Page 1 of 2
so clearly major minor =happy sad. But what is so different about a modal piece say to a major piece. Thanks!
major= happry
model= constipated
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
haha.

okay, the difference between major and minor is that the third note in the scale is flat

eg C minor: C D Eb F G A B C
C major C D E F G A B C

modal is like starting the scale using the same notes on a different degree.

for example, playing C major from D to D is D Dorian - the mode from second degree.

i hope that helps clean it up, but chances are its wrong and im going to get torn to shreds by everybody else.
Well the major scale is like your "base scale" of sorts. The modes are basically the notes of the scale. Let's take a G major scale, which notes are. G, A, B, C, D, E, F#, G. There are 7 modes which I'll list below.

G= 1st mode, Ionian
A= 2nd mode, Dorian
B= 3rd mode, Phyrigian
C= 4th mode, lydian
D= 5th mode, mixolydian
E= 6th mode, Aeloian
F#= 7th mode, Locrian
G= 1st mode, Ionian

Each mode has it's own scale shape of sorts. Like that aeolian scale there? That's just a minor scale (E minor and G major are relatives, aka the ionian and aeolian are relatives). That's why they sound good when used together over progressions, they have the same notes and are essentially the same scale, just a different mode! Which makes it important to point out that modes and scales are different, even though they are easy to confuse. Hope this helped some, just message me if you have any questions and I'll attempt to answer them .

EDIT: What I meant by they are different (a mode is not necessarily a scale) is that a mode isn't really a scale besides being "B phyrigian", although the aeolian scale is the minor scale. Inversely, the harmonic minor scale isn't a natural mode. I made that a lot more confusing than need be, so if you have to ask yourself "...What?", just ignore it, I very poorly explained what I meant and I'd rather not confuse you.
Last edited by Thermon at Apr 11, 2012,
and the way you work out whether they are relative is going 3 semitones up or down the piano/guitar whatever for what youre looking for.

just to clarify - I was actually right? Shit.

GL TS
Without getting too complex a major scale has a major third in it (4 half steps up from the root note. In the key of C the major third is an E) and major chords sound "happy".

A minor scale has a minor third (three half steps above the root note. In C the minor third is Eb) and minor chords sound "sad"

Modes take one set of notes for a certain key and use a different note as the root note.

Example:

Key of C goes C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C

To put it in a different mode you would start on any note in the scale and play the notes in order.... Choose E for example so your modal scale would now be E, F, G, A, B, C, D, E
Quote by Spaztikko
and the way you work out whether they are relative is going 3 semitones up or down the piano/guitar whatever for what youre looking for.

just to clarify - I was actually right? Shit.

GL TS

Yeah you were right, bud

EDIT: Although you're C minor should have an A flat, and a B flat instead of natural A and B.
Last edited by Thermon at Apr 11, 2012,
Cool stuff dudes! Can you apply that to a song or chord progression for me?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
okay, can you explain why? in my small understanding (READ: none) of theory, I only thought the third changes?
Quote by Spaztikko
okay, can you explain why? in my small understanding (READ: none) of theory, I only thought the third changes?

If a major scale is the "base" scale, a minor scale would have a flat 3rd sure. And it also has a flat 6th and 7th.

I ask "why" because I'd like to know how much you guys actually know about using modes.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
Quote by AlanHB
If a major scale is the "base" scale, a minor scale would have a flat 3rd sure. And it also has a flat 6th and 7th.

I ask "why" because I'd like to know how much you guys actually know about using modes.

Quote by Spaztikko
okay, can you explain why? in my small understanding (READ: none) of theory, I only thought the third changes?
To make a minor >>chord<< out of a Major >>chord<< you flat the 3rd. So C Major is C (1st or root), E (3rd) and G (5th)

C minor would be, C (root, Eb (3rd), and G again as the 5th. So Eb (the note) is a half step down from E (natural).

That just applies to forming those chords. C major and C minor chords DON'T occur in the same key.

Assuming the key is C major, the relative minor key would be A minor. (They share the same key signature, no sharps or flats).

In the Key of Eb major, C minor would be the relative minor. (they share the same key signature, 3 flats).
Quote by jedke
so clearly major minor =happy sad. But what is so different about a modal piece say to a major piece. Thanks!

This is the difference.
Quote by jedke
so clearly major minor =happy sad. But what is so different about a modal piece say to a major piece. Thanks!

If I am reading this correctly, you are seeking to find a back alley shorthand approach to understanding, hijacking the "gist" of it, and then playing modes, all without the commitment time and context it takes to really understand what you are doing.

The problem with this premise, is there is none.

It's like standing on the bottom of a 20 step staircase, and trying to reach the 17th step. You can't do it. Your legs arent that long. You have to take step 2 and 3 and 4 and 5.

What advice would you give to a guy you saw insanely stretching his leg into the air, wobbling funny, losing balance, all in an attempt to start out on the 17th step of a staircase?

You might explain that, he needs to take steps 1-16 to reach 17, wouldn't you?

In the same way, any explanation which answers your question, would fall flat, because you don't appear to have the context needed to understand the answer.

There are no shortcuts. Only long delays, encountered while searching for shortcuts. If you want to learn and understand. Do that. Invest of yourself, but start at the very begging. And don't spend 20 minutes, spend as much time as it takes until you can turn around and apply it in real time to your playing and know what you are doing. Then, do step 2. There are options, but there aren't many for the slow to listen and lazy. Dreams are for the sleeping. Goals are dreams with a decision attached to them.

Best,

Sean
Quote by Captaincranky

That just applies to forming those chords. C major and C minor chords DON'T occur in the same key.

Unless I'm much mistaken, in a song in the key of F minor you can use both the C minor and C major chords...
Quote by Xiaoxi
The Byzantine scale was useful until the Ottoman scale came around and totally annihilated it.
Why is there no modal shitstorm?
Woffelz

Tumblr

Ibanez RG2550Z/SRX430
Alesis Core 1
BIAS FX

I'm a student. I've got no time or space for an amp!
Quote by mrkeka
Unless I'm much mistaken, in a song in the key of F minor you can use both the C minor and C major chords...
You can use any chord you like. That doesn't mean the chord in question occurs naturally in the key.

Now, if you'd like to extract the chords from C major for us, and be so kind as to point out where you can form "C minor", from these notes, C, D, E, F, G, A, B, and C again, knock yourself out.

I did set a simple example, (in the key of C major), for someone who said they know very little, (to none), about theory. It begs the question, "how is F minor relevant"?

If this is a test, you can use either C or Cm in F minor, because the E in either chord is the natural 7th. of F minor. You can also use a C (V7 form), which is also appropriate.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Apr 12, 2012,
Is this like a major troll conspiracy on MT from pit-users or something?
You'll Never Walk Alone!
@Captaincranky

You said the C minor and major chords could never occur in the same key... I said they can in F minor... never meant anything about C minor in the C major key or scale
Quote by Xiaoxi
The Byzantine scale was useful until the Ottoman scale came around and totally annihilated it.
Quote by mrkeka
@Captaincranky

You said the C minor and major chords could never occur in the same key... I said they can in F minor... never meant anything about C minor in the C major key or scale

A major and a minor chord of the same root name, do not occur naturally in a major key of the same name.

In other words G major and G minor chord, would not appear together in the key of G major. If I was less than explicit about the correlation to a major key and the tonic chord, my apologies.

My observation is this, you can indeed form a minor chord from a major chord of the same root name, by flatting the 3rd. However, this technical trick doesn't always result in a chord relevant to the key being played.

You could probably play any one of a number of c root chords in the key of F minor, but in the simple question of, "I thought you could change a major chord to a minor chord by changing the 3rd", doesn't seem to warrant that level of explanation.
Quote by Captaincranky
You can use any chord you like. That doesn't mean the chord in question occurs naturally in the key.

Depends on your definition of "occurs naturally in the key," I suppose.

I mean, yes, if you mean is completely composed of notes diatonically in the major scale of the key, then yes.

The problem is that's an extremely limited view of what occurs "naturally" in the key. The reality is that we use non-diatonic notes all the time. Ideas such as "borrowing a chord from a parallel scale" (which gives us a Cm in F major) have been going on for hundreds of years. It sounds totally natural to our ears.

The difference between a Cm and a C major chord is whether you have an E or and Eb. In the key of F, Eb is a minor seventh - possibly the easiest non-diatonic note to work with in a major scale (But I wouldn't argue with someone who wanted to say that Ab was easier).

One of my pet peeves is people approaching the harmonized major or minor scales and acting like anything that isn't part of that scale is somebody wrong or anti-theoretical for the key. Music would be really boring if that were the case.
The difference between modal and tonal is not important for now.
And it won't be unless you try to play some renaissance music.
Quote by liampje
The difference between modal and tonal is not important for now.
And it won't be unless you try to play some renaissance music.

I think the mods need to add what you just said into the rules of this sub-forum.
Woffelz

Tumblr

Ibanez RG2550Z/SRX430
Alesis Core 1
BIAS FX

I'm a student. I've got no time or space for an amp!
Quote by HotspurJr
Depends on your definition of "occurs naturally in the key," I suppose.

I mean, yes, if you mean is completely composed of notes diatonically in the major scale of the key, then yes.

The problem is that's an extremely limited view of what occurs "naturally" in the key. The reality is that we use non-diatonic notes all the time. Ideas such as "borrowing a chord from a parallel scale" (which gives us a Cm in F major) have been going on for hundreds of years. It sounds totally natural to our ears.

The difference between a Cm and a C major chord is whether you have an E or and Eb. In the key of F, Eb is a minor seventh - possibly the easiest non-diatonic note to work with in a major scale (But I wouldn't argue with someone who wanted to say that Ab was easier).

One of my pet peeves is people approaching the harmonized major or minor scales and acting like anything that isn't part of that scale is somebody wrong or anti-theoretical for the key. Music would be really boring if that were the case.
You can do whatever you want, put whatever note you choose, or play any chord progression you fancy, in any key of whatever. Knock yourself out. But I really wish you'd stop lecturing me about it.

I try to explain something about basic theory, and then everybody jumps on board trying to explain all they know, at the conservatory level..

In C Major, the chords produced using the diatonic scale are, C, Dm, Em, F, G (or GV7), Am, Bdim, and back to C. That's what's on paper. And I believe, that's where a beginner should start. If you understand that concept, then you understand how every chord, (diatonic to the key), in every major key is produced.

After that, you're on your own. Feel free to express your musical skills in however a manner you enjoy, or believe others will enjoy.
Quote by TeaEsKSU
Without getting too complex a major scale has a major third in it (4 half steps up from the root note. In the key of C the major third is an E) and major chords sound "happy".

I've been learning this song on piano lately and even if it's in a major key it's definetely not ''happy''.
Last edited by francesco18 at Apr 12, 2012,
Quote by francesco18

I've been learning this song on piano lately and even if it's in a major key it's definetely not ''happy''.
The late Virgil Fox said at a concert I attended, "minor is richer than than major, so let's begin in minor". He said nothing that equated to, "happy or "sad".
I think people use "happy" and "sad" as metaphors to help a newbie understand the difference.

My experience was that at some point, my intuition "got it" - minor no longer sounded sad, it sounded, well, minor.
Quote by chronowarp
Or if you're playing some zelda

or maybe some final fantasy

To me they both sound tonal.
If you think that zelda thing is modal, then you should keep this in mind:
Longer progressions are almost everytime tonal.
Even though the beginning uses an aug 4th.
If every song like that would be modal, alot of songs would be modal.
But, it isn't like that.
Quote by HotspurJr
I think people use "happy" and "sad" as metaphors to help a newbie understand the difference.

My experience was that at some point, my intuition "got it" - minor no longer sounded sad, it sounded, well, minor.

Agreed, metal sounds kickass, not sad.
Quote by liampje
To me they both sound tonal.
If you think that zelda thing is modal, then you should keep this in mind:
Longer progressions are almost everytime tonal.
Even though the beginning uses an aug 4th.
If every song like that would be modal, alot of songs would be modal.
But, it isn't like that.

lol.

Listen to the zelda song. The entire A section motif is under an F drone. Hint: F lydian. The whole piece is not modal, but...that section is.

Chocobo theme...Entire A section is G-F vamp...Classic Mixo, until the B Section.
Last edited by chronowarp at Apr 12, 2012,
Quote by chronowarp
lol.

Listen to the zelda song. The entire A section motif is under an F drone. Hint: F lydian. The whole piece is not modal, but...that section is.

Chocobo theme...Entire A section is G-F vamp...Classic Mixo, until the B Section.

lol

You can't call a piece modal, or the intro.
If it's in context, it eventually resolves somewhere.
I don't know what music theory is.

^ Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck.... 35
Last edited by mdc at Apr 12, 2012,
I can't call a piece modal? What? You're being highly pragmatic for the wrong reasons. I don't think you ever have the understanding to efficiently distinguish between modal vs. key based. It's perfectly acceptable and appropriate to label a section of a piece of music "modal", that doesn't mean the entire piece has to be modal.

In terms of the "big picture" you might be able to make a case for anything modal contained within a larger composition to simply be an isolated melodic fragmented in the scale of a bigger work...but that has its limitations.

When we call something modal it simply means a melodic motif is confined to a diatonic scale that is neither major nor minor. It's distinctly not functional in terms of harmony. Both sections of both pieces I linked fall under that description.

The Chocobo Theme has two sections. A & B. The A section is G mixolydian. The B section is "G major". Could you call the entire piece "G major"? Yes. Would that be effective in communicating the distinct nature of the first section? No.
Quote by chronowarp
I can't call a piece modal? What? You're being highly pragmatic for the wrong reasons. I don't think you ever have the understanding to efficiently distinguish between modal vs. key based. It's perfectly acceptable and appropriate to label a section of a piece of music "modal", that doesn't mean the entire piece has to be modal.

In terms of the "big picture" you might be able to make a case for anything modal contained within a larger composition to simply be an isolated melodic fragmented in the scale of a bigger work...but that has its limitations.

When we call something modal it simply means a melodic motif is confined to a diatonic scale that is neither major nor minor. It's distinctly not functional in terms of harmony. Both sections of both pieces I linked fall under that description.

The Chocobo Theme has two sections. A & B. The A section is G mixolydian. The B section is "G major". Could you call the entire piece "G major"? Yes. Would that be effective in communicating the distinct nature of the first section? No.

I meant that piece.
And btw: if it has 2 sections, one would be G mixolydian and the other would be G major, it is G major.
In modes you haven't really got that much freedom in choice of notes.
And it would be more effective to communicate with any other instrument than guitar to say G major but in the A section a b7, because it functioins like G major with a b7 rather than G mixolydian.
GriffRG told me something like '' I hate modes, because it makes communicating with other instruments a pain in tha ass.'' in my first mode post.
^ Mate, the view isn't particularly pleasant. Thank god for the sick guitar playing.
Quote by mdc
^ Mate, the view isn't particularly pleasant. Thank god for the sick guitar playing.

Dafuq you mean with that?
Quote by liampje
I meant that piece.
And btw: if it has 2 sections, one would be G mixolydian and the other would be G major, it is G major.
In modes you haven't really got that much freedom in choice of notes.
And it would be more effective to communicate with any other instrument than guitar to say G major but in the A section a b7, because it functioins like G major with a b7 rather than G mixolydian.
GriffRG told me something like '' I hate modes, because it makes communicating with other instruments a pain in tha ass.'' in my first mode post.

If the piece starts with a section that is in G mixolydian, wouldn't you think it's in G mixolydian at least until it becomes tonal? I mean, I'd think it's easy to go from modal to tonal, although not the other way around.
E:-6
B:-0
G:-5
D:-6
A:-0
E:-3