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#1
Ok I have a progression that i switch between am and bm. My question is, the only scale I can find that works over this is Gmaj. Would I be using the A Dorian scale instead of the Gmaj scale? Thanks!
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#2
Quote by MaVN
Ok I have a progression that i switch between am and bm. My question is, the only scale I can find that works over this is Gmaj. Would I be using the A Dorian scale instead of the Gmaj scale? Thanks!


If the only chords present are Am and Bm, and it resolves to A, then it's highly likely that the song is in A dorian.

Congrats on having a correct question in relation to modes. For future reference, as A is where it resolves, the actual progression is i - ii.
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#3
Thanks. It does resolve to a. So it would be a i - ii in A Dorian. Correct?
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#4
Quote by MaVN
Thanks. It does resolve to a. So it would be a i - ii in A Dorian. Correct?


In the absence of any other chords, yes. That includes if the chorus/verse has other chords.

You could compare the progression to Moondance, where the verses have an i - ii progression, but when it employs the iv and V7 in the chorus it drags it back into a minor key, raising doubt as to whether any of the song is modal at all. I'd argue it isn't.
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#5
Quote by AlanHB
In the absence of any other chords, yes. That includes if the chorus/verse has other chords.

You could compare the progression to Moondance, where the verses have an i - ii progression, but when it employs the iv and V7 in the chorus it drags it back into a minor key, raising doubt as to whether any of the song is modal at all. I'd argue it isn't.

Why does having 1 section with tonal elements mean that another section couldn't be modal?
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#6
Quote by GuitarMunky
Why does having 1 section with tonal elements mean that another section couldn't be modal?

It doesn't I think he's more trying to say that in the context of the whole song it wouldn't be modal.

Personally, I would solo in... Am and then in Bm. You can get some sweet resolutions and if you're good with chromatics some even SWEETER resolutions.
#7
Quote by GuitarMunky
Why does having 1 section with tonal elements mean that another section couldn't be modal?


because once the ear perceives a key center, which is unarguably stronger than a modal tonic, the listener will hear that key center first and foremost.

you could argue that, if the section in A dorian was heard before the section in G major, that such section is in A dorian. but if the same section was repeated AFTER the section in G major, the listener would hear it as being an unresolved vamp in G major (unless, of course, there's some clear modulation that places A at the tonic, but it'd be hard to resolve to A dorian after hearing a resolution to G major).
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Last edited by AeolianWolf at Aug 26, 2011,
#8
Quote by GuitarMunky
Why does having 1 section with tonal elements mean that another section couldn't be modal?


Because the pull to the tonal center becomes much stronger over the same progression (verse) after the chorus is played, employing chords which make the song definately minor.

I'm open to argument though. Do YOU believe that the verses of Moondance are in dorian, whilst the rest of the song is in minor?
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#9
Quote by AlanHB
Because the pull to the tonal center becomes much stronger over the same progression (verse) after the chorus is played, employing chords which make the song definately minor.

well, it's the same tonal center, but no it doesn't become stronger just because of the stronger resolution of the V to I in the chorus.


Quote by AlanHB

I'm open to argument though.


I believe you are.


Quote by AlanHB

Do YOU believe that the verses of Moondance are in dorian, whilst the rest of the song is in minor?



Sure, I'd say the verse is "in dorian", and that the chorus is "in minor".


Quote by AeolianWolf

you could argue that, if the section in A dorian was heard before the section in G major, that such section is in A dorian. but if the same section was repeated AFTER the section in G major, the listener would hear it as being an unresolved vamp in G major (unless, of course, there's some clear modulation that places A at the tonic, but it'd be hard to resolve to A dorian after hearing a resolution to G major).


I suppose you could argue that IF moondance had a G Major section. it doesn't though, does it?

so lets not argue hypotheticals. I'll argue though that a song, can utilize elements of modality, and tonality in the same song. If your saying that it's impossible, then we have an argument.
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Last edited by GuitarMunky at Aug 26, 2011,
#10
Quote by GuitarMunky
I suppose you could argue that IF moondance had a G Major section. it doesn't though, does it?

so lets not argue hypotheticals. I'll argue though that a song, can utilize elements of modality, and tonality in the same song. If your saying that it's impossible, then we have an argument.


ah, but i'm not talking about moondance. i'm talking about TS's song, about which there is not enough information to make a clear contextual argument, and is therefore open to hypothetical assumptions.

i agree that tonality and modality can be mixed. however, if you have a verse in A dorian, and you put a chorus in G major, unless you've got some amazing modulation, that verse will not sound like A dorian. it will sound like a ii-iii in G major, rather than a i-ii in A dorian.
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#11
Quote by AeolianWolf
ah, but i'm not talking about moondance. i'm talking about TS's song, about which there is not enough information to make a clear contextual argument, and is therefore open to hypothetical assumptions.


okay, well we were talking about moondance.

Quote by AeolianWolf

i agree that tonality and modality can be mixed.


This is the point, and we agree.


Quote by AeolianWolf

however, if you have a verse in A dorian, and you put a chorus in G major, unless you've got some amazing modulation, that verse will not sound like A dorian. it will sound like a ii-iii in G major, rather than a i-ii in A dorian.


If in that verse the Am sounds like a ii and not the i, then it's not modal in the 1st place.
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#12
Quote by GuitarMunky
okay, well we were talking about moondance.


great. i wasn't. i was talking about TS's progression. moondance isn't of any concern to me in this thread.

Quote by GuitarMunky
If in that verse the Am sounds like a ii and not the i, then it's not modal in the 1st place.


which is exactly my point. it's not going to sound like a i. maybe the first time you play it, before the listener has heard the I (Gmaj), it'll sound like the resolution. but once the listener realizes where the tonic is, unless you enact a modulation (and i don't need to tell you E7-Am won't cut it), that Am will be the ii for the rest of the song.
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#13
Quote by AeolianWolf
great. i wasn't. i was talking about TS's progression. moondance isn't of any concern to me in this thread.


well you jumped into the conversation, the context of which was me asking a specific question to Alan based on his comments about Moondance.


Quote by AeolianWolf

which is exactly my point. it's not going to sound like a i. maybe the first time you play it, before the listener has heard the I (Gmaj), it'll sound like the resolution. but once the listener realizes where the tonic is, unless you enact a modulation (and i don't need to tell you E7-Am won't cut it), that Am will be the ii for the rest of the song.


Well the tonic is where the tonic is. If your in G, then the Am is ii. You could theoretically though, have a piece that has an A dorian section, but then goes to the Key of G Major. In a single piece tonic's can change, and modes/keys/scale types can change.
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#14
Quote by GuitarMunky
well you jumped into the conversation, the context of which was me asking a specific question to Alan based on his comments about Moondance.


sorry. wasn't aware the thread belonged to you. i responded to a question you asked which had nothing to do with moondance. all you need to do is scroll up the page -- not that hard, really. maybe you asked alan about moondance. but your question was a general one, whether in a specific context or not. the only reason you're not getting on d5's case is because he's not responding anymore.

Quote by GuitarMunky
Well the tonic is where the tonic is. If your in G, then the Am is ii. You could theoretically though, have a piece that has an A dorian section, but then goes to the Key of G Major. In a single piece tonic's can change, and modes/keys/scale types can change.


yes. you could. theoretically.

again. modulation. nice and clear. E7-Am not going to cut it. third time i'm saying it, so not using complete sentences.

going from a mode to a key is easy. you'd have to have some brilliant modulation techniques if you want to enact the reverse.
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Last edited by AeolianWolf at Aug 26, 2011,
#15
Quote by AeolianWolf
sorry. wasn't aware the thread belonged to you. i responded to a question ......


a question that was aimed at someone else.

It could have been a conversion.
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#16
Quote by GuitarMunky
a question that was aimed at someone else.

It could have been a conversion.


a conversation? it could have been, yes, but i haven't seen alan around.

things often don't go as planned. everyday life is like business: 10% what happens, 90% how you deal.

if it bothers you so that i enter a discussion, then make it clear that you don't want a response from anyone but the person in question.
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#17
Quote by AeolianWolf
a conversation? it could have been, yes, but i haven't seen alan around.

things often don't go as planned. everyday life is like business: 10% what happens, 90% how you deal.

if it bothers you so that i enter a discussion, then make it clear that you don't want a response from anyone but the person in question.

I only ask that when you do respond you consider the context of the discussion your responding to, which in this case was the song Moondance, and whether or not the existence of the tonal section makes it impossible for any other section of the song to be considered modal.
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Last edited by GuitarMunky at Aug 26, 2011,
#18
Quote by GuitarMunky
[...] and whether or not the existence of the tonal section makes it impossible for any other section of the song to be considered modal.


I'd actually be really interested in hearing an example of having a section be modal (from the same parent scale) after the parent major or minor has been established as the key of the song.
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#19
Guys lets not have a huge battle please
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#20
Quote by soviet_ska
I'd actually be really interested in hearing an example of having a section be modal (from the same parent scale) after the parent major or minor has been established as the key of the song.

pick up your guitar & do it!
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#21
Quote by GuitarMunky
pick up your guitar & do it!


This, why are people thinking it's hard?
#22
Quote by GuitarMunky
I only ask that when you do respond you consider the context of the discussion your responding to, which in this case was the song Moondance, and whether or not the existence of the tonal section makes it impossible for any other section of the song to be considered modal.


I never said it was impossible...you did. I merely said it was unlikely in the case of Moondance. Additionally I never suggested a change of tonal center, that was you again.

We never disagreed whether a song could have both modal and key elements, and this creates the bulk of your argument.
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#23
Quote by GuitarMunky
pick up your guitar & do it!


Well that's the thing, I hear it as a tense "avoiding the tonic" section after a key has been firmly established. I figured if you think it's possible to hear it modally, you probably would have something to share to back yourself up. If you don't or can't produce one in a realistic time-frame, then all you can really say is "hearing resolutions is completely subjective," which, without getting into my personal philosophies about subjectivity, isn't helping you win any arguments.
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#24
Quote by AlanHB
I merely said it was unlikely in the case of Moondance. .


Thats not what you said

What you said is...

Quote by AlanHB
but when it employs the iv and V7 in the chorus it drags it back into a minor key, raising doubt as to whether any of the song is modal at all. I'd argue it isn't.


if going into tonality isn't the reason for you to "argue that it isn't modal" at all, then please tell me what you actually meant in the above quote.

To me it appears that the red sentence is your reasoning for the bolded conclusion. right?


Quote by AlanHB

We never disagreed whether a song could have both modal and key elements, and this creates the bulk of your argument.


You implied that because moondance has a tonal section, that the verse cannot be modal. At least that's how you presented it (see your own quote above).

If your saying that that ISN"T your reasoning behind doubting the verses modal-ness enough to argue about it, that what is the reasoning?


Quote by soviet_ska
Well that's the thing, I hear it as a tense "avoiding the tonic" section after a key has been firmly established.



Do you mean moondance specifically, or the concept in general? This kinda split off into a couple of things.

In the case of moondance, I can easily hear the verse sections as dorian.

In the case of a song that goes A dorian to G major, that really depends. I didn't hear you do it, so I don't know if I agree with you or not. When I did it, it was easy to hear the different between the two.
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Last edited by GuitarMunky at Aug 26, 2011,
#25
Quote by GuitarMunky
if going into tonality isn't the reason for you to "argue that it isn't modal" at all, then please tell me what you actually meant in the above quote.


Sure. I've already done it a couple of times already, but I'll do it again.

We can both agree that the verses alone could be considered in A dorian. We can both agree that the chorus' are in A minor. What we don't agree upon is whether once the shift to A minor occurs, whether you can then shift back to an A dorian vamp, including the pull to the tonal center being less than the one created that you heard less than 10 seconds ago, and it being the same tonal center.

I would argue that you cannot. I would however be open to the idea that the first verse is in dorian, and the rest of the song including the other verses would be in minor. After the pull to the tonal center being so strong over the chorus', I don't see it going away for the rest of the song.

Now this does not mean that it's impossible to have both tonal and modal elements in a song. I'm just saying in this song, I don't think so.


Anyways I'm not keen on your method of arguing, it's just simple picking away at little things and no argument lines. I can do that too.

Quote by GuitarMunky
so lets not argue hypotheticals. I'll argue though that a song, can utilize elements of modality, and tonality in the same song. If your saying that it's impossible, then we have an argument.


Modality isn't a form of tonality?

Quote by GuitarMunky
well, it's the same tonal center, but no it doesn't become stronger just because of the stronger resolution of the V to I in the chorus.


So what you're saying is that a V - I cadence (it's actually V - i btw) does not enforce a stronger resolution than an i - ii vamp.


Don't bother answering those last two questions, answering them won't achieve anything in the long run. It's just an example of how it's quite easy to pick apart little things if you wish.
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#26
Quote by AlanHB
What we don't agree upon is whether once the shift to A minor occurs, whether you can then shift back to an A dorian vamp, including the pull to the tonal center being less than the one created that you heard less than 10 seconds ago, and it being the same tonal center.

I would argue that you cannot



That's what I was asking for, thank you. I disagree with you and I believe the song does exactly what you say it cannot.
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#27
Quote by GuitarMunky
I only ask that when you do respond you consider the context of the discussion your responding to, which in this case was the song Moondance, and whether or not the existence of the tonal section makes it impossible for any other section of the song to be considered modal.


great. tell you what. next time you address a question to anyone (myself included), i won't even respond. because clearly, you're always right and i'm always wrong. and therefore i'm not allowed to answer a question in a general sense because you have some specific example in mind.

all of us are saying the same thing -- alan, soviet, and i -- and yet i'm the only one you're targeting for such an asinine reason.

Quote by GuitarMunky
Do you mean moondance specifically, or the concept in general? This kinda split off into a couple of things.


in response to soviet for addressing the same exact issue i addressed.

you disagree with alan? that's fine. i disagree with you. but that doesn't get us anywhere, now, does it?
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Last edited by AeolianWolf at Aug 27, 2011,
#28
Quote by GuitarMunky

Do you mean moondance specifically, or the concept in general? This kinda split off into a couple of things.


The concept.

Quote by GuitarMunky
In the case of a song that goes A dorian to G major, that really depends. I didn't hear you do it, so I don't know if I agree with you or not. When I did it, it was easy to hear the different between the two.


I did an ABA. A section was Am -> Bm. B section was G -> Am -> Bm -> D7. I just improvised diatonically over the whole thing and didn't hear the modality the second time through.

I'd like to hear what you did to see if we're just hearing subjectively or if you did something significantly different. If this isn't just a case of differing opinions, I'm sure I could find the time to actually compose a few short melodies to work with this structure and see what comes up.
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#29
If you were to end the chorus on E7 then that would lead nicely into a tonicized Am and I would assume that you could then use the Am-Bm vamp to establish A dorian.
#30
Quote by isaac_bandits
If you were to end the chorus on E7 then that would lead nicely into a tonicized Am and I would assume that you could then use the Am-Bm vamp to establish A dorian.


But the question is whether the resulting vamp is A dorian, or in A minor still, with the Bm borrowed from the parallel major.
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#31
Quote by isaac_bandits
If you were to end the chorus on E7 then that would lead nicely into a tonicized Am and I would assume that you could then use the Am-Bm vamp to establish A dorian.


need i say more? it's pretty difficult to do that because, since the listener already hears the tonicized A minor key, anything further will just be heard as being in A minor with the F# being heard as an accidental (or borrowed from melodic minor).

are you going to give me shit for responding to your post, too?
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#32
Quote by AlanHB
But the question is whether the resulting vamp is A dorian, or in A minor still, with the Bm borrowed from the parallel major.


What exactly would be the difference? (Aside from what you actually call it)


Quote by soviet_ska
The concept.


I did an ABA. A section was Am -> Bm. B section was G -> Am -> Bm -> D7. I just improvised diatonically over the whole thing and didn't hear the modality the second time through.
.

Don't Improvise over it. Just play the chords and listen.
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Last edited by GuitarMunky at Aug 27, 2011,
#33
Quote by GuitarMunky
What exactly would be the difference? (Aside from what you actually call it)


Obviously that question is not aimed at me, but I'd like to say that I believe there is no difference apart from what you call it. It's still the same piece of music.

I would generally avoid mixing modal terminology when a tonal context had been established. I don't think I'm right or wrong, I just prefer to keep the two separate. A piece is tonal, or modal, not both. IMO.
#34
Quote by AeolianWolf
need i say more? it's pretty difficult to do that because, since the listener already hears the tonicized A minor key, anything further will just be heard as being in A minor with the F# being heard as an accidental (or borrowed from melodic minor).


Well atleast the Am is tonicized at that point. Then if you were to actually play F#s over the Am and the Bm, I think you can re-establish the A dorian tonality. Plus it doesn't actually require the use of an F. The only accidental needed is G#. Do you have a better way of doing it?

Quote by AeolianWolf
are you going to give me shit for responding to your post, too?


No. Why would I? I want people to respond. That's why I'm posting on a forum.
#35
Quote by isaac_bandits
Well atleast the Am is tonicized at that point. Then if you were to actually play F#s over the Am and the Bm, I think you can re-establish the A dorian tonality. Plus it doesn't actually require the use of an F. The only accidental needed is G#. Do you have a better way of doing it?


it's true that the Am would be tonicized. however, my argument would be that it would be in a minor key. i guess if your melody is kept strict, you could argue that it would be in the A dorian mode. i don't think i need to tell you that modes and accidentals don't mix. but since the modulation was to the minor key (rather than the dorian mode), and the notes in the dorian mode could just as easily be used in a minor key (without it functioning as the dorian mode), my vote is for the minor key. not to mention that, via the use of melodic minor, a minor key could easily accommodate the major submediant.

do i have a better way of doing it? honestly, no. but i don't know everything there is to know. there might be a more advanced modulation technique that i know nothing about. if i do think of something, i'll let you know.

Quote by isaac_bandits
No. Why would I? I want people to respond. That's why I'm posting on a forum.


+1.
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#36
Quote by GuitarMunky
What exactly would be the difference? (Aside from what you actually call it


I've got a better idea. As you've not contributed anything to the thread so far, you can use this opportunity to answer your own question.

So tell us GM, what is the difference?
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#37
Quote by AlanHB
I've got a better idea. As you've not contributed anything to the thread so far, you can use this opportunity to answer your own question.

So tell us GM, what is the difference?


ohhh , great idea. and yes I have contributed to this thread. Lets be a little more mature about it, please.


Quote by AlanHB

So tell us GM, what is the difference?


I asked you, because you're the one saying it can't be considered modal. I never said it couldn't be called a borrowed chord, though in this particular case I wouldn't consider it to be borrowed from the parallel Major as you suggested.

Since you asked though, this is how I would explain the difference between i - ii (dorian) and i - ii (borrowed from Major) as it relates to the song Moondance:


- in sound and function..... no difference
- in how you think about it.... 1 important distinction, see below


The problem I have with the ii being borrowed from the parallel Major is that it implies modal interchange between the two chords rather than one simple change of mode for the whole section. It's an unnecessarily complicated way of looking at it, and IMO it isn't what's happening in this particular song.

If I were to see it in terms of altered chords, Id say that it's borrowed from the parallel dorian mode, and that it happens long and consistently enough to actually establish the mode.
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Last edited by GuitarMunky at Aug 27, 2011,
#38
Quote by GuitarMunky
Don't Improvise over it. Just play the chords and listen.


I'm just not hearing it. The only way it works for me is if I pause so long that I "forget" the G tonal center.

Either way, I'm done here; it's not worth it to keep arguing, honestly. Unless someone comes up with something groundbreaking, I'll go my way with my opinion. No hard feelings or anything, just sick of this post.
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#39
Quote by GuitarMunky
I asked you, because you're the one saying it can't be considered modal. I never said it couldn't be called a borrowed chord, though in this particular case I wouldn't consider it to be borrowed from the parallel Major as you suggested.


You'd never explained your position mate, just stating that you were right, and we were wrong. I don't see how you can have a borrowed chord in a mode, which is what you think the verses are in.

Quote by GuitarMunky
The problem I have with the ii being borrowed from the parallel Major is that it implies modal interchange between the two chords rather than one simple change of mode for the whole section. It's an unnecessarily complicated way of looking at it, and IMO it isn't what's happening in this particular song.

If I were to see it in terms of altered chords, Id say that it's borrowed from the parallel dorian mode, and that it happens long and consistently enough to actually establish the mode.


I don't see how keeping a whole song in a single key is more complicated than switching between a key and a mode several times during a song. I don't see it as more complex.

As for the progression happening long and consistently enough to establish it, what are your feelings on the verses following the chorus'? The chorus is distinctly minor, and they end on a V, leading straight back to the i which begins the verses. Perhaps you're suggesting that around 10-20 seconds into the verse it becomes modal? Or is it a straight out when that i plays in the verses, the pull to the tonal center drops off to the extent it becomes a mode again?
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#40
It's really subjective isn't it? It's interesting that Van Morrisson doesn't sing a F note in the melody during the verses, but as soon as the pre-chorus starts he lands on the F natural.

If the melody during the verses did include an F, arguably a sharp would sound better. Lol, I don't have that symbol on my MacBook.

Incidentally, the sax solo is in A Dorian.

Imo, I like the idea of changing between tonal and modal sections in a composition, and this song does just that.

Alan, if you were in a band situation and were jamming this out as an instrumental, what scale would you use to improvise over the verse, after the chorus had been played?

Thinking about it in this perspective, I would choose Dorian if that were me. Just like it always was from the start.
Last edited by mdc at Aug 28, 2011,
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