
submediant(6) to Dominate(5)
Supertonic(2) to tonic(1)

now.. lets say i was to play a progression
*from the parent scale
iv - iii - ii
make the tonal center be the ii

so i'll play Dorian.

dorian is 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7

so does this mean that..
b7 want to resolve to 1
4 to b3
6 to 5
2 to 1

???

because in Dorian the half steps are between
2 - b3
6 - b7

but i was thinking that if they wanted to resolve that way they would resemble the parent major scale, and take away from the modal sound.

and ideas??
Quote by joshjhasarrived
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#2
I thought modes were easier to understand
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#3
Quote by mxrobert01
I thought modes were easier to understand


they are.

i'm just extremely curious on how the everything resolves when the tonal center is changed.. your ear will naturally give you the answer but i was just wondering about the theory behind it.
Quote by joshjhasarrived
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#4
^ usually to a relative major or minor scale and does not want to stay modal and the more chords you have the easier it is for the progression to move away from being modal and become tonal(is tonal the right word ??)

usually you are looking for static harmony and 2 chord progression which can become pretty static to easily stay in a mode

i am poretty sure i am right on this one but half asleep a regular will either back me up or correct me

EDIT you can't really change the tonal centre of a mode arguably you are just prolonging the tonicization of the song when you play a mode then try to modulate to a key.
song stuck in my head today


#5
I guess my question is really, How do tones resolve inside modes(or a specific mode)?
Quote by joshjhasarrived
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#6
i personally can't go to deep into this conversation but....

as my understanding is that they usually want to resolve else where

say if you where playing the dorian mode it would strongly want to resolve to the minor instead if i am not mistaken. the only thing that really keeps a piece as a mode is using a strict interval based scale with a constant modal harmony. usually not consisting of to many chords

EDIT i believe part of the thoery is that the more chords you put in the more it resolves to the minor with chromatic tones added into it

so i assume(which probably insn't the best) you would need some sort of cadence in the harmony to produce the dorian mode to seperate it from the minor as the progression defines the mode
song stuck in my head today


Last edited by lbc_sublime at Nov 23, 2008,
#9
Quote by one vision
Modes are defined by the harmony.

If you're playing E phrygian without any backing harmony, it'll be pretty hard to maintain a phrygian tonality.



but to maintain the phrygian tonality what intervals resolve where to give it its distinct sound.
Quote by joshjhasarrived
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#10
check out my first and 2nd link for more info on modes. Maybe u find ur answer there.

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#11
Quote by victoryaloy
but to maintain the phrygian tonality what intervals resolve where to give it its distinct sound.

Yeah, that's true. Even when a mode is "resolved", it might not sound resolved with regards to tonal harmony. Phrygian is one example of that.
#12
Quote by victoryaloy
When playing the major scale:
the leading tone(7) wants to resolve to the tonic(1)
subdominant(4) to Mediant(3)
submediant(6) to Dominate(5)
Supertonic(2) to tonic(1)

I think that is a rather simplistic view of a scale. I would be happy to agree that the leading tone pulls toward the root. As for the rest I think context is far more important. For example saying the 2 resolves to the 1 is fine but the same tone can also provide a sense of moving away from the 1.

Saying the subdominnat resolves to the mediant is fine in some contexts. It can also provide a sense of moving away from the mediant toward the dominant or even the leading tone. The dominant will resolve nicely to the tonic or partially to the mediant or one could extend it's tension up to the leading tone.

Well this is all how I see things anyway. Maybe I'm just talking out my ass.

As for how the modes work.

Modes are not "defined by the harmony". I can not bring myself to agree with this statement as it is just plain wrong. Please read the next three paragraphs to find out why...

I'm not saying forget the harmony. Music must be considered as a whole and it is true that playing an D Dorian scale over a harmony that clearly resolves to C major will either just sound bad (because you will be trying to resolve a melody to D when the harmony is resolving to C) or you will find yourself simply playing the C major scale and resolving to the C. When there is a harmony and melody they must work together.

I can easily agree with a statement "the harmony can be used to clarify the mode you're playing in", or "a well constructed harmony will provide a solid foundation for modal improvisation" or something along those lines. My pick would be "Melody and harmony working together will really bring out the unique flavour of a mode".

However Modes are not "defined by the harmony." I recognize this may just be an unfortunate choices of words but one can play a modal melody that has not harmony and is still modal. One can whistle a modal tune, or sing a modal line in the shower, as they work in the garden, or in a grand theatre and it will still be modal. Modes are defined by the relationship between the scale degrees and the root. For example Lydian mode is defined by it's maj2 maj3 aug4 p5 maj6 maj7 intervals (major scale with a sharp 4). That is it. Harmony will not define a mode, but an appropriate harmonic context can provide a solid foundation for safe modal improvisation and exploration.

As for modes resolving. Because of their different scale construction a mode will not behave in the same way as the major or minor scales.

You can think of them as pentatonic scales with spice (i.e. Lydian might be maj pent with the extra flavour of a #4 and 7, or the Mixolydian as maj pent with the extra flavour of a 4 and b7, while Dorian would be a min pent with some nat 2 and nat6 flavours.)

Or you can think of them as working in a similar way to their parallel major or minor scales. So for example where you say the major scale 7 leads into the root when you think of the Lydian mode it does the same thing. The 7 leads into the root still, but with a sharp 4 it might lead more strongly into the 5 or it might provide an interesting sound against the root.

Like I said before though I think it is hard to categorize the tones of the major scale as resolving to certain places when in different circumstances they can behave in different ways. I know it's a pretty lame answer. I'll think some more about it though play around a bit and if I have any ideas to share and see what you think.
Si
#13
^^
thanks! that was extremely helpful.
Quote by joshjhasarrived
Little does the government suspect that it's funds are being rapidly drained through funding infinite free cardboard boxes to bored teenagers on an internet forum.
#14
However Modes are not "defined by the harmony." I recognize this may just be an unfortunate choices of words but one can play a modal melody that has not harmony and is still modal. One can whistle a modal tune, or sing a modal line in the shower, as they work in the garden, or in a grand theatre and it will still be modal. Modes are defined by the relationship between the scale degrees and the root. For example Lydian mode is defined by it's maj2 maj3 aug4 p5 maj6 maj7 intervals (major scale with a sharp 4). That is it. Harmony will not define a mode, but an appropriate harmonic context can provide a solid foundation for safe modal improvisation and exploration.


i don't quite agree with all this but .......

with out the harmony the melody will just be a major or minor melody regardless how it is phrased.

if you were to whistle a dorian melody it would just sound like a relative major or minor unless a harmony is there to provide the modal tonality.

with out a modal harmony how can you seperate it from a relative major or minor scale?

i agree modes are all interval based and hard to describe as dorian can be used with out a modal harmony in blues but it is defined as dorian by staying with a strict interval based scale.

how ever in blues there is a harmony to keep the tonality as a certain root note allowing you to use the dorian mode.

for example if a blues song is tonicized with Dmin as the key you can use the Ddorian and not be thought as Cmaj but with out that tionicization (and i mean harmony sorry for the poor choice of words) it would most likely be described as Cmaj or Amin

EDIT where on 2 different sides of the fence i don't believe you can define a mode whatso ever from the relative major or minor with out a harmonic context regardless of phrasing

possibly with arps
song stuck in my head today


Last edited by lbc_sublime at Nov 23, 2008,
#15
However Modes are not "defined by the harmony." I recognize this may just be an unfortunate choices of words but one can play a modal melody that has not harmony and is still modal. One can whistle a modal tune, or sing a modal line in the shower, as they work in the garden, or in a grand theatre and it will still be modal. Modes are defined by the relationship between the scale degrees and the root. For example Lydian mode is defined by it's maj2 maj3 aug4 p5 maj6 maj7 intervals (major scale with a sharp 4). That is it. Harmony will not define a mode, but an appropriate harmonic context can provide a solid foundation for safe modal improvisation and exploration.


His point is that the their tonal center's are easily displaced, and that they have a tendency to resolve to the relative major. Harmonic context is the easiest way establish a tonal center. Just whistling a tune from F to F does not make something lydian.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#16
Quote by lbc_sublime
where on 2 different sides of the fence i don't believe you can define a mode whatso ever from the relative major or minor with out a harmonic context regardless of phrasing

We can agree to disagree but I believe a melody can do all it needs to do on it's own in order to be modal.

I acknowledge there is probably a big difference between how we use modes now and way back when but I'd like to point out anyway that modes originated as homophonic devices. That is one voice (no harmony).

Quote by Archeo Avis
His point is that the their tonal center's are easily displaced, and that they have a tendency to resolve to the relative major. Harmonic context is the easiest way establish a tonal center. Just whistling a tune from F to F does not make something lydian.
That may have been the point and I acknowledged in my post it was probably something like that. MY point was that it is incorrect to say "Modes are defined by harmony." They are not.

Also I never said whistling a tune from F to F makes it Lydian. Though playing the Lydian "Scale" is playing the Lydian "scale". It is possible to construct a melody that is Lydian without the need for a harmony to make it so.
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Nov 23, 2008,
#17
^ Although in context playing with a band, the modes are defined by the chords that are played underneath... otherwise you are just playing a scale with an altered note
#18
Quote by Zanon
^ Although in context playing with a band, the modes are defined by the chords that are played underneath... otherwise you are just playing a scale with an altered note


Modes, at least as played nowadays (crammed into a tonal framework), are scales with an altered note.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#19
Quote by Zanon
^ Although in context playing with a band, the modes are defined by the chords that are played underneath... otherwise you are just playing a scale with an altered note
What Archeo said.

Also in the context of playing with a band the modes are not defined by the chords played underneath. Even then, modes are defined by the unique intervals in relation to the root.

Please don't read what I'm saying as harmony is unimportant in modal playing.

The harmony has two important functions in modal playing:
1. The "root" is most easily established through harmonic resolution.
2. A modal harmony should outline the modal sound by predominantly using chords built from the notes in the mode.

Hence I can understand what you are saying. When playing with a band the chords the band play will provide a strong sense of where the root is and will also outline the modal flavour. I'm sure we understand each other. -Maybe I'm just being pedantic when I say chords or harmony don't define a mode

It is possible to play a modal harmony without a unique melodic idea. It is possible to play a unique melodic idea and be modal without harmony.

But of course as with all music the two work best when considered together as a whole.
Si
#20
That may have been the point and I acknowledged in my post it was probably something like that. MY point was that it is incorrect to say "Modes are defined by harmony." They are not.



the problem as i see it is(this is a freindly convo i an not mad or trying to be an ass)

with out a modal context(harmony) there is no way to define the melody as a certain mode there is no telling the difference between them

and when we say people use to compose with modes before without harmony we are talking about the 17th century where the base of music theory was 8 modes: dorian, hypodorian, phrygian, hypophrygian,, lydian, hypolydian, mixolydian, and hypomixolydian and melodies where listed according to thier mode in tonaries.

so really back then you have 8 base scales while now you have 2 base scales Major and minor. more prodomenently the major and then you have enharmonic equivelent modes. before it was much simpler to define each mode as different as they were each a base scale on thier own and could be notated as such

now if i wanted to play a melody like F lydian with out a harmony it would be noted on sheet music similiar to Cmajor and probablty percieved as nothing more. there is nothing to define it differently. but with a harmony you can tonicize the peice as F and still notate it as no # and no b EDIT: thus making it different than Cmaj because you have tonicized F

however if you can post supporting argument for you at some point i am seriously intrigued to the point you are trying to get across despite what you may think i have a very open mind and may agree with you
song stuck in my head today


Last edited by lbc_sublime at Nov 23, 2008,
#21
Quote by lbc_sublime
the problem as i see it is(this is a freindly convo i an not mad or trying to be an ass)

I always imagine MT to be like a whole bunch of ancient scholars seated around a large round wooden table, lit by candles, sipping wine. Some one comes in and asks a question and you guys always get carried away with some other musical argument.

As for the original question wouldn't....
(b7 want to resolve to 1
4 to b3
6 to 5
2 to 1)
that make the Dorian Scale what it is? If the 7 resolved to the 1 wouldn't it be Ionian?

(I may be wrong. Thats just my 2 cents) *sips wine*
#23
Quote by lbc_sublime
the problem as i see it is(this is a freindly convo i an not mad or trying to be an ass)

with out a modal context(harmony) there is no way to define the melody as a certain mode there is no telling the difference between them


Sure there is. Corwinoid used a melody to demonstrate the sound of the phyrgian mode. He knows his **** far better than anyone here. Nuff said.

You could easily tell the difference between a "harmonic minor" melody and a "major" melody, why not include the slightly trickier "Lydian" and "Locrian"?
#24
^ A Locrian Melody?

I thought you told me Locrian was pretty much useless, because as soon as you leave the 7th, it will sound like something else.

Do you know where I can find the post your talking about? Or any post by Corwinoid? There all gold.
#25
I would personally say Locrian is effectively useless but Archeo's about and he likes it so I'm being all diplomatic and jokey so he doesn't know I think it's a pile of ****e.

Secondly, best threads archive. Search it for all Cor's posts if you fancy that, it's pretty educational.
#26
^^^Pretty similar to what I was going to say next.
Quote by lbc_sublime
with out a modal context(harmony) there is no way to define the melody as a certain mode there is no telling the difference between them

The question really becomes can a melody on it's own create tension and resolve?

or more simply - Can a melody on it's own establish a clear sense of a root note?

My answer would be - absolutely.

And if a melody can establish a clear sense of a home note then a melody on it's own can indeed be modal, since a mode is defined by the unique intervals of it's scale degrees in relation to the root.
Si
#27
with out a modal context(harmony) there is no way to define the melody as a certain mode there is no telling the difference between them


You need to remember that modes are primarily a melodic concept, not a harmonic one. Modern "modal music" is really just an attempt to cram modes into the framework of Western tonal harmony, but if you listen to real modal music (the kind written centuries ago), it's nothing more than a melody. To get an idea of what real modal music sounds like...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31jAFxH2hzE

This is an interpretation of a piece named Douce Dame Jolie, written by Guillaume de Machaut, a medieval composer.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#28
I think I actually recieved one of Archeo's compositions of a Locrian Melody. I think you can create a locrian melody if the chord progression suffices (I think you did it with a minor tonic chord, alternating between Minor and Half-Diminished). But a Locrian melody without any progression or any other sound, would be hopless.

I Think I've already got all of Cors posts, there are only two of them right? Hold on.. I'll check.

Yep, unfortunatley he only posted three lessons as such. Any of his other educational posts that you can link me too, feel free.

Does he hang around much anymore?
Last edited by Galvanise69 at Nov 24, 2008,
#29
We can agree to disagree but I believe a melody can do all it needs to do on it's own in order to be modal.

thats true, my guess is that since we are more used to hearing melodies as major or minor we may naturally relate anything modal to the relative major/minor key but even with just a melody you can establish the modal sound quite clearly, an easy way to do it is by starting with an arpeggio to give a definitive key centre and expanding on that using the other notes of the mode
#30
And if a melody can establish a clear sense of a home note then a melody on it's own can indeed be modal, since a mode is defined by the unique intervals of it's scale degrees in relation to the root.


touche

but now that we are past that

can any post how they resolve?
song stuck in my head today


#31
Quote by lbc_sublime
touche

but now that we are past that

can any post how they resolve?


That was a very interesting/helpful topic.

I'll use dorian as an example like i did in the first post..

the half steps are between 6-b7 and 2-b3.

and my question is that if the 6 want to resolve a half step to the b7 then the wouldn't the tension resemble the tonic.

or will the chord progression underneath tell you when the tension wants to resolve to.

In any scale wouldn't it make sense that the leading tone wants to resolve to the tonic?
but if there is a different note close to the leading tone then the tonic wouldn't you think that the closer tone would be where is wants to resolve to?
Quote by joshjhasarrived
Little does the government suspect that it's funds are being rapidly drained through funding infinite free cardboard boxes to bored teenagers on an internet forum.
#32
^I'm almost certain that it depends on what interval the leading tone is.

If it's a leading note (Major 7th interval), then yes, but if it's a minor 7th, I'm not sure, it seems like it would want to go to a major 6th if there is one in the scale.
#33
Quote by lbc_sublime
touche

but now that we are past that

can any post how they resolve?

Didn't I generally say this in my first post?


*Sips...*
#34
Quote by lbc_sublime
touche

but now that we are past that

can any post how they resolve?
I think it's largely a matter of context. I don't think it is enough to say this note will pull to this one, that note resolves to that one etc. Different notes can act differently in different contexts.

As I said before in my original post. I'm sorry if this is a lame answer since it doesn't tell you how to use a scale or mode to build a strong melody with a sense of resolve.

I know when I hear a melody on it's own I can clearly hear an implied root and how a melody climaxes etc. However I have only recently started analysing melodies to try to identify some kind of underlying principles and what makes them work or not work.

Apart from counterpoint I have been unable to find good writings on the topic (my local library is ****. hundreds of books on music but I could only find one on music theory. The rest are biographies)
Si
#35
^Search for "melody writing" in the library search terminal. I've found 3 books on melody writing all saying very similar things. "Melody writing" must be the unit uni music kids study before counterpoint.

Okay not sure if any of this stuff has been said or is even relevant.

All notes either want to resolve an octave up or down or one semitone upwards or a tone downwards or a tone upwards or a semitone down. This is in order of what I believe the strongest movements are.

Another teaching of how notes want to resolve is whether they are natural, flat or sharpened notes, by function and degree, not by name (as in a b6 and NOT an Ab or an Eb or whateve. Sharpened notes normally want to resolve upwards, flatened notes want to resolve down and natural notes want to resolve upwards (except for a super-tonic, which wants to resolve down). Some people also say a perfect fourth resolves downwards (not sure about this though).

It should also be noted that for a (not improviser, different means of using modes) to use modes right, s/he needs to establish a tonal center. This can be done most easily and most interestingly with chords, but need not have to. Before key based music, composers would write 2 or 3 modal melodies all in the same mode and use counterpoint to put them together.

To expand on both my points, sometimes it's best to use a leading tone (as this is the best way to resolve) even when said mode doesn't include a leading tone in it's formula. I've written some pretty wicked phrygian melodies like this.

There was a reason why locrian was never a real mode before jazz. It's a damn difficult mode to use. The gregorian monks probably disregarded it for its difficulty and general instability. Because I have little convidence in archaic gregorian monks, I believe writing in it is entirely possible.

*tokes crack pipe and sips whisky*
Last edited by demonofthenight at Nov 24, 2008,
#36
Well, each degree functions as something and depending on the cadence they would want to resolve in said way (I am assuming all these though).


The sub-mediant, functioning as subdominant would resolve to the tonic as in a plagal cadence, or to the mediant as in a deceptive cadence.
The mediant would stay stable, functioning as tonic.
The subdominant would either to the tonic, mediant (again, deceptive cadence) or dominant (as in half cadences).
The superdominant would stay stable, or go to the tonic or whatever as it functions as tonic, or maybe even resolve to the dominant.
The leading tone functioning as dominant would resolve to the tonic, as in authentic cadences.

Depending on how you want them to resolve, the way they resolve may change (if you go from Dm to Em, the D resolves to E, not to C if you are in Cmajor)..

Ehmm....or something like that I assume..

*sips water (damn being underaged )*
#37
Quote by gonzaw
Well, each degree functions as something and depending on the cadence they would want to resolve in said way (I am assuming all these though).


The sub-mediant, functioning as subdominant would resolve to the tonic as in a plagal cadence, or to the mediant as in a deceptive cadence.
The mediant would stay stable, functioning as tonic.
The subdominant would either to the tonic, mediant (again, deceptive cadence) or dominant (as in half cadences).
The superdominant would stay stable, or go to the tonic or whatever as it functions as tonic, or maybe even resolve to the dominant.
The leading tone functioning as dominant would resolve to the tonic, as in authentic cadences.

Depending on how you want them to resolve, the way they resolve may change (if you go from Dm to Em, the D resolves to E, not to C if you are in Cmajor)..

Ehmm....or something like that I assume..

*sips water (damn being underaged )*
Anything functioning as a subdominant should be used as a predominant, as in, use it to set up a dominant.

I don't think sub-mediants generally resolve to the root, I've seen heaps of vi - I movements in rock and so forth, but it doesn't really resolve.

To do a deceptive cadence, usually it's a V - vi movement, barely a IV - vi movement.

My understanding of a superdominant is a bVI degree? I think that's also used as a predominant.

And a mediant chord wouldn't act as a tonic chord. Well it would be highly unlikely as a mediant chord contains the root scales leading tone. Not much would want to resolve to the chord. Most classical guys agree that any movement to do with the mediant is considered weak.

Anyway, I prefer voice leading to remembering which chord leads where. This way I can do non-diatonic progressions.

*hits pipe and blows smoke in gonzaws underaged face*

EDIT: wait, how did we stray this far from modes?
#39
Quote by demonofthenight
Anything functioning as a subdominant should be used as a predominant, as in, use it to set up a dominant.

I don't think sub-mediants generally resolve to the root, I've seen heaps of vi - I movements in rock and so forth, but it doesn't really resolve.

To do a deceptive cadence, usually it's a V - vi movement, barely a IV - vi movement.

My understanding of a superdominant is a bVI degree? I think that's also used as a predominant.

And a mediant chord wouldn't act as a tonic chord. Well it would be highly unlikely as a mediant chord contains the root scales leading tone. Not much would want to resolve to the chord. Most classical guys agree that any movement to do with the mediant is considered weak.

Anyway, I prefer voice leading to remembering which chord leads where. This way I can do non-diatonic progressions.

*hits pipe and blows smoke in gonzaws underaged face*

EDIT: wait, how did we stray this far from modes?



Well, the sub-mediant would be functioning as the tonic, so I guess it doesn't really resolve to it, but more like you travel through all functions parallels or something.

The deceptive cadence can be anything, as long as a subdominant or its functions or the dominant or its functions resolve to the tonic or one of its functions..
I guess then that a IV-vi is considered deceptive...

I don't know their names too much, I just assumed superdominant=sub-mediant...

I was taught that the mediant did work as a tonic function, in the same way that the sub-tonic (or leading tone) works as dominant function.
I don't know about the leading tone thing though...


*sips C2H6O bought from the pharmacy*


EDIT:

Quote by one vision
You're surprised?

Even the threads that initially have nothing to do with the modes end with a discussion on modes.

*Takes a sip of tea because he is sick and has a headache, yet is not underage.*



Wasn't he saying the opposite?

*vomits C2H6O*
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