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Nervouspace
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#81
Are you saying modes don't have a tonal center? Because I know that depending on what mode "shape" you use you can start and play the same exact scale as Major/Minor of whatever key you are in starting from the tonal center.

@ Mattrusso No, this knitpicky thread is actually very helpful to me. I feel like alot of you guys are beating around the bush and not giving me an EXACT answer. I asked earlier "well if modes are so outdated how do you analyze an improvisation on the guitar" and to which I was replied a slightly vague answer. I understand there alot of things that I need to take better into account with working on improvisation skills. Melodies, Ear training, Humming, Solfege and what not. But I know there are alot more aspects to analyizing an Improvisation then just those which I am not understanding because all I am getting is "modes are outdated"
mdc
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#82
Modes are outdated in the traditional sense of the word. You have authentic and plagal modes. Look in to the history and you'll see why people are telling you they're outdated. There are certain restraints and characteristics that define a mode.

These days, with the rock, pop, fusion etc, the modes are used in a CST way. The CST and traditional method are so different.

Depends what kind of music which there is improvisation that you listen to.

I haven't read this thread btw.
20Tigers
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#83
Just to make sure you got this clear...


I have seen many highly talented, highly educated, professional musicians, composers, and/or musicologists anaylzye pieces of contemporary tonal music with reference to modal ideas and terminology. Some of whom primarily studied and then became widely respected authorities in classical music as well as music in general. I'm talking about guys like Leonard Bernstein, Howard Goodall, William Mann, Dominic Pedler, to name a few. If it was good enough for them then it's good enough for me. And I trust the collective expertise of those people over some students on the internet trying to tell me all these guys have got it wrong.

Don't worry too much about it.

If you came across a song with Dm C F and G as the chords and a tonal centre of Dm you could quite well say, those chords all fit with D Dorian so I'm going to give my solo a D Dorian flavour to it. You could also say, as many here argue is more appropriate, that you are playing in Dm with a major sixth (natural B). To me they are saying something subtly different.

Yes Dorian is minor and there's nothing wrong with that but the B natural could give the piece a subtly different (but still minor) sonority. This different sound flavour is often decribed as Dorian. "Minor with a major sixth" could indicate Dorian but could also indicate a natural minor sonority with the inclusion of a major sixth. That is to say the major sixth that is present may be used in such a way that it does not do much to really alter the overall sonority.

I really don't see why people still insist that a contemporary understanding of modes must adhere to 300 year old musical techniques and styles. It's absurd. That's not what modes ARE; that's what modes WERE. 300 years of music has passed since then, catch up already.
Si
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#84
those aren't modes, those are scales. there's a difference. all of those people you name-dropped know that.

the old cliche here was "call major minor for all i care". maybe we should bring that back. at the end of the day, call it what you want, but only if you understand the basics, and every time this comes up, the TS doesn't understand the basics. mattrusso (and griff lately, but i don't think it was on this thread) pointed out that you can only analyze music written with CST as CST - and that's absolutely right. but that information is absolutely valueless if you can't analyze music written in conventional harmony.

introducing modes into the mind of a student (who would inherently be able to figure it out if they had a solid grasp on the fundamentals so they wouldn't ask a question in the first place) will do nothing but help them grasp at straws for something that doesn't apply to the vast majority of music.

TS said (too lazy to find and quote) he wants to specifically analyze music from the like 2 guitarists in the world who actually used this system beyond playing scale shapes. that's fine, but i'd still never recommend he try and tackle that unless he can actually analyze the rest of music as a whole.

would you tell a kid about atonality before tonality? "don't worry, you can get to that dumb crap later, this sounds cooler and avant-garde!"

i don't know why you people insist on changing the definition of modes, either. we have a name for it - it's CST. i'm not going to call 7/8 49/56 - it would be overcomplicated, inaccurate, and annoying as hell. just use the right terminology and we'll all be happy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9RuaB3c9FQ
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z4twenny
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#85
Quote by Hail
i don't know why you people insist on changing the definition of modes, either. we have a name for it - it's CST. i'm not going to call 7/8 49/56 - it would be overcomplicated, inaccurate, and annoying as hell. just use the right terminology and we'll all be happy.

This, so much this. I've got nothing against CST, I use it all the time, it's awesome but it's not modes.
GoldenGuitar
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#86
Quote by z4twenny
This, so much this. I've got nothing against CST, I use it all the time, it's awesome but it's not modes.


I usually think of CST as a bunch of 13th chords.
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#87
Quote by GoldenGuitar
I usually think of CST as a bunch of 13th chords.


it's about as useful
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GoldenGuitar
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#88
Why is that not useful? Hearing the extensions to the harmony isn't going to do any harm.
Last edited by GoldenGuitar at Dec 1, 2012,
Hail
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#89
Quote by GoldenGuitar
Why is that not useful? Hearing the extensions to the harmony isn't going to do any harm.


i was saying CST is about as useful as a bunch of 13th chords

my wordplay goes unappreciated once more
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macashmack
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#90
Quote by Hail
i was saying CST is about as useful as a bunch of 13th chords

my wordplay goes unappreciated once more


There There
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#91
Quote by Hail
those aren't modes, those are scales. there's a difference. all of those people you name-dropped know that.

the old cliche here was "call major minor for all i care". maybe we should bring that back. at the end of the day, call it what you want, but only if you understand the basics, and every time this comes up, the TS doesn't understand the basics. mattrusso (and griff lately, but i don't think it was on this thread) pointed out that you can only analyze music written with CST as CST - and that's absolutely right. but that information is absolutely valueless if you can't analyze music written in conventional harmony.

introducing modes into the mind of a student (who would inherently be able to figure it out if they had a solid grasp on the fundamentals so they wouldn't ask a question in the first place) will do nothing but help them grasp at straws for something that doesn't apply to the vast majority of music.

TS said (too lazy to find and quote) he wants to specifically analyze music from the like 2 guitarists in the world who actually used this system beyond playing scale shapes. that's fine, but i'd still never recommend he try and tackle that unless he can actually analyze the rest of music as a whole.

would you tell a kid about atonality before tonality? "don't worry, you can get to that dumb crap later, this sounds cooler and avant-garde!"

i don't know why you people insist on changing the definition of modes, either. we have a name for it - it's CST. i'm not going to call 7/8 49/56 - it would be overcomplicated, inaccurate, and annoying as hell. just use the right terminology and we'll all be happy.



Well the first part of my post was just clarifying for the TS (though I'm pretty sure it has already been done) that modes are not the same as box patterns.


And I don't know why you're talking about CST. If that's what you thinkg modes are then it's no wonder you don't understand them.

I made no reference to CST. I'm talking about modes. It's fairly clear in my post I thought. The different mode provides a different sonority to the piece of music - a sonority unique to that mode.

You may describe that characteristic Dorian sound as "minor with a major sixth" but what I am arguing is that it can mean something subtly different. The point being that "minor with a major sixth" could mean that there is a major sixth and that it does not necessarily alter the overall sound of the piece. To describe something as Dorian you are saying that the major sixth is prominant enough to affect the broader sonic character of the piece. Yes it's still minor in the sense that it resolves to a minor tonic triad, yes it's still tonal, it doesn't have to be the full piece of music that is affected either it could be a passage within a greater work but the point is that change of a key note alters the feel of the music.

Some of the people I "name dropped" do indeed recognize the modes are scales as you say. But to them scales aren't a dirty word like they are around here they are the building blocks from which music is created.

In Bernstein's Young People's Concert series he discusses "What is a mode?" He clearly states that modes are scales and he goes on...
But the important thing to remember about mode is that major and minor, are modes. But they are only two modes out of a much larger number of possible ones.

here's another regarding modes: ...
From about the time of Bach until the beginning of our own century—roughly two hundred years—our Western music has been based almost exclusively on only two modes—the major and the minor. I can't go into the whys and wherefores of it now, but it's true. And since most of the music we hear in concerts today was written during that two hundred-year period, we get to think that major and minor modes are all there are. But the history of music is much longer than a mere two hundred years. There was an awful lot of music sung and played before Bach, using all kinds of other modes. And in the music of our own century, when composers have gotten tired of being stuck with major and minor all the time, there has been a big revival of those old pre-Bach modes. That's why Debussy used them so much, and other modern composers like Hindemith and Stravinsky, and almost all the young song writers of today's exciting pop music scene.

You can disagree with him if you want but he's a pretty learned fellow to be dismissing simply because what he is saying doesn't agree with your own mode of thinking.

None of the other people I mentioned describe modes in terms of Chord Scale Theory. They describe them as being used to create a different sonic character to a piece of music.

I'm not trying to "change the definition of modes". Modal theory has always been changing as has all of Western Music theory as it keeps pace with the changing styles of the music of the day.

Modes are not limited to a style of music from 300 years ago. They are not limited to the ruels and guidelines that define that style.

Modes are not limited to CST.

Modes are really very simple, to quote Bernstein again:
they're much easier to understand than their names are to pronounce.


What I don't get is why people here insist that they are complicated, that for music to be modal it has to follow the stylistic tendencies of plain song, or that modes are not relevant in today's music. Many of these anti mode attitudes are limited to this forum.

Most music analysts will have no qualms using modal ideas to explain music. For them and for many of us t's just another tool in the bag of tricks available to communicate ideas to other musicians. I just don't buy into the "modes are not applicable it's just major or minor with accidentals". This to me is not a demonstration of wider more in depth musical understanding, it's just ignoring the validity of a musical concept that is widely accepted and understood by many theorists and professionals outside of this forum (as well as other members of this forum).
Si
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#92
"if you think modes are CST, you don't know what modes are"

<describing CST as modes>
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Morphogenesis26
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#93
@20Tigers:

I read both of your mode lessons linked in your sig and it got me thinking; the modes seem like a way to box in certain sounds together so that a person can find the vibe or feel he's looking for easily. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't, eventually, the person no longer need to categorize intervals and their relationships with each other like that once they understand how the intervals and keys themselves work?

It just seems like something that's trying to be a shortcut that isn't.
AeolianWolf
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#94
Quote by Morphogenesis26
@20Tigers:

I read both of your mode lessons linked in your sig and it got me thinking; the modes seem like a way to box in certain sounds together so that a person can find the vibe or feel he's looking for easily. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't, eventually, the person no longer need to categorize intervals and their relationships with each other like that once they understand how the intervals and keys themselves work?


finally, someone gets it.

if modes were really what people were touting them as, i see no reason why we even need keys.
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#95
Quote by AeolianWolf
finally, someone gets it.

if modes were really what people were touting them as, i see no reason why we even need keys.


if we didn't have c major how would we know it's a aeolian though if we start on a? dumbass
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Milsaps
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#96
http://www.amazon.ca/Jazz-Theory-Book-Mark-Levine/dp/1883217040

idk if this has been posted yet but go buy this book, all modes do is help musicians speak to each other

somebody may say 'this tune begins on D dorian' but somebody else may say 'this tune starts in the key of C on the ii chord'

modes can help you remember which notes are your 'target' tones because although playing 1 3 5 or 7 on a downbeat in the key of C may sound good over CM7, it wouldn't sound so great over Dm7 in the key of C, therefore you could think about D dorian; it's like training wheels for your brain

your best bet is to forget modes and use your ears to hear which notes sound good over which chords (essentially learning about intervals)

also transcribe daily

AlanHB
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#97
Quote by Guy above me

somebody may say 'this tune begins on D dorian' but somebody else may say 'this tune starts in the key of C on the ii chord'


Pop quiz:

If a tune is in D Dorian, it resolves to D.

If a tune is in C major, it resolves to C.

If the ii of a progression is Dm, where does the progression resolve to?
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bouttimeijoined
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#98
Good to see the modes topic still brings us a regular stream of 5+ page threads.

idk if this has been posted yet but go buy this book, all modes do is help musicians speak to each other


This is what I always try to communicate - saying a piece or section of a song has a "dorian" or "mixolydian" or "phrygian dominant" feel to it is just a way of describing a certain type of musical sound.

somebody may say 'this tune begins on D dorian' but somebody else may say 'this tune starts in the key of C on the ii chord'


I think what you mean is someone else might say "this tune is in D minor with a major 6th."

What the argument always seems to boil down to (for me at least) is a certain group of people disapprove of using the mode names to refer to a scale and a tonal center instead of the major or minor scale of the tonal center with a(n) (series of) accidental(s)...all because modes had some specific meaning some centuries ago that has been obsoleted by modern music theory.

I still use the mode names to communicate regularly, and see all kinds of famous and non-famous but respectable guitar players and musicians of all kinds use the mode names to describe certain sounds.

All you have to do is go on youtube and search for "backing track D minor with a major 6th", then search for "backing track D dorian"

Clearly if you're on youtube and you feel like practicing in d minor with a major 6th, to find a backing track to play over you should probably just look up "backing track d dorian". This is how people have chosen to communicate.

If you really have a problem, why dont you email the people who uploaded every one of the 279 "d dorian backing track"s on youtube and tell them how modes are extinct and they urgently need to rename all of their videos. Then do the same for every other combination of note letter and mode.

Or you could just accept that this is how some, maybe even most, musicians communicate.
AeolianWolf
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#99
Quote by bouttimeijoined
Or you could just accept that this is how some, maybe even most, musicians communicate.


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

the fact that i still need to link to that at this point in time is disgusting to me, honestly.

and i don't know where people are getting this bullshit that we say "oh, this is in D minor with a major 6th". we don't say that. why? because it's ****ing stupid. and it's sad that this is the only real argument that the opposing school of thought has against us...that and "everybody's doing it". you might want to rethink a position that requires those two defenses.

we don't say it's in D minor with a major 6th. we say it's in D minor. i might say it has a dorian feel, and that's if it never left the notes of the D dorian mode (but at that point, i could very well just say it's in D dorian [even though it would also be valid to say it's in D minor]). but i digress - if someone doesn't know the sound of a major subdominant chord in a minor key, then perhaps they should spend less time at open mike jams and more time practicing.

sure, it's great and all to be able to make heads or tails of the way modern musicians communicate, but there's no reason to perpetuate a largely incorrect methodology utilized by people who only have the vaguest of ideas about what keys are, and are completely ignorant of the tremendous amount of possibility they allow for.

seriously, they allow for so much possibility that it's literally stupid for anyone to say that a piece in D dorian can use notes outside of the dorian scale -- otherwise, dorian would be a key.

but it's not, now, is it?
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#100
bouttimeilogineverytimepeoplethinkathreadcouldn'tgetworse
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pinguinpanic
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#101
Concidering you want the scales to be 7 note scales that include the chord tones of Am there are 1*1*1*9*8*7*6=3024 possible scales. I don't really see any reason to name all scales you could use.
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20Tigers
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#102
Quote by AeolianWolf
The fact that you link that and don't understand it's relevance (or lack thereof) should disgust you more.

Did you know the word "Evil" once meant nothing more sinister than "uppity". But of course now most people agree that it means something much worse.. In a similar vein the world "gay" once meant "happy, merry, festive" now most people agree it means something completely different (and as a direct result - it does).

There are some arguments for which popular interpretation is a completely relevant factor - particularly with the meaning of words and methods of communication. In fact any kind of "truth" that is culturally relative depends almost entirely on popular opinion. Music theory is, for the most part, culturally relative. Of course there is still room for debate, discussion, and argument to foster new ideas and cultural change.

---------

Quote by Morphogenesis26


@20Tigers:

I read both of your mode lessons linked in your sig and it got me thinking; the modes seem like a way to box in certain sounds together so that a person can find the vibe or feel he's looking for easily. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't, eventually, the person no longer need to categorize intervals and their relationships with each other like that once they understand how the intervals and keys themselves work?

It's not a shortcut. It's understanding what those terms mean and what they communicate to other musicians. So there is no point at which you would no longer "need" to categorize intervals that way. Once you know what they are and how they sound you know them. You can use them as a basis for musical composition if you want or as a way of analyzing music, or to understand and quickly relay specific information to other musicians.

Mode, in the widest sense of the word denotes the selection of tones, arranged in a scale, that form the basic tonal substance of a composition. As a result each mode has it's own unique sonority.

A key defines the tonal centre and by extension the relationship of all the notes in a composition to that tonal centre. In any given key a large number of modes are possible. Typically we refer to a key as being major or minor but those are not the only two options (as noted by Bernstein in one of my previous posts).

In a narrower sense of the term "modes" refers to the church modes (as described in the link in my sig) each of which is one possible mode within a given key.

The question comes down to what are we saying when we say something is in a specific key.

What does it mean to say something is in the key of A minor. Well according to the above this would mean that the key is A and the mode is minor. Specifically the minor scale* forms the basic tonal substance of the composition (note not necessarily the complete tonal substance of the composition). If it is in the key of A major then the key is A the mode is major which is the major scale.

This is not to say that the composition is limited to the use of the notes of those scales. The key of course defines the tonal centre and the relationships between it and the entire spectre of possible notes. What it says is that those are the notes that provide the piece with it's core sonic character.

Major and minor are by far the most common "modes". The church modes rarely come into play really, I can accept that. But they are out there and they do have something to offer, even if the most you get out of learning about them is being able to understand what someone is talking about when they use the terms**.

*the minor scale referring to the complete minor scale including the harmonic and melodic minor alterations

**At least when they use them correctly - i.e. not in reference to one of seven fretboard patterns of the same major scale
Si
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#103
i really wish you'd addressed this one instead of "no guize, trust me, i'm right on this one, trust me guize, lemme define stuff you already know then add this is 100% my opinion and that it's based on something you already said was right to a very limited extent but i really really really really need the last word guize"

Quote by pinguinpanic
Concidering you want the scales to be 7 note scales that include the chord tones of Am there are 1*1*1*9*8*7*6=3024 possible scales. I don't really see any reason to name all scales you could use.
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20Tigers
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#104
Quote by Hail
i really wish you'd addressed this one instead of "no guize, trust me, i'm right on this one, trust me guize, lemme define stuff you already know then add this is 100% my opinion and that it's based on something you already said was right to a very limited extent but i really really really really need the last word guize"the guy that asked you a specific question relating to something you wrote

Si
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#105
bro have you even been homeless
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griffRG7321
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#106
Quote by AeolianWolf
open mike jams


I lold.


Quote by AeolianWolf
seriously, they allow for so much possibility that it's literally stupid for anyone to say that a piece in D dorian can use notes outside of the dorian scale -- otherwise, dorian would be a key.

but it's not, now, is it?


Minor 6ths can be used to avoid a tritone skip or outline and raised 7ths at cadences though.

/trolling
bouttimeijoined
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#107
Quote by AeolianWolf
we don't say it's in D minor with a major 6th. we say it's in D minor. i might say it has a dorian feel, and that's if it never left the notes of the D dorian mode (but at that point, i could very well just say it's in D dorian [even though it would also be valid to say it's in D minor]). but i digress - if someone doesn't know the sound of a major subdominant chord in a minor key, then perhaps they should spend less time at open mike jams and more time practicing.


It takes beginner musicians time to know the sound of every chord relative to the tonic. The same beginners who need to learn to differentiate between the sounds offered by the different modes.

it's all well and good that from a formal theory standpoint every song with tonic D and tonic chord minor is in D minor, but for learning it helps to use the mode names to describe the musical variation on the natural major and natural minor scales that results from a different set of notes.

One more example, you can learn to like the sounds of an augmented fourth over a major chord, and connect that to the fourth degree of the harmonic scale, or you can learn to like the lydian sound and immediately understand how that corresponds to the harmonic scale. It just helps tie together a basic understanding of music.
AeolianWolf
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#108
Quote by bouttimeijoined
It takes beginner musicians time to know the sound of every chord relative to the tonic.


exactly why i said they should spend more time practicing.

Quote by bouttimeijoined
The same beginners who need to learn to differentiate between the sounds offered by the different modes.

it's all well and good that from a formal theory standpoint every song with tonic D and tonic chord minor is in D minor, but for learning it helps to use the mode names to describe the musical variation on the natural major and natural minor scales that results from a different set of notes.

One more example, you can learn to like the sounds of an augmented fourth over a major chord, and connect that to the fourth degree of the harmonic scale, or you can learn to like the lydian sound and immediately understand how that corresponds to the harmonic scale. It just helps tie together a basic understanding of music.


that's absolutely ridiculous. or you could listen to a simple 90-second mozart minuet in C major and hear the F# tonicize the dominant. boom, you've got the sound. nothing even remotely lydian involved.

it only helps to use the modes names if that's the way you've learned it. there are ways to get results much faster and with just as much accuracy, and the best is by listening to (and analyzing) tonal music.

you can get the damn miles.be ear trainer - it'll train your ear much more efficiently and without ever using a single modal reference.

modes are not (and should not be) material to be learned before an understanding of tonal music is acquired.

there's a reason why what you call "formal theory" exists. it's not so that we can play one thing and say "well it's something, but technically it's this other thing". that's pretentious. it exists because it's more efficient. it exists because it can take anything the modal theory system can throw at it. and the reverse simply is not true.
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