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#1
The song 'Nothing Left' by As I Lay Dying is written in C Aeolian, but they throw a few C#'s in there. I'm not sure why, how, or from where they pulled it from, or if they just felt like adding a sharp.

I know the basics of modes. I just don't know what other modes you can borrow from to change the tonality of your song.
#2
if it sounds good, why not do it?
they probably just felt like throwing in a random C# there :p
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#5
It's an accidental.

They are flattening the major 2nd and therefore creating a minor 2nd.

This is called the phrygian scale.


Note - This does not mean the song is in C phrygian. It just uses that scale
#6
Quote by z4twenny
Ts do you know the difference between tonality and modality?


Yes. That Sharp they add changes the sound of the song a bit. Aka. Tonality.
#7
Quote by mrbabo91
It's an accidental.

They are flattening the major 2nd and therefore creating a minor 2nd.

This is called the phrygian scale.


Note - This does not mean the song is in C phrygian. It just uses that scale



Exactly this. C aeolian with a Db (the note is not a C#) instead of a D is C Phrygian, but don't assume that their music, or your music you use this in, is modal.
#9
It's just an accidental, an out of scale note used to create tension or dissonance at a particualr point in time...it's existence doesn't change anything about the tonality of the piece.
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#10
Quote by Fryman058
Yes. That Sharp they add changes the sound of the song a bit. Aka. Tonality.

that has nothing to do with the question i asked. i was asking if you knew the difference between modality and tonality. the answer you gave leads me to believe that no, you don't.

the song is in a minor key with accidentals, not a mode. i guess i'm the last person in mt to care when people use the wrong terminology
#11
jesus, it's c minor, not c aeolian.

just because no one else has came out and said it directly yet

also, for the record, if there's an accidental in a mode? it's probably not a mode.

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Last edited by Hail at Jan 24, 2012,
#12
Quote by z4twenny
i guess i'm the last person in mt to care when people use the wrong terminology


Lol! You're not. I'm sure there are others like me around here who still get peeved at stuff like this .

C Minor scale = C D Eb F G Ab Bb
C Phrygian scale = C Db Eb F G Ab Bb

But don't be confused TS. Just because you're seeing all the notes that make up a certain mode in a song, doesn't mean that the song is actually using the mode. I'd say that in 99.99999999% of all cases nowadays, out-of-key notes are simply used as a tension or flavour-adding device.

I always feel uneasy when I see a thread that involves modes for this reason.
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#13
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
It depends completely on context.


one person has the right answer, congratulations j.r.f.

I actually took the time to look at the context before responding.

Fryman I need to ask you first how you concluded that the song is written in C aeolian (C minor). If you look closely, you'll notice that the D note almost never appears (once in a short solo I believe), and the C# note appears quite frequently.

You should note that although the phrygian mode sounds very odd on its own, it's actually only one note different from the aeolian (minor) - which is probably what led you to conclude its in minor (aeolian). It's just the flat second that gives it that unique flavor.

The song is actually written in C phrygian, with the one or two D notes that appear being the accidentals.

The flat second in the phrygian mode is what gives it that awesome metal intensity.
#14
Quote by bouttimeijoined
one person has the right answer, congratulations j.r.f.

I actually took the time to look at the context before responding.

Fryman I need to ask you first how you concluded that the song is written in C aeolian (C minor). If you look closely, you'll notice that the D note almost never appears (once in a short solo I believe), and the C# note appears quite frequently.

You should note that although the phrygian mode sounds very odd on its own, it's actually only one note different from the aeolian (minor) - which is probably what led you to conclude its in minor (aeolian). It's just the flat second that gives it that unique flavor.

The song is actually written in C phrygian, with the one or two D notes that appear being the accidentals.

The flat second in the phrygian mode is what gives it that awesome metal intensity.


you've never listened to as i lay dying?

it's in c minor like almost all of their songs. accidentals or not.
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#15
Quote by bouttimeijoined


The song is actually written in C phrygian, with the one or two D notes that appear being the accidentals.

The flat second in the phrygian mode is what gives it that awesome metal intensity.

sitting here listening to the song i'm quite positive it's in c minor with an accidental.

listen to an actual song in phrygian to hear the difference.
#16
Quote by Hail
you've never listened to as i lay dying?

it's in c minor like almost all of their songs. accidentals or not.


I have - not that I know all their songs - But I was following along with the tab this time.

I mean the C# does mostly appear at the end of an 8th note run with very heavy distortion, so it's not exactly 'obvious'.

sitting here listening to the song i'm quite positive it's in c minor with an accidental.

listen to an actual song in phrygian to hear the difference.


I can understand that it can sound minor especially beside more 'obvious' phrygian songs that emphasize the flat second, in particular with the G note in the frequent C5's hinting toward C minor.

But if you listen close you'll hear the C# often enough to call it phrygian.
#17
Quote by bouttimeijoined


But if you listen close you'll hear the C# often enough to call it phrygian.


but the problem here is that doesn't make it phrygian.
Last edited by z4twenny at Jan 24, 2012,
#19
Quote by bouttimeijoined
what else does it need?

oh dear god... if you want it to be modal then it needs to be modal not tonal. simply having a flattened second doesn't instantly make your song modal.
Last edited by z4twenny at Jan 24, 2012,
#20
If the song uses a Db (Not a C#) more often than a D, then it is perfectly acceptable to say it is in the C phygian scale (I stress scale, not mode). Many people on this forum will tell you that it's unacceptable to name a non-modal song after a "mode" (In quotes because I said, technically you're using a scale), and you should only describe it as being major or minor with certain accidentals, but if that's the case then you can't bother saying that something was written in the whole tone scale or harmonic minor scale either.


EDIT: After listening to the song, there are Db's all over the place. It is just fine to refer to this song as being in the phrygian SCALE. Anybody who says other wise is frankly just butthurt because they understand modes better than most of us.
Last edited by Macabre_Turtle at Jan 24, 2012,
#21
It's not unacceptable, it's just stupid. Also, there's no such thing as being in a scale, that makes no sense. No one is in the harmonic minor scale or the whole tone scale, they use them, but they're not in them. They're in a key/mode (probably a key).
#22
Quote by Macabre_Turtle
Anybody who says other wise is frankly just butthurt because they understand modes better than most of us.

if you were talking to someone about math and used the wrong descriptive term would you not expect to be corrected?

I was just talking about this in another thread, peoples attitudes of "oh well, whatever, you get what i meant" if we all adopt that point of view then in a few short years we'll all end up like the people in idiocracy. that being said i wouldn't mind the revamped starbucks.
#23
Quote by Macabre_Turtle
If the song uses a Db (Not a C#) more often than a D, then it is perfectly acceptable to say it is in the C phygian scale (I stress scale, not mode). Many people on this forum will tell you that it's unacceptable to name a non-modal song after a "mode" (In quotes because I said, technically you're using a scale), and you should only describe it as being major or minor with certain accidentals, but if that's the case then you can't bother saying that something was written in the whole tone scale or harmonic minor scale either.


EDIT: After listening to the song, there are Db's all over the place. It is just fine to refer to this song as being in the phrygian SCALE. Anybody who says other wise is frankly just butthurt because they understand modes better than most of us.

No it isn't because it doesn't make sense, you're doing little more simply throwing around fancy names in an attempt to sound clever.

There's nothing to be gained from attempting to make things any more complicated than they actually are...I mean i'm technically correct if I say

2+2 = the square root of ((8x3)-8))

but I'd be a moron for giving that as my answer if asked the question "what's 2+2?" because it makes more sense and is easier to say

2+2=4
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#24
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
It's not unacceptable, it's just stupid. Also, there's no such thing as being in a scale, that makes no sense. No one is in the harmonic minor scale or the whole tone scale, they use them, but they're not in them. They're in a key/mode (probably a key).


Okay okay, a song can't be IN the harmonic minor scale. It can just USE the harmonic minor scale. Likewise, it can't be IN the phrygian scale, it can just USE the phyrgian scale. Fine.

Bottom line, the phrygian SCALE is a thing, the dorian SCALE, is a thing and so on. And how do I know this? Well, for one, I've asked music majors. For two, make a little Google search for "site:.edu phrygian scale." (or dorian scale, or lydian scale, and so on) There are a decent amount of pages that show up in that search of .edu pages that describe the use of these as scales. So if you guys want to tell me that college music professors are wrong, go ahead.
#25
Quote by steven seagull
No it isn't because it doesn't make sense, you're doing little more simply throwing around fancy names in an attempt to sound clever.

There's nothing to be gained from attempting to make things any more complicated than they actually are...I mean i'm technically correct if I say

2+2 = the square root of ((8x3)-8))

but I'd be a moron for giving that as my answer if asked the question "what's 2+2?" because it makes more sense and is easier to say

2+2=4



It's actually significantly quicker and easier to say that "I'm using C Phrygian" than it is to say I'm using "C minor with a flat second."
#26
I don't think anyone has said ever that the phrygian scale doesn't exist, it's just that it's not a useful descriptor in most (read: basically all) cases. If you're not using modal practise, then why describe something with a mode.
#27
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
I don't think anyone has said ever that the phrygian scale doesn't exist, it's just that it's not a useful descriptor in most (read: basically all) cases. If you're not using modal practise, then why describe something with a mode.


Well, if you agree that there is a such thing as a phyrgian scale (rather than mode), then my point is valid, and there's no reason to criticize anybody for saying it. Whether someone finds it useful or not is a different story.

As for why I would describe it as phrygian? Say I've written a song with a chord progression of C minor, F minor, Eb major, Db major, and I need a melody/solo/whatever over top of it. I personally find it a lot easier to say "I am using the C phrygian scale" than to say "I'm using the C minor scale, but with a minor second." Just like if I'm playing a chord progression that's minor but has a major 7th, I'm going to tell the musician playing with me "it's in harmonic minor," not "it's in minor, but with a major 7th."
#28
Quote by Macabre_Turtle

Well, if you agree that there is a such thing as a phyrgian scale (rather than mode), then my point is valid.


What exactly is the distinction, in your mind?

As for your progression I actually wouldn't have any problems with you calling that phrygian. (mindfuck.jpg?) Provided that you successfully resolved back to C.
#29
More of MT's textbook musicians chiming in I see.

It breaks down to this:

A song, whether tonal or modal, has, at any given point (unless its atonal, but it probably isn't), a tonal center - a base frequency that all other parts of the song (or parts of the part of the song) are heard relative to.

Then it's got a bunch of other notes in the form of melodies and chords.

In this case, that tonal center is C for the whole song - there should be no argument on this.

The rest of the notes are Db Eb F G Ab Bb.

The scale/mode/whatever in the **** you want to call it with those notes, starting on C, is C phrygian. You could call it C minor with a flat second, you could call it the fifth mode of F minor, you could even call it C major with a flat 2nd 3rd 6th and 7th, and you'd be entirely correct, but you know what, there's actually a single word for it, it's called C PHRYGIAN.
#30
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
What exactly is the distinction, in your mind?

As for your progression I actually wouldn't have any problems with you calling that phrygian. (mindfuck.jpg?) Provided that you successfully resolved back to C.


You mean the distinction between the phrygian scale and the phrygian mode? Or the distinction between the phrygian scale and the minor scale with a minor second?
#31
Quote by Macabre_Turtle
You mean the distinction between the phrygian scale and the phrygian mode? Or the distinction between the phrygian scale and the minor scale with a minor second?


Between the phrygian mode and scale.
#32
Quote by Macabre_Turtle
Well, if you agree that there is a such thing as a phyrgian scale (rather than mode), then my point is valid, and there's no reason to criticize anybody for saying it. Whether someone finds it useful or not is a different story.

As for why I would describe it as phrygian? Say I've written a song with a chord progression of C minor, F minor, Eb major, Db major, and I need a melody/solo/whatever over top of it. I personally find it a lot easier to say "I am using the C phrygian scale" than to say "I'm using the C minor scale, but with a minor second." Just like if I'm playing a chord progression that's minor but has a major 7th, I'm going to tell the musician playing with me "it's in harmonic minor," not "it's in minor, but with a major 7th."

The problem here again is that the chord progression isn't phrygian and is an inaccurate description
#33
I'm not sure how often this needs to be said, so I've got my standard answers for copy and paste purposes.

Standard answer 1

Major/Minor Scales with Accidentals

Over a song in a major or minor key, you will always be playing a major or minor scale. However you can also use accidentals, giving you access to all 12 tones. You can derive scales from the modes and play them over songs in major/minor keys, for example you can use a major 6th in a minor key, and you'll have a scale which shares the same notes as dorian. You're actually playing the minor scale with a major 6th, not a mode.

Standard answer 2

The song isn't in a mode, for the same reason that a blues song isn't in the key of minor pentatonic.

Standard answer 3

An issue of terminology arises with use of mode vs scale, especially when simply considering the notes used rather than the harmonic context of a mode vs key.


Bouttime, you've proved over multiple threads that you are using accidentals in songs to use scales derived from modes. This does not make the song modal.
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#34
Bouttime, you've proved over multiple threads that you are using accidentals in songs to use scales derived from modes. This does not make the song modal.


You've never clearly stated what you believe makes a song "modal".

I'm telling you that If a song has tonal center C and uses the notes C Db Eb F G Ab Bb to form all its melodies and chords, it's in C phrygian.
#35
hey bouttime, how would you write "c phrygian" out on sheet music?
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#36
its a tonal music thing. It leads to and helps tonisize the four chord, the same way B in the key of C major does with the one chord.
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#37
Quote by bouttimeijoined
I'm telling you that If a song has tonal center C and uses the notes C Db Eb F G Ab Bb to form all its melodies and chords, it's in C phrygian.


Here is a standard progression in C phryg. Cm - Dbmaj7 x forever

Play that for a while. Does it feel sorta floaty like it doesn't resolve anywhere? That's the tonality of a mode. Now slam a Gm in there. Now it definitely wants to go to Cm. Welcome to the difference in sound between modes and keys.

If you want to keep the progression modal, that initial "floaty" feeling must be kept throughout. This is not the case here.
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#38
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
Between the phrygian mode and scale.


My distinction is, If I'm using the intervals 1-2b-3b-4-5-6b-7b in a modal context (which I honestly would have no idea how to do) then I'm using the phrygian mode. If I'm using the intervals 1-2b-3b-4-5-6b-7b in a tonal context, then I'm using the phrygian scale.
#39
I don't know the song, but I do know a ton about music...

Once you get past the "C Minor Scale" and into the Key of C Minor you'll fine that scale is probably C Natural Minor and not C Aeolian.

The C# is more than likely the b5 sub, giving you a C# chord, or C#7. The b5 sub would be a bII (or bII7) chord that is a sub for the G or G7 in the Key of C Minor.
#40
Quote by z4twenny
The problem here again is that the chord progression isn't phrygian and is an inaccurate description


Except, that it completely is. Every note of the progression fits in the notes of C phrygian. You're ignoring the fact that I'm not talking about modal music, and I'm not suggesting in any way that a mode is being used.