#1
Hey all

Just had a quick question to ask. If I have a riff in E minor, but lower the second, so i have E F G A B D, does that mean I'm using a phrygian scale? Just to clarify, I know I'm not playing modally, just wondering if it's acceptable/correct to say I'm playing in E minor using the Phrygian scale.

Thanks
#3
Quote by Marshmelllow
yep. in minor you need to flat the 2nd to achieve a major phrygian.


Pamposh’s final question before drifting into a state of transcendent ecstasy was, “But Master, if everything is an illusion, then why does anything matter?”

To which the master replied, “It may all be an illusion, but it’s a very real illusion.”
#4
Quote by gynther flynt


well please excuse me for being intoxicated on codeine. its a miracle i can even type.
Last edited by Marshmelllow at Mar 14, 2012,
#5
That would be correct.

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#9
Yes the key signature will have one sharp. Just add a natural sign to it wherever it appears in the score.
#12
Quote by Ryhee
Hey all

Just had a quick question to ask. If I have a riff in E minor, but lower the second, so i have E F G A B D, does that mean I'm using a phrygian scale? Just to clarify, I know I'm not playing modally, just wondering if it's acceptable/correct to say I'm playing in E minor using the Phrygian scale.

Thanks


not really, no. you don't play in a mode in a key...doesn't make sense. you're just playing in E minor and flatten the F when you feel like it. so no, you can't play "E minor using the phrygian scale".

if you're only using the F and never once use an F#, i guess you could call it E phrygian, i couldn't really debate you on that -- but you could take a broader view and just call it E minor. it's less restrictive.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#15
Quote by Marshmelllow
well please excuse me for being intoxicated on codeine. its a miracle i can even type.
Yeah well, If you're gonna start talking like that, you need to save enough to get us high.

Er, now what was the topic?

Ah yes, the Phrygian scale.

Theoreticians much more competent than myself, have informed that the Jefferson Airplane's, "White Rabbit" is in F# Phrygian.

As you may know, the song is based loosely on "Alice in Wonderland", or "Through the Looking Glass". Whichever is the correct title, you can Google to find out.

In any event, Lewis Carroll's vivid imagination may have been fueled by either opium or cocaine.

As you may also know, codeine is an opiate.

Notice also if you will, we've come full circle back to codeine.......
Last edited by Captaincranky at Mar 15, 2012,
#16
Quote by Captaincranky
Yeah well, If you're gonna start talking like that, you need to save enough to get us high.

Er, now what was the topic?

Ah yes, the Phrygian scale.

Theoreticians much more competent than myself, have informed that the Jefferson Airplane's, "White Rabbit" is in F# Phrygian.

As you may know, the song is based loosely on "Alice in Wonderland", or "Through the Looking Glass". Whichever is the correct title, you can Google to find out.

In any event, Lewis Carroll's vivid imagination may have been fueled by either opium or cocaine.

As you may also know, codeine is an opiate.

Notice also if you will, we've come full circle back to codeine.......

technically both of the titles are correct since they are both books by lewis carroll and alice is the main character of both of them, also it's highly unlikely that lewis carroll used cocaine to write these because cocaine is an upper and is rarely ever used for highly imaginative things.
how ever different drugs such as opiates like opuim and heroin and psychoactive drugs like marijuana and mushrooms are usually used for more creative things like this. and that in mind I would suggest that carroll most likely used opium while writing these two books.

also my appologies that this has nothing to do with the original question, as I have nothing to add to that...
Quote by Dirk Gently
Some pieces are only meant to be played by people with six fingers on their fretting hand. Sorry.
#17
Quote by Ryhee
Hey all

Just had a quick question to ask. If I have a riff in E minor, but lower the second, so i have E F G A B D, does that mean I'm using a phrygian scale? Just to clarify, I know I'm not playing modally, just wondering if it's acceptable/correct to say I'm playing in E minor using the Phrygian scale.

Thanks


Yes, you are playing E Phrygian, the third degree in the C Major scale.

I would note the riff (lol @ my pun) as E Phrygian.

Saying "I'm playing in E minor using the Phrygian scale" is not correct.

It's not E minor because the second interval is only a half step.

E Aeolian would represent the E minor scale you are familiar with.

Also, keep going with the theory. It won't hurt you as a writer
#18
Quote by krypticguitar87

how ever different drugs such as opiates like opuim and heroin and psychoactive drugs like marijuana and mushrooms are usually used for more creative things like this. and that in mind I would suggest that carroll most likely used opium while writing these two books.
Ah yes, the proverbial, "pipe dream"!

Quote by krypticguitar87
also my appologies that this has nothing to do with the original question, as I have nothing to add to that...
Well, you didn't start the drug tangent, and a bit of backstory can be fun.......
#19
Quote by HigherThanAMile
Saying "I'm playing in E minor using the Phrygian scale" is not correct.

It's not E minor because the second interval is only a half step.


Well I'd actually argue the opposite. He's in the key of E minor. He is using a b2 accidental, and is calling it the phrygian scale. As the song is in E minor, err, it's in E minor.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#20
Quote by AlanHB
Well I'd actually argue the opposite. He's in the key of E minor. He is using a b2 accidental, and is calling it the phrygian scale. As the song is in E minor, err, it's in E minor.


Seems to create confusion more than avoid it. He's not in the key of E minor (E Aeolian, a minor mode in G Major) if the second interval is not F#.

He's playing E Phrygian (a minor mode in C Major), but you can call it what you'd like.

#21
^^^ You can use a b2 in the key of E minor. It's extremely common in metal.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#22
Quote by HigherThanAMile
Seems to create confusion more than avoid it. He's not in the key of E minor (E Aeolian, a minor mode in G Major) if the second interval is not F#.

He's playing E Phrygian (a minor mode in C Major), but you can call it what you'd like.



...if i were you, i'd keep going with the theory. it won't hurt you as a writer.

the reason confusion is created is because you don't seem to have a good foundation in tonal theory. modes haven't really been used in a long, long, time (outside modal jazz, of course).

you need to learn about keys, because right now it seems you only know about scales.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#23
This riff feels like it resolves back to an E minor, so it's in E minor right? I'm pretty sure it isn't in C major haha. I don't know much about modes, but I'm pretty sure just using an F instead of an F# doesn't mean I'm playing modally
#24
Quote by Ryhee
This riff feels like it resolves back to an E minor, so it's in E minor right? I'm pretty sure it isn't in C major haha. I don't know much about modes, but I'm pretty sure just using an F instead of an F# doesn't mean I'm playing modally
I'm going to throw some oil on the fire here by saying, you can probably use the phrygian scale, without strictly playing in the phrygian mode. I'd say the best description would be that your piece would have a "modal feel".

However, if you base your primary chord change around the b2nd, then it becomes modal. IE: Em to Fm, Em to F.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Mar 15, 2012,
#25
God i hate modes they make we want to cut people into little pieces.

True modal music is gone in the mainstream (and by this i mean every piece of music today). You can have a whole song played with the E phrygian scale, and its still E minor with a b2 accidental. Thats just how it is now.
#26
Quote by macashmack
God i hate modes they make we want to cut people into little pieces..
Really? I understand the the modal droning of the early 70's is a thing of the past. Still, you should have those anger management issues looked into.
#27
Quote by Captaincranky
Really? I understand the the modal droning of the early 70's is a thing of the past.


early 70s? the 1570s, maybe. i kid, it lasted about another century or so after that. the key system has superseded modes -- even the "modal jazz" isn't really modal. that mess is still in a key (or, more accurately, keys). it's absolutely a different approach, though.

there's absolutely music with a modal feel, like you pointed out, but modal music simply doesn't exist anymore. even your Em - Fm and Em - F deals are still in E minor.
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#28
Quote by AeolianWolf
...if i were you, i'd keep going with the theory. it won't hurt you as a writer.

the reason confusion is created is because you don't seem to have a good foundation in tonal theory. modes haven't really been used in a long, long, time (outside modal jazz, of course).

you need to learn about keys, because right now it seems you only know about scales.


Thanks for your reply.

If you are calling E, F, G, A, B, *, D, E minor, how do you play a Emin9 chord when F isn't sharped?

Just to restating for clarification, that I suggested that it would be more accurate to call the riff written in E Phrygian, because of the lack of F#.
#29
Quote by HigherThanAMile
Thanks for your reply.

If you are calling E, F, G, A, B, *, D, E minor, how do you play a Emin9 chord when F isn't sharped?

Just to restating for clarification, that I suggested that it would be more accurate to call the riff written in E Phrygian, because of the lack of F#.


In keys you can play any note you want, any chord you want. What makes it in the key of E minor is whether it resolves to E minor. Adding a single out-of-key note (accidental) will have little to no bearing on where the chord progression resolves.

Why not try it out? Put on a backing track in E minor, and keep on playing F over it. Take notes on whether the key changes to a mode somehow and report back here with reasons why this single note changed the harmonic context of the song.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#30
Quote by HigherThanAMile
Thanks for your reply.

If you are calling E, F, G, A, B, *, D, E minor, how do you play a Emin9 chord when F isn't sharped?

Just to restating for clarification, that I suggested that it would be more accurate to call the riff written in E Phrygian, because of the lack of F#.
No, they're calling the KEY E minor, and the scale Phrygian. The inclusion of the accidental b2nd doesn't preclude you playing an e minor 9th, just don't play the F & F# together, as that harmony is a bit thick for most ears. The E, F, F# in sequence and together, is very easy to play on a piano, and it has all the tonal subtlety of hitting the piano with your fist.

The "Phrygian" scale is also known as the "Spanish Gypsy Scale", (among other things). That said, it's a lot easier to justify using that over an E minor or E major chord, without provoking a lengthy modal discourse.

All roads still lead to Rome: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gypsy_scale

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_harmonic_scale

Or possibly this, "A rose by any other name".....

In any event, a mode thread is like a pot hole, you can drive right through it at your own risk, or ease your trip immensely by steering around it.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Mar 16, 2012,
#31
Quote by Captaincranky
No, they're calling the KEY E minor, and the scale Phrygian.


no, i'm not. i'm calling the key E minor, period. i'm not involving any scale. thinking in terms of scales is limiting.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#32
Quote by Ryhee
Hey all

Just had a quick question to ask. If I have a riff in E minor, but lower the second, so i have E F G A B D, does that mean I'm using a phrygian scale? Just to clarify, I know I'm not playing modally, just wondering if it's acceptable/correct to say I'm playing in E minor using the Phrygian scale.

Thanks
The beauty of all this is that there are many Phrygian scales, and yours happens to be one of them.

This assumes your strict adherence to the notes you've listed.

A more tasteless and contentious way of describing this is you're playing in C major, but going from E to E, and not bothering to play the tonic note. (I just threw that in there to start an argument). I suggest not taking the bait.

On the other hand E Phrygian, (both major and minor), does contain a "C". Soooo, you can't claim a full diatonic, "scale", without it. What you have is E pentatonic minor, with an accidental "F" thrown in.

Here's the Wiki page on this topic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phrygian_mode

I suggest raiding this "Phryg", (so to speak), for some additional info.

The Phrygian "Dominant" scales, and the "Double Harmonic scales" are much more effective at imparting an exotic feel to a piece, that is just flatting the 2nd, or adding an accidental "F" to E pentatonic minor. Whichever you decide that you've done, is fine by me.

Quote by AeolianWolf
no, i'm not. i'm calling the key E minor, period. i'm not involving any scale. thinking in terms of scales is limiting.
OK upfront, "they" is a plural 3rd person pronoun. So, much in the same way as, "thinking in scales is limiting", thinking in the 1st person singular is also limiting.

Threads like this are always seeking absolute, nitpicking, precise, "resolutions", (pardon the pun). So, a better, more precise response could have been, others do say this is, "a Phrygian scale", but I believe thinking in those terms, or scale terms at all, is limiting.

That may be true. However, analysis does require terminology, and "scale" fills the bill nicely.

I believe I even fully understand your point about scales being, "limiting", but contend that viewpoint attaches itself much more readily to musical composition, rather than musical analysis.

Our TS's scale description of " E F G A B D," isn't Phrygian, because it contains no "C", at least for the duration of the measures that this scale is in force. Work the "C" into the riff, and it is.

Everybody gets to be at least partially right in the scenario of this post, as I've attempted to incorporate, and acknowledge, everybody's perceptions, (including my own, of course), into this reply.
#33
People who hate modes are all high. How hard is it to understand that all modes are is the same pattern of whole and half steps as the major scale, just shifted over a bit? If people can just get that and stop whining about having a preference for one of two relative modes this will work a lot easier.

I'm really good at modes- fo' realz. I have a flawless understanding of music theory and I am the best guitarist/musician/visionary this world has ever seen; all of modern music is based off of my playing and everyone just tries to imitate the playing in my profile page.
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#35
Quote by JimDawson

I'm really good at modes- fo' realz. I have a flawless understanding of music theory and I am the best guitarist/musician/visionary this world has ever seen; all of modern music is based off of my playing and everyone just tries to imitate the playing in my profile page.
I think all you've left to be said is, "hooray for you".

And maybe a little shout out to modality.
#36
Don't get me wrong, i love the modal flavors. It's just that, music isn't modal anymore! I will substitute a b7 over a 7 chord to give the music that mysterious ancient society mixolydian feel when i want to, but the song isn't in mixolydian, it's in whatever key it is in. It just uses a lick that has a b7.
An entire solo can be written in mixolydian, and it still wouldn't be in mixolydian. It would be the exact same thing, but it still is not mixolydian. Thats just how music is now-its simply a b7 accidental every time in whatever key your playing in. Same goes for every mode.
#37
Quote by macashmack
Don't get me wrong, i love the modal flavors. It's just that, music isn't modal anymore!
Indeed, a tour based on Gregorian chants would be too terribly hard to obtain financing for.

With that said, it's just as easy to impart a, "long ago and faraway" feel to one's music by thinking in terms of exotic scales, rather than just modes.