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Discussions => Teaching and Learning => Topic started by: Chris Ryall on September 23, 2010, 09:24:04 AM

Title: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Chris Ryall on September 23, 2010, 09:24:04 AM
I've knocked up a web page looking at the modes of the D scale on a D/G in particular

   http://chrisryall.net/modes

Please let me know of any bugs. The demo midis seem to work on my trusty Firefox browser, but MSIE8 objects to them  Chris
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: summerstars on September 23, 2010, 10:04:46 AM
Chris, thanks for that,  I must admit however that most of it goes right over my head and I can't follow your logic (mainly because of a lack of basic knowledge I hope)

Would it be possible to demonstrate these modes with a well known tune?


(amended to correct spelling/typo errors)
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Steve_freereeder on September 23, 2010, 10:07:39 AM
An excellent start, Chris. Well done! All the midi examples work for me (using Safari and Firefox).
I suggest the following:
1. Go through the text carefully - there are a few typos and errors. I can help with this if you want.
2. If possible can you include midi (or other) sound files of the chords which you mention, so we can hear for example what Gmaj7,#11 actually sounds like?
3. Once that's done, it is definitely worth adding to the 'Articles' section of the main melodeon.net website, or else include a link to your web page. As Content Manager, I can do this, or else one of the other Admins, Clive or Theo could do it too.
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: HallelujahAl on September 23, 2010, 10:13:11 AM
Works ok on AOL (which actually runs a version of MSIE I think) for me. Anyway - very interesting and a nice approach to what is a rather difficult subject to get a handle on. As Steve says I'd certainly appreciate some of those chord demonstrations? And it would be really good put up here in this place somewhere?
Regards
AL
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Theo on September 23, 2010, 10:14:00 AM

3. Once that's done, it is definitely worth adding to the 'Articles' section of the main melodeon.net website, or else include a link to your web page.

A link would be preferable since what Chris has is already a published web page.  A good principle of data management is to only have one working copy, then there is only one place to make updates.  Duplicate the data and sooner or later you will have inconsistencies.
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Steve_freereeder on September 23, 2010, 10:16:45 AM

3. Once that's done, it is definitely worth adding to the 'Articles' section of the main melodeon.net website, or else include a link to your web page.

A link would be preferable since what Chris has is already a published web page.  A good principle of data management is to only have one working copy, then there is only one place to make updates.  Duplicate the data and sooner or later you will have inconsistencies.
Yes - good points Theo. Agreed.
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Anahata on September 23, 2010, 10:26:17 AM
Excellent work. It needs examples of actual tunes that use the modes, perhaps - that would demonstrate far better what they are about and complement the theory.

Nit-picking on first glance:
Under Mixolydian:
Quote
We are back into folk music here with much French, American and Blues music based on myxolydian scales.
Don't forget it's used a lot in trad British song too.

Locrian doesn't have an 'h' in it.

Some Balkan music is on scales that don't map to any starting point on a Major scale, but I expect you knew that  ;)
(not to mention scales that don't map onto conventional semitones - even Sweden has them, as well as the middle and further east...)
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Rees on September 23, 2010, 11:09:07 AM
Excellent project, Chris. I look forward to further developments.
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Rees on September 23, 2010, 11:10:36 AM
1. Go through the text carefully - there are a few typos and errors. I can help with this if you want.


He's a doctor - we're lucky it's not in Latin!  ;)
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: brianread on September 23, 2010, 11:18:39 AM
The demo midis seem to work on my trusty Firefox browser, but MSIE8 objects to them  Chris

And they do not work in Firefox under ubuntu  :(

However very interesting (and challenging) stuff.
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Chris Brimley on September 23, 2010, 11:23:23 AM
Quote
He's a doctor - we're lucky it's not in Latin!   
 

Or worse still, handwritten!

But actually, Chris, it's very interesting stuff - a lot of work went into that, obviously.  How do you know about it all - as a jazz musician yourself, or from serious study, or as a result of more formal training?
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Simon on September 23, 2010, 12:14:57 PM
The demo midis seem to work on my trusty Firefox browser
Nice text, but also on my Kubuntu/Firefox the midi's don't play. I think I'd need to install a separate midi player. Usually mp3 ogg files work better. Another problem is that my Firefox only displays the bottom half of the midi player. A few tiny typo's (e.g. Lochrian), but it's a very nice summary of modes.
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: seinegydd on September 23, 2010, 05:02:26 PM
Aeolian, not "Aolian", throughout.
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Stiamh on September 23, 2010, 06:42:40 PM
Chris, one commentator said that most of what you say went straight over his head. If it did, then I think you need to go back to the drawing board - that is, if your aim is to give people a foothold on this whole question. I'd think one way of making the modes much easier to grasp would be to provide examples of tunes in the various modes, scores and midi.

On the subject of mixolydian in the British tradition, there are not just songs, but shedloads of Highland pipe tunes in this mode.

Others have brought up the issue of spelling. I'd add that while it's fun to toss foreign words around, the effect is spoiled if you misspell them.

"ennui" is an English word as well as a French one, so the italics are superfluous. In both languages it has a double n, and in neither does it mean what you presumably mean, i.e. annoyance or frustration.

Maestro, not miestro.
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Sandy on September 23, 2010, 10:20:59 PM
Aeolian, not "Aolian", throughout.

...and I thought it was a garlic mayo  (:)

Thank you Chris. It is very interesting, I want to read through it a few times and understand it.  I think I've got a slight grasp just from the first time through.  :Ph

You might have started a New Modal Army !  :|||: :||: :|||: :||:

Cheers
Sandy
 (:)
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Chris Ryall on September 24, 2010, 08:14:02 AM
Aeolian, not "Aolian", throughout.

Thanks to all for their comments (and the Cromwellesque pun that made me smile)! Thought I'd found most of the typos but as I code in a text editor there's no spell check. "Lochrian" is actually quite common - albeit wrong historically. Can seinegydd or someone please advise whether χ or κ was used in the original Greek. And how about "Æolian" ?

The Latin jibe has a story ..
<school>
  You have to choose between Biology or Latin
  We advise Latin, in case you ever want to study medicine
  ... OK
</school>
<uni>
  Actually did biochemistry
</uni>
<did some real work!! (nobody's perfect) />
<medschool>
  You need A level chemistry and O level biology
  Hmm, not what school said, er, is a degree in Biochem OK?
    .. and I've got Latin - grade three!  ;D
  You need O level biology ..

.. took them a minute of Senate to square that one!!  The rest is history (as is Latin nowadays)

Much to do!

PS Phrygian major is a mode of harmonic minor, 'tonal' and might come in phase 2b. Yes it's very important all over music, but when I went to Turkey I was amazed at how much simple phrygian was around in cafes, TV pop etc. Part tone scales don't map to any of this and techically are also 'tonal' (says Pignol)  I spent my week before Turkey in neighbouring Georgia and was gobsmacked  - see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILPMQuGd3fI Tblisi's prof of Polyphony kindly took Dolly and I along to a 'classical' concert.  One (orchestral) piece there was in Locrian!
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: jb on September 24, 2010, 09:01:57 AM
"Lochrian" is actually quite common - albeit wrong historically. Can seinegydd or someone please advise whether χ or κ was used in the original Greek.

Seems to be the latter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Locris).
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: DaveCottrell on September 24, 2010, 01:01:24 PM
When you play Scottish tunes is it spelled "Lochrian"?

Sorry -- added nothing
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Andrew Wigglesworth on September 24, 2010, 01:03:06 PM
An interesting page, it must have taken a lot of work, thanks Chris.

I do wonder about overanalysing as you mention. I doubt that many folk musicians have worried overmuch about the modes of medieval church music (yes, a deliberate oversimplification). I've also sometimes wondered about the modal analysis of song tunes made by collectors such as Cecil Sharp; come on a different day, choose a different singer, and lo a different mode.

Having said that, knowledge is a good thing, even if it only gets as far as explaining which button to start working from for different modes.

Erm, there is one other thing and I only mention it here since it was a comment directly aimed at certain users of the page;

"CSS     
'' Style sheet control has failed. Pages on this site should still be readable, but layout may be spoiled. Your browser may
be out of date, or style sheets disabled !!"

CSS is supposed to be used, ignored, substituted or adapted in whichever way the end user wishes. That's the point of it. If semantic or navigation information is only being given through the CSS then you've made a mistake.

I generally browse using emacs-w3m (the w3m text browser integrated into GNU Emacs) and your web page works perfectly without the style sheet ... not surprisingly since you properly separate the content and styling.
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Stiamh on September 24, 2010, 03:16:01 PM
"CSS     
'' Style sheet control has failed. Pages on this site should still be readable, but layout may be spoiled. Your browser may
be out of date, or style sheets disabled !!"

Andrew, I got that error message in Opera, but only after I had chosen the "user's style" option, overriding the "author's style". I did this because the page wasn't very inviting to read as it first loaded. When I unchecked that option, the message disappeared. Maybe your browser is doing something similar?
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Chris Ryall on September 24, 2010, 05:19:51 PM
It's an evolutional throwback to the early days of very flakey browser support for cascading style. Basically your settings have overruled the style.css link and 'class='invisible' has not been recognised.  Guess it's time to take this paragraph out of all my pages. This feedback is excellent. Thanks
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Andrew Wigglesworth on September 24, 2010, 06:17:22 PM
"CSS     
'' Style sheet control has failed. Pages on this site should still be readable, but layout may be spoiled. Your browser may
be out of date, or style sheets disabled !!"

Andrew, I got that error message in Opera, but only after I had chosen the "user's style" option, overriding the "author's style". I did this because the page wasn't very inviting to read as it first loaded. When I unchecked that option, the message disappeared. Maybe your browser is doing something similar?

It's OK, I know exactly what's happening. My prefered browser doesn't use CSS at all, and as Chris says, the message is hidden by the website's style sheet.
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Simon on September 25, 2010, 10:16:29 AM
My prefered browser doesn't use CSS at all
Lynx?   ;)
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: waltzman on September 25, 2010, 03:02:08 PM
Between the modes and the computer talk this thread may deserve the 'most inscrutable' award.  >:E   
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Chris Ryall on September 25, 2010, 03:27:15 PM
Browser stuff is nowt to do with me - as the page is standards compliant I hadn't really expected problems there.

It's defo too long now and needs splitting into digestible chunks.  I've managed to get a bit of my O level Latin on to it, which looks OK. But you wouldn't believe the English errors some found!
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Steve C. on September 25, 2010, 07:40:46 PM
Really really good stuff.  Especially enlightening were the ideas of what chords can work with with scales.  Steve Jones' suggestion of example tunes would be icing on the cake.
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Anahata on September 26, 2010, 09:53:58 AM
isn't totm March 2010 aeolian?
It is.
And (not in ToTM) a well known example of Dorian is What Shall we do with the Drunken Sailor.
She Moved Through The Fair and Old Joe Clarke are Mixolydian.

...which sort of leads me to my main view on modes, which is they are fancy names for stuff that we're actually quite familiar with. The terms are sometimes useful as a shorthand for describing a tunes or what key it's in, but learning their names doesn't suddenly unlock a treasure chest of things you previously weren't able to play.

I'm not knocking Chris's work at all: it would be good if were were all familiar with them so people didn't approximate by saying a tune was in E minor when they meant Dorian or Aeolian, or ask why "this tune in A" has a key signature of only two sharps.

Incidentally, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musical_mode#Modern (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musical_mode#Modern) may be useful.
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Chris Ryall on September 26, 2010, 10:23:51 AM
ABC notation is very soundly based on modal principles - sensibly so as Chris W is a bagpiper.

  From the present sourceforge.net (http://abc.sourceforge.net/standard/)  'standard' http://abcnotation.com/abc2mtex/abc.txt (http://abcnotation.com/abc2mtex/abc.txt)

K - key; the key signature should be  specified  with  a  capital letter  which  may  be  followed by  a  # or b for sharp or flat respectively. In addition,  different  scales  or  modes  can  be specified  and,  for  example,  K:F  lydian,  K:C, K:C major, K:C ionian, K:G mixolydian, K:D dorian, K:A minor, K:Am, K:A aeolian,K:E  phrygian  and  K:B locrian would all produce a staff with no sharps or flats.  The spaces can be left out,  capitalisation  is ignored for the modes and in fact only the first three letters of each mode are parsed so that, for example, K:F# mixolydian is the same  as  K:F#Mix or even K:F#MIX.  There are two additional keys specifically for notating highland bagpipe  tunes;  K:HP  doesn't put  a  key  signature  on the music, as is common with many tune books of this music, while K:Hp marks the stave with F  sharp,  C sharp  and  G natural.  Both force all the beams and staffs to go downwards.

The next paragraph also caught my eye - you can now set a 'global accidental'  I guess an E harmonic minor tune might be specified as "K:E aeolian ^D"   :P

I more or less  concur with Anahata's critique - that little page I've done has got a bit anal about modes and got too far away from our music. But modes are there in its bones.  We keep discussing why this Em tune likes a C chord, that one fights it, and why the B push chord is major -  they are intrinsically different E minors as he says.

"Fancy names for the familiar" - fair comment. I don't think your Bulgarian peasant has any concept he's in mode 3 - it's just the scale you play music on locally.  But then we collect his tune and wonder why it likes Em and Fmajor chords ...

They got it off MJ (Searle), but it can be found in Paul Burgess's book "The Coleford Jig" as "Old Heddon of Forley" -- try playing London Pride/Idbury Hill first in Em, then Old Heddon in A (minor-ish).

[edit] Nice example of mode change IMHO. Idbury is one of the archetypical dorian minor tunes IMHO.  Then to my ear (try the MP3) Old Heddon stays firmly on the D row but re-bases to an A tonic - mode 5 = mixolydian.  Supposed to be a major mode, but I always feel it to be on the verge on minorness. I'm sympathetic with the comment above, though there's no Cnat I can hear.  (btw Does this make phrygian Moor-ish)?
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Howard Jones on September 27, 2010, 12:22:23 PM
What I think would be helpful would be to spell out the sequence of whole tone and semitone intervals for each of the modes.  No doubt this is immediately apparent to those who can interpret the dots, but it's not obvious to the rest of us (well, to me anyway).

I've a few questions about chords with modes.  Firstly, you seem to be saying that you can build chords in modal scales using the same principles as with the conventional major and minor scales - have I understood correctly?  For example, a "major" chord is built using the tonic, third and fifth notes of the major scale - is the equivalent chord for a modal scale built in the same way, using 1-3-5 from that scale?

The way you describe this seems to be based on flattening notes from a major scale, rather than thinking within the modal scale itself.  For example, when describing the Phrygian mode you refer to Eb as a "minor third", but in C Phrygian it's simply the third note of the scale.  I realise these are just different ways of describing the same thing - your approach seems to view the modal scale as a variation to the standard major scale, whereas mine is a more  'seat of the pants' approach which views the mode in isolation.  To my way of thinking, in the Phrygian mode of C a "minor" ie a flattened third would be a D.

Secondly, does the I-IV-V "three chord trick" (and other chord sequences for that matter) also work with chords built on modal scales?
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Stiamh on September 27, 2010, 01:58:11 PM
Secondly, does the I-IV-V "three chord trick" (and other chord sequences for that matter) also work with chords built on modal scales?

A very interesting question. In many cases, our ears would find the three-chord trick perfectly acceptable in modal tunes.

But is this because our ears are so totally attuned to conventional harmony?

I have often pondered this with regard to tunes with gapped scales. For example, take a G tune with no Cs. Shenandoah, or Donnybrook Fair, or any number of other tunes. None of us I suspect would object to the use of a C-major chord to accompany such tunes. In fact there are spots in these tunes where we would all probably insist that C was the correct chord to harmonize against a strong E in the tune, rather than Em or other alternatives.

This doesn't make any sense at all - except when we understand that we are imposing the modern harmonies we are all used to on an older melodic structure. I suspect the same is true of our unthinking use of conventional harmony on most of the modes.

A long time ago - early 1970s - Martin Carthy explained to my brother that he only used the notes of the tune in his guitar accompaniments. I wonder whether he still follows this practice, or whether anyone else in the folk world does.
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Anahata on September 27, 2010, 03:12:08 PM
To my way of thinking, in the Phrygian mode of C a "minor" ie a flattened third would be a D.
I think you've just bent the terminology to breaking point  :o

Quote
Secondly, does the I-IV-V "three chord trick" (and other chord sequences for that matter) also work with chords built on modal scales?
No, they tend not to.
A lot of Dorian mode tunes have a I-VII "two chord trick", for example. (think down a tone rather than up a seventh)
Aeolian mode tunes can be accompanied by I-IV and V but, as Wikipedia has it: "nearly every minor mode composition of the common practice period [i.e. 1600 - 1900 approx] has some accidentals on the sixth and seventh scale degrees to facilitate the cadences of western music".
In other words they stop being pure Aeolian and become more "classical minor" to make the chords work.
E.g. E-Am or E7-Am makes a stronger final cadence than Em-Am.

Some other modes are very hard to fit chords to, at least not by any simple formula.
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Howard Jones on September 27, 2010, 05:00:19 PM
To my way of thinking, in the Phrygian mode of C a "minor" ie a flattened third would be a D.
I think you've just bent the terminology to breaking point  :o

I suppose that was my implied question - which terminology should you use?  If you're talking Phrygian, so to speak, then the third note of the C scale is Eb - so why describe it by reference to a completely different mode (the Ionian) as a flattened/minor third?

To put it another way, take a chord containing the notes C, Eb and Gb.  In conventional terms, this is described as C diminished, since it contains a flattened (minor) third and a flattened (diminished) 5th.  In modal terms, it is the simple 1-3-5 triad in the Locrian mode.

I suppose I think this way because I haven't had the benefit of a musical education  (:).  Take a tune like "The Kitchen Girl", where the first part is rooted in A but with G natural instead of G# (A mixolydian) - when I play this I can hear the modal scale and play the notes from that scale. I'm never tempted to play G# "because it's in A so it must be G#" . I naturally think about a modal tune in modal terms (although I probably couldn't identify the name of the mode on the fly) so I'm not tempted to force it into the straightjacket of a major scale with flattened notes.

Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Andrew Wigglesworth on September 27, 2010, 05:06:58 PM
My prefered browser doesn't use CSS at all
Lynx?   ;)

W3M inside Gnu Emacs.
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Simon on September 27, 2010, 06:16:09 PM
To my way of thinking, in the Phrygian mode of C a "minor" ie a flattened third would be a D.
Depends on what you mean by third. The third note of phrygian C is an E-flat, and the interval from C to E-flat is a minor third in any scale or mode. It's a third because it goes from some kind of C to some kind of E, and it's minor since it's three half-note steps from C to E-flat. If you flatten this again you don't get a D but an E double flat (enharmonic equivalent, but a different spelling). I guess it's better not to think of a flattened third but of the third of the scale, which in this case is a minor third. It's only flattened if you compare it to something non-flattened.
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Chris Ryall on September 27, 2010, 06:18:24 PM
A long time ago - early 1970s - Martin Carthy explained to my brother that he only used the notes of the tune in his guitar accompaniments. I wonder whether he still follows this practice, or whether anyone else in the folk world does.

This is the modal harmony approach - very much part of the 'English style' also used by Mike Raven and Nic Jones, and copied by countless others. In a modal approach you only get those seven notes. There is one true dominant - the V chord - and this takes you back to tonic. However 'sus' chords were much used and I often use the F#m when in E dorian or B aolian to (I hope) the same effect.

The standard before the 60's was 'tonal' eg changing Am to and A7 when on the G row to move the tonal centre into D. I associate 3-chord tricking with Skiffle and I think the Beatles in particular moved us on from that - which is one reason their music fits well on our diatonic instument.

Agree entirely with Anahata re 2-chording for modes 2 and 3. The aeolian (6) can take quite a few chords though. As for gapped scales such as minor pentatonic - well their intermediate tone/halftone intervals are undefined so you've carte blanche wrt both chords and any impro/arrangment. That's not to say that pentatonics aren't rather beautiful in their own right?

Following the 'need some tunes' comments I'm presently reworking some old favourites to play them entirely using only D scale notes. That puts Schottische a Bethanie firmly into Bm  - and serves me right!  :-\

NB - Modal Jazz isn't the same thing, except in its absence of dominant beyond the V chord. Coltrane was happy to chorus over an open Dm chord with open Ebm as the 'bridge'. Not really melodeon friendly, though you can get close if your box'll cope with B, and then C minor  8)
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Stiamh on September 27, 2010, 07:13:42 PM
A long time ago - early 1970s - Martin Carthy explained to my brother that he only used the notes of the tune in his guitar accompaniments. I wonder whether he still follows this practice, or whether anyone else in the folk world does.

This is the modal harmony approach - very much part of the 'English style' also used by Mike Raven and Nic Jones, and copied by countless others. In a modal approach you only get those seven notes.

I should have mentioned that this was in the context of a conversation about tunes with a pentatonic or otherwise gapped scale. Where you wouldn't have seven notes, but six or five. In other words in those days at least MC would not, for example, put a C major chord behind Shenandoah or Donnybrook Fair or other C-less tunes. Unlike just about anybody accompanying dance music these days, at least Irish dance music. A similar issue arises happens when you have a thirdless tune - how many accompanists will play thirdless chords? Presumably only a subset of the few who have noticed that the tune is thirdless, and a smallish subset at that.

It's true that a gazillion Dorian-mode dance melodies appear to be based around a two-chord trick - alternating I and VII chords - but I'd suggest that no modern accompanist will stick to those two, on pain of having a melodeon thrown at them.
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: oggiesnr on September 27, 2010, 10:36:33 PM
Surely most single row boxes are based round the two chord trick? or am I missing something? ???

Steve
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Chris Ryall on September 28, 2010, 06:00:25 AM
It's true that a gazillion Dorian-mode dance melodies appear to be based around a two-chord trick - alternating I and VII chords - but I'd suggest that no modern accompanist will stick to those two, on pain of having a melodeon thrown at them.

Aha, brazen wit there  ;D am still ROFL  Well, I tried one of these chords (think it was Bm6) in the hard Irish session in Whitby a few years ago and got very dark looks. Seemed they wanted to play in unison as per the mythical Chieftains. As someone who hears chords in head behind melody lines I get a bit bored on Em and D all the time, but I stick it out as I generally don't know the tune too well. It was interesting to go Galway later that year, where they do achieve a richer chord palate

Surely most single row boxes are based round the two chord trick? or am I missing something? ??? Steve

I'd say 'yes'. But you'd need to look for it.   :D
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Steve_freereeder on September 28, 2010, 07:41:39 AM
Surely most single row boxes are based round the two chord trick? or am I missing something? ???
Any one-row player worth their salt would also be constructing all manner of chords in the RH whilst keeping the melody going at the same time.
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Simon on September 28, 2010, 08:01:04 AM
Any one-row player worth their salt would also be constructing all manner of chords in the RH
There's not that many chords you can do on the RH of a one-row. On the push only one even, or am I missing something now?
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Chris Ryall on September 28, 2010, 08:11:47 AM
There's not that many chords you can do on the RH of a one-row. On the push only one even, or am I missing something now?

True, but you don't have to play the chords en block! Good one rowers arpeggio in these diatonic chords "keeping the tune going" as Steve says. Magic! I call it hearing notes that aren't there and deeply admire them for it. With this slight proviso one-row box is pure modal diatonic in every sense.

Add a second row and you have much more leeway. Add a reversed note button and all is there in theory (though voicing might not be to your taste).
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Steve_freereeder on September 28, 2010, 08:47:37 AM
There's not that many chords you can do on the RH of a one-row. On the push only one even, or am I missing something now?
True, but you don't have to play the chords en block! Good one rowers arpeggio in these diatonic chords "keeping the tune going" as Steve says. Magic! I call it hearing notes that aren't there and deeply admire them for it.
Chris - Yes that's the sort of thing I meant! You've expressed it better than I could have done. There is a lot of truth in 'hearing notes that aren't there'.

For example, on a one-row tuned in D, on the push you have D major in root position and both inversions, but you also have fragments of F#m and octave As, so you can fudge those too. You do have more possibilities on the pull notes; Amaj, A7, Em, Gmaj, open Bs for Bm, C#m, etc.

And as Chris has indicated, you don't just have to play block chords. With arpeggio-type accompaniment, especially if you can involve bellows changes within the chord, you have even more choices. A good one-row player, just by including an extra note or two in the RH in addition to the melody, can hint at passing chords and harmonies, in such a way that the listener's ear 'fills in the gaps'.

That's why many melodeon players would classify the one-row as a specialist's and not a beginner's instrument. Personally, I wouldn't be so pedantic to insist on this viewpoint every time, but generally for western European traditional music, there is a lot of sense in beginners starting out on a two-row and only coming to the one-row after they've got a bit of experience under their belt.
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Anahata on September 28, 2010, 09:05:26 AM
That's why many melodeon players would classify the one-row as a specialist's and not a beginner's instrument.
I'd heard all the mythology about 1-rows needing some special magic, but when I got my first one I just made the best I could of it. Faking chords, notes that aren't really there, and the rest of at all just seem to happen. Also playing a more-or-less melodic counterpoint - I wouldn't call it chords, but bits that follow the tune in thirds and sixths are very effective on a 1-row.

Quote
there is a lot of sense in beginners starting out on a two-row and only coming to the one-row after they've got a bit of experience under their belt.

That's what I did. Except I Started on PA and then B/C/C# before getting my first pokerwork.
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Scallyanglo on September 28, 2010, 09:48:34 AM
I'm finding this all very interesting . . . at this site you can hear any chord or scale from around the world
http://www.looknohands.com/chordhouse/piano/ (http://www.looknohands.com/chordhouse/piano/)
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: george garside on September 28, 2010, 10:08:56 AM
There's not that many chords you can do on the RH of a one-row. On the push only one even, or am I missing something now?
[  .

 , there is a lot of sense in beginners starting out on a two-row and only coming to the one-row after they've got a bit of experience under their belt.

Agree with all that has been said about faking or whatever on the one row but would question ;the need to theorise over chords , or lack of them in 'correct' form  when the fun comes from experimenting to get different sounds ;& rhythms & working on the basis of if it sounds good it is good.  As for starting on 2 row there is a lot to be said for it as 2 rows are usually easier to handle than one rows and whilst not getting the '4 stop' effect of the one row everything else can be done 'on the row' on a 2 row.   



It is because of the 'on the row'  (or one row) extra right hand rhythm & chords of one form or another that    I often use a 3 voice lmm  2 row played mostly on the row for low cost  bouncy English ceilidh's  & for what its worth I think a great deal of this built in advantage is lost  by  exessive 'cross rowing'.   
It is also the reason why a BC whilst a great 'melody' box just doesn't have the same bounce for your buck     as a true melodeon i.e. a one row.

george
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: waltzman on September 28, 2010, 12:39:56 PM

That's why many melodeon players would classify the one-row as a specialist's and not a beginner's instrument. Personally, I wouldn't be so pedantic to insist on this viewpoint every time, but generally for western European traditional music, there is a lot of sense in beginners starting out on a two-row and only coming to the one-row after they've got a bit of experience under their belt.

I never have understood this notion since a two-row can be played as a one row and most two-row beginners start out playing 'on the row' and consider playing across the rows a difficult step up.  Is there any one row technique that cannot pe played on a two row?
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Anahata on September 28, 2010, 01:00:09 PM
Is there any one row technique that cannot pe played on a two row?

Because 1-rows (especially Hohners) have a particular sound which is tonally vague, e.g. the LH chords are not abundantly clear and the RH is playing on three octaves at once, you can get away with playing things on a 1-row that just don't sound right on a typical two row.

For example, on a C box you can play a G chord where you really needed an F, and it doesn't clash nearly as badly as on a two row.

Or again on a C box I can pretend I have a low A by playing the A an octave higher in the C music of Will Atkinson's Schottische, where doing that on a two voice box would be a much more obvious jump of a seventh up that was supposed to be a step down of one note. (,B A ,B  representing ,B ,A ,B)

On my Castagnari Max I taped out the high reed of the bass notes because they were too well defined. I didn't really want D and A, I wanted "grunt" and "different grunt" and that's what you get with Hohner.

In many other ways we've found that the sound of a 4-stop 1-row is just right for some song accompaniments, where a two-row or Anglo concertina that can play more chords, doesn't create the right sonic atmosphere.
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Lester on September 28, 2010, 02:03:12 PM
I wanted "grunt" and "different grunt" and that's what you get with Hohner.

 ;D
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Owen Woods on September 29, 2010, 10:15:13 PM
I disagree with some of your significant chords (:) For me the significant chord for the Dorian is IV, for the Lydian I disagree, I think that it's the diminished. Aeolian is VI, the Locrian, which isn't a true church mode has the half diminished, which is an incredibly significant chord in jazz. I'm not sure that the +9 is really necessary, but tastes differ.
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Chris Ryall on September 30, 2010, 08:19:56 AM
We are off Greek modes here and into jazz. Their 'lochrian' chord gets sort of blurred with the Altered (often either works) scale, and their chord is variably written as C#min7b5,b9 and C#min7b5,#9.  The 9th is used to imply the following chord - minor if b9 and major if #9.

Lydian and diminished?  Perhaps depends a bit whether you hear 'C#' or 'Db' against the G tonic so the context of adjacent notes matters. However in G we have G*, A, B*,C#* - and three* of those are in the augmented scale  ???  

It's interesting (though rather  challenging IME) to explore the 'Lydian augmented (http://www.jimtroy.com/docs/Lydian%20Aug.htm)' where the D is also sharpened a semitone. Bottom half of this scale is augmented, then top half a diminished run.  It's another  mode of melodic minor.  But we really do digress ....


Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Owen Woods on September 30, 2010, 09:05:13 PM
We are off Greek modes here and into jazz. Their 'lochrian' chord gets sort of blurred with the Altered (often either works) scale, and their chord is variably written as C#min7b5,b9 and C#min7b5,#9.  The 9th is used to imply the following chord - minor if b9 and major if #9.

Lydian and diminished?  Perhaps depends a bit whether you hear 'C#' or 'Db' against the G tonic so the context of adjacent notes matters. However in G we have G*, A, B*,C#* - and three* of those are in the augmented scale  ???  

It's interesting (though rather  challenging IME) to explore the 'Lydian augmented (http://www.jimtroy.com/docs/Lydian%20Aug.htm)' where the D is also sharpened a semitone. Bottom half of this scale is augmented, then top half a diminished run.  It's another  mode of melodic minor.  But we really do digress ....

Yes, ignore the diminished, that was my head not functioning quite correctly!

I recently discovered the double harmonic mode, which I used to some effect in the play I did in Edinburgh. I've been meaning to make a recording of it actually, on piano as I can't get the bass with the box.
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Owen Woods on October 01, 2010, 06:06:50 PM
And here it is!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2qwBup1vn4

>:E
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Steve C. on October 01, 2010, 07:51:14 PM
Music Theory Humor

A C, an E-flat, and a G go into a bar. The bartender says, "Sorry, but we don't serve minors."

So, the E-flat leaves, and the C and the G have an open fifth between them. After a few drinks, the fifth is diminished; the G is out flat.

An F comes in and tries to augment the situation, but is not sharp enough.

A D comes into the bar and heads straight for the bathroom saying, "Excuse me. I'll just be a second."

An A comes into the bar, but the bartender is not convinced that this relative of C is not a minor.

Then the bartender notices a B-flat hiding at the end of the bar and exclaims, "Get out now! You're the seventh minor I've found in this bar tonight."

The E-flat, not easily deflated, comes back to the bar the next night in a 3-piece suit with nicely shined shoes. The bartender (who used to have a nice corporate job until his company downsized) says, "You're looking sharp tonight, come on in! This could be a major development." This proves to be the case, as the E-flat takes off the suit - and everything else - and stands there au natural.

Eventually, the C sobers up, and realizes in horror that he's under a rest. The C is brought to trial, is found guilty of contributing to the diminution of a minor, and is sentenced to 10 years of DS without Coda at an upscale correctional facility. On appeal, however, the C is found innocent of any wrongdoing, even accidental, and that all accusations to the contrary are bassless.

The bartender decides, however, that since he's only had tenor so patrons, the soprano out in the bathroom, and everything has become alto much treble, he needs a rest -- and closes the bar.

 copywrite: Martha Lewis
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Chris Ryall on October 03, 2010, 08:38:00 AM
Very droll  :D  We'll be in touch ....

An infectious little tune - Le 'Lézard' - and a very subtle arrangement of Gilles Chabenat's 'Mazurka des Ecoliers'... (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHq3GcWjY3s)  Just love his style... classy... 8)  Ed J

Yummy  8) A very handy example, from a master player. That mazurka is one of the most popular in France. I usually play it in session friendly Em - but the tune runs with a Cnatural. It is using my G-row notes. E is the 6th note of the G scale so it's Aeolian .. the "soft" minor

[analysis]
  Interestingly Cyrille is also playing it in Em! But on his melodeon C/G the G row is outside - and that minor is 'on the push' (so would be Bm on our kit).  I don't think he's using 'accidentals' at all. I think he just reaches into his extras - in this case a reversed F#/G to facilitate runs (not often!) or to get to chord extensions that aren't available on the rows.

I like particularly when he clashes F# with G to get a minorb9 effect at about 3'20 . F#min is the "II" chord in Emaeolian and is "VII" relative to the G (outer) row notes he's using.

   "II" of Em or "VII" of Gmaj (count it) the dark lochrian F#,A,C,E aka F#min7b5,b9

The magic is that Brotto doesn't actually play this chord, or even the musically key notes within it. These key notes are F#+C - 3-tone interval - dominance.  When he plays F#,G in the context of Emaolian we 'hear' the more complete chord behind them and 'feel' it wanting resolution back to E.  (You could also call it a sus9 chord)

There are loads of other things going on to make this performance so good, but I don't hear him using a single 'accidental'.  Pure modal approach.
[Thus Endeth the Lesson]  ;)
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: accordion criminal on October 03, 2010, 10:32:35 PM
And here it is!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2qwBup1vn4

>:E

Bravo to Chris for sharing ear-opening theory, and for providing the venue for ukebert's parody. Thanks ukebert for helping me forget how the original melody goes!

I was originally drawn to Irish music for what I now know to be the mixolydian tunes. I always enjoyed how they made me feel like I skipped the bottom step on the staircase.
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Owen Woods on October 04, 2010, 02:13:11 AM
And here it is!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2qwBup1vn4

>:E

Bravo to Chris for sharing ear-opening theory, and for providing the venue for ukebert's parody. Thanks ukebert for helping me forget how the original melody goes!

I was originally drawn to Irish music for what I now know to be the mixolydian tunes. I always enjoyed how they made me feel like I skipped the bottom step on the staircase.

You're welcome (:) It's a fun conceit, isn't it :P It worked well as a sinister background air for one of the Admiral's scenes.
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Chris Ryall on October 04, 2010, 09:12:20 AM
Bravo to Chris for sharing ear-opening theory, and for providing the venue for ukebert's parody. Thanks ukebert for helping me forget how the original melody goes!

While it 'might' have been a parody .. the 'double harmonic' which I know as 'flamenco' or 'arab' scale is perfectly kosher (whoops!) respectable, though it's from harmonic minor, not diatonic minor scale. Ukebert provides a splendid example of how playing the same key sequence but 'starting in the wrong place' totally changes a tune. 

If he'd played Bb's instead of B's it would have been our bog standard mode 3 and playable on a one row (in Eb!).  Is this traditional?  Look up the Rollo Woods version of 'nutting girl'


Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Dragonsbane on October 04, 2010, 09:36:52 AM
Hmmm, that's quite intriguing - explains why some Em-named tunes have a C# instead! The only explanation I'd ever been able to attain previously on asking was that, 'it sometimes happens with English folk tunes'...
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Jon Loomes on October 04, 2010, 12:50:20 PM
"It sometimes happens in English Folk Songs"

For more info on this, theres a fascinating chart in the introduction to Bronson's Tunes from the Child Balllads, which shows how modal inflection tends to work with oral/aural transmission.

Cheers,
J

Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Chris Ryall on October 04, 2010, 12:56:44 PM
Hmmm, that's quite intriguing - explains why some Em-named tunes have a C# instead! The only explanation I'd ever been able to attain previously on asking was that, 'it sometimes happens with English folk tunes'...

It can get even more complicated. Went to a lecture from Jean Francois Vrod (who sometimes plays with Chris Wood). In the Auvergne the fiddlers may use C# going up and C natural coming down. I think that's perhaps leaving the modal concept, but it seems all is possible - they are very trad
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: OwenG on October 04, 2010, 01:15:17 PM
[In the Auvergne the fiddlers may use C# going up and C natural coming down.

Dredging the depths of my memory for Grade 5 Theory, isn't that the melodic minor?
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Owen Woods on October 04, 2010, 01:25:30 PM
[In the Auvergne the fiddlers may use C# going up and C natural coming down.

Dredging the depths of my memory for Grade 5 Theory, isn't that the melodic minor?

Not necessarily. Melodic minor has the C# and the Dnat coming up and the D# and the Cnat coming down. There might be a name for the dorian going up and the aeolian going down, but if there is then I don't know what it is!

The melodic minor was something that I never understood. You have to learn the melodic minor scale for every note when you do grades and I still have no idea why.

Bravo to Chris for sharing ear-opening theory, and for providing the venue for ukebert's parody. Thanks ukebert for helping me forget how the original melody goes!

While it 'might' have been a parody .. the 'double harmonic' which I know as 'flamenco' or 'arab' scale is perfectly kosher (whoops!) respectable, though it's from harmonic minor, not diatonic minor scale. Ukebert provides a splendid example of how playing the same key sequence but 'starting in the wrong place' totally changes a tune. 

If he'd played Bb's instead of B's it would have been our bog standard mode 3 and playable on a one row (in Eb!).  Is this traditional?  Look up the Rollo Woods version of 'nutting girl'

I can play it perfectly well on my 2 row using the accidentals, but don't have the bass. What is the Rollo Woods version of nutting girl? Ashamed to admit that I don't know, he's my grandfather so I probably should (I refuse to believe that there are 2 people in the morris world called Rollo :P)
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: OwenG on October 04, 2010, 01:31:36 PM
Not necessarily. Melodic minor has the C# and the Dnat coming up and the D# and the Cnat coming down . . .The melodic minor was something that I never understood. You have to learn the melodic minor scale for every note when you do grades and I still have no idea why.

Me neither (obviously!)
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Anahata on October 04, 2010, 02:25:24 PM
The melodic minor was something that I never understood. You have to learn the melodic minor scale for every note when you do grades and I still have no idea why.

Why melodic minor? Because there's a lot of music written that way?
Why every note? Because... well, the same reason...

The approach to technique for classical music is to find exercises like my cello teacher's beguiling description of the Piatti Caprices: "when you can play these, you'll be able to play anything"
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Owen Woods on October 04, 2010, 02:30:44 PM
The melodic minor was something that I never understood. You have to learn the melodic minor scale for every note when you do grades and I still have no idea why.

Why melodic minor? Because there's a lot of music written that way?
Why every note? Because... well, the same reason...

The approach to technique for classical music is to find exercises like my cello teacher's beguiling description of the Piatti Caprices: "when you can play these, you'll be able to play anything"


There is a lot of music written with the scale going up different to the scale going down? Really? If it is then I haven't noticed it in 16 years of playing classical piano.

Anyway, scales and arpeggios are pointless. We are forced to learn them, even though they are the easiest of all technical exercises. It would be much more useful if we were to learn technical studies instead, like I did for my Gr 8 clarinet.
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Chris Ryall on October 04, 2010, 03:31:24 PM
There seem to be two 'melodics'  One is where you vary the 6th note, sort of as per above. I was told about this one in school.

In jazz they seem to do it differently and play minor scale first four notes and then the major scale!  Put another way they regard MM as major diatonic with a simple minored 3rd.  I'ver seen people impro on this simply, but in practice the first four notes are maintained .. with anything goes for 5, 7 and 7.

The real importance of jazz melodic lies in ;) its modes - especially the last one which is the infamous altered scale. However they're all regarded as 'fluid runners' - loads on the web eg http://www.jazztheorylessons.com/2009/02/the-jazz-melodic-minor-scale/

but we digress
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: accordion criminal on October 04, 2010, 06:01:04 PM
Bravo to Chris for sharing ear-opening theory, and for providing the venue for ukebert's parody. Thanks ukebert for helping me forget how the original melody goes!

While it 'might' have been a parody .. the 'double harmonic' which I know as 'flamenco' or 'arab' scale is perfectly kosher (whoops!) respectable, though it's from harmonic minor, not diatonic minor scale. Ukebert provides a splendid example of how playing the same key sequence but 'starting in the wrong place' totally changes a tune. 



Because I thought ukebert's rendition was humorous, I called it a parody. :) This is my understanding of parody:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parody#Music (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parody#Music)
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Owen Woods on October 04, 2010, 07:20:15 PM
Because I thought ukebert's rendition was humorous, I called it a parody. :) This is my understanding of parody:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parody#Music (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parody#Music)

Don't worry, it was intended as a parody ;)
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Chris Ryall on October 05, 2010, 08:45:50 AM
Because I thought ukebert's rendition was humorous, I called it a parody. :) This is my understanding of parody:
Don't worry, it was intended as a parody ;)
Hmm - not one I'd ever come across - but then I'm not the one doing A level music. I've been parodied (as per C21st meaning - mimicked with humour) in France and for using what they advised was C17th language, so it serves me right  ::)

Anyway, scales and arpeggios are pointless. We are forced to learn them, even though they are the easiest of all technical exercises. It would be much more useful if we were to learn technical studies instead, like I did for my Gr 8 clarinet.

Pointless? Well not at my level, or trying to play in Cm on a melodeon. I quite agree they "aren't music" but the scales are the tracks that train runs on, and arpeggios are a good way of getting along - at least as far as  the next bar. You could even think of the dominant chords as "points" - to switch track - if you wanted to digress  ;)
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Owen Woods on October 06, 2010, 02:33:10 AM
Pointless? Well not at my level, or trying to play in Cm on a melodeon. I quite agree they "aren't music" but the scales are the tracks that train runs on, and arpeggios are a good way of getting along - at least as far as  the next bar. You could even think of the dominant chords as "points" - to switch track - if you wanted to digress  ;)

And if you want to extend the metaphor, although some may like running on nice predictable tracks, switching between them always at the proper place, that's fine. I'd much rather go off the rails :P
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Chris Ryall on October 06, 2010, 06:17:52 PM
Also 'Signals' like A7b9 suggesting a move into Dm  8) A7 or  A79 'indifferent'  (:)

   A7#9 (an evil chord, but all there on y'r standard D/G box) screaming "D major NOWr"  :Ph

    .. and we need a Fat Controller  ::)
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Howard Jones on October 07, 2010, 08:09:07 AM
This site is rather useful:

http://www.looknohands.com/chordhouse/piano/ (http://www.looknohands.com/chordhouse/piano/)

It shows all the chords you could possibly want, plus a huge range of scales, including the modes we've been discussing and some 'exotic' scales (Balinese, anyone?).  It shows the notes and intervals, so it helps to understand how these chords are built up.

I've linked to the 'piano' page but it will also show these on a guitar fretboard, in a variety of tunings. 
Title: Re: The 'modes' of the diatonic scale
Post by: Chris Ryall on October 07, 2010, 08:40:28 AM
The diatonic modes are IMHO the most important once for us  - axiomatically the notes are there on our keyboard and it's great fun finding where the runs go.

Once you wander off (as this thread sort of has) into modes of harmonic or melodic minor (eg their major relatives) or even more exotic stuff as described above you might as well be playing a CBA. That sort of thing is (sort of) trivial there as it's a matter of teaching your fingers keyboard patterns. On a diatonic 2½ you have to be crafty.
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