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Author Topic: Same "tune", different mode  (Read 3048 times)

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nigelr

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Same "tune", different mode
« on: August 07, 2014, 09:53:18 AM »

Does anyone have any recommendations for tunes that work particularly well when the mode is changed?  I have read through Chris Ryall's notes/posts on modes and found them very useful, although I need some practical examples to get things straight in my head.  As a first foray, I was thinking of taking a tune in G and moving it up a step to Ador as an exercise in changing the "feel" (with appropriate chord changes) - or is this a mad and crazy idea and I've missed the point of modes completely? (:)  Thanks. N
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Customs & Exiles | Theale Tattoo | A couple of Dinos (D/G), a Dony (D/G/Acc) and an Erika (Bb/Eb)

Steve_freereeder

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Re: Same "tune", different mode
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2014, 10:15:22 AM »

Playing a major key tune in a minor key is something which some players/bands occasionally do. It turns the whole feel of the tune completely into something else, whilst retaining a recognisable 'shape'. An example is the Gloucestershire Hornpipe which the band Blowzabella have put into a minor key as The Gloucestershire Miner (sic).

More rarely a minor tune is played in a major key. The only example of the latter I can think of is the northern English hornpipe Red House (Em) which has been changed to G major to create the Welsh tune Ty Coch Caerdydd (Red House of Cardiff) for a 'made up' Eisteddfod dance of the same name. I like both versions; Red House is dark and insistent, Ty Coch is light and elegant.

There are no rules, so feel free to experiment and if you discover a major key tune which sounds great in a minor mode, then that's great. My only caution would be that the technique could run the risk of being somewhat over-used. There are some great minor mode tunes around in their own right so remember not to neglect them either.
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Chris Ryall

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Re: Same "tune", different mode
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2014, 10:22:05 AM »

G> A dorian may be a big first step as you have crossed from major into minor!

you can mode shift in two basic ways. one is to keep tonic the same, the other is to start on a different note and keep the relativities. That is trivial on white notes of a piano, on melodeon we get a totally different push pull pattern :-\ I find it possible where I can play the whole scale on pull (eg E or G and their modes on my AccsDG), but would feel brave attempting it "on the row"

So why not try method one? a loping melody in D is a good start, and 3/4 time works well. After a couple of times through … whenever pull C# arrives play a pull C on the G row. you are playing a D melody on the g scale notes … mixolydian

As you get the feel for that you can swing to playing the same line "on the pull" on the G row itself. This generally makes the chording easier, but on a DG you tend to run out of notes at low end and have to revert to D row.

Same trick works for minors, get a favoured "lazy" Em dorian (D row) tune and play C instead of C# again, feels modal already. You have parallel shifted from dorian to aolian. After a bit of practice you can run eg BCC# together switching to push D … bebop!
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nigelr

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Re: Same "tune", different mode
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2014, 11:08:43 AM »

Many thanks Chris & Steve for the suggestions and guidance.  Much appreciated.

… whenever pull C# arrives play a pull C on the G row. you are playing a D melody on the g scale notes … mixolydian ...

Slowly it all becomes clearer!  I have just learned Will's Way so this explains why that C natural sounds sooooo good! (:)
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Customs & Exiles | Theale Tattoo | A couple of Dinos (D/G), a Dony (D/G/Acc) and an Erika (Bb/Eb)

Chris Ryall

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Re: Same "tune", different mode
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2014, 12:02:31 PM »

Standard "blue it" trick, and as Steve advises not to be overdone .. unless the whole session is in that mood.  Mode changing "mathematically" is the same as altering the notes that are absent in the current chord. You can approach it from either directions, or simply "follow your feelings" as my daughter does.

  A melodeon has a D triad D F# A .. the 7th C or C# is sort of implied in folk music.
    In picking C you are taking the music's "colour" into Appalachian/Blues territory
      In picking C# you make it sound like cool jazz.  Stangely the C# is the cooler in the minor!

OK .. .. your "out of chord" notes are E G and B. Tomorrow (once you have a feel) try flattening the B to Bb as well. You'll need accs the right way. Gives an even lazier feel?

Not OK ::) was flattening the F# to an F as that was "in" the chord, actually you can get away with that when in true "blues" mode, but the opposite (playing F# over a Dm chord) is instant death >:E
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Rees

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Re: Same "tune", different mode
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2014, 12:23:18 PM »

Winster Galop in E minor is a good place to start.
The Electropathics recorded it as The Gaddafi Gallop.
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nigelr

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Re: Same "tune", different mode
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2014, 01:35:16 PM »

...Tomorrow (once you have a feel) try flattening the B to Bb as well. You'll need accs the right way...
Thanks Chris.  Sadly, my box has low notes rather than accidentals, so I have to accept that my modal experimenting will be limited.

Winster Galop in E minor is a good place to start.
Hi Rees.  That sounds like a good one to have a go at.  Thanks.  Nigel (:)
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Customs & Exiles | Theale Tattoo | A couple of Dinos (D/G), a Dony (D/G/Acc) and an Erika (Bb/Eb)

Steve_freereeder

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Re: Same "tune", different mode
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2014, 02:21:03 PM »

Sadly, my box has low notes rather than accidentals, so I have to accept that my modal experimenting will be limited.

Not at all. You don't need the accidentals to play in the minor-sounding E dorian, A dorian or B aeolian on a D/G box.

E dorian: E F# G A B C# D E'  - all notes available on the standard D-row
A dorian: A B C D E F# G A'  - all notes available on the standard G-row
B aeolian: B C# D E F# G A B' - all notes available on the standard D-row.

When English/UK melodeon players say that they are playing tunes in E minor, A minor or B minor, they usually mean E dorian, A dorian and B aeolian.

There is also B phrygian which is sort of minor-sounding/middle-eastern.
B phrygian: B C D E F# G A B' - all available on the standard G-row.

There is truly a lot you can do with these. You can play these scales (and hence tunes in those modes) along the rows as indicated, but usually some playing across the rows can give more convenient fingering patterns, depending on the tune. I find the two dorian minors and the aeolian are most useful for 'converting' a major key tune into a minor mode; the phrygian minor sounds more outlandish.

Edited to correct typo, sorry.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2014, 03:08:49 PM by Steve_freereeder »
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Steve
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nigelr

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Re: Same "tune", different mode
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2014, 02:35:02 PM »

E dorian: E D F# G A B C# D E'  - all notes available on the standard D-row
A dorian: A B C D E F# G A'  - all notes available on the standard G-row
B aeolian: B C# D E F# G A B' - all notes available on the standard D-row.
...
B phrygian: B C D E F# G A B' - all available on the standard G-row.
Thanks Steve.  I am assuming proper Em (E aeolian) as the relative minor of G should also be in the list? Do'able with a hop over from D to G rows  ;) 
E aeolian: E F# G A B C D E'
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Customs & Exiles | Theale Tattoo | A couple of Dinos (D/G), a Dony (D/G/Acc) and an Erika (Bb/Eb)

Chris Ryall

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Re: Same "tune", different mode
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2014, 02:47:33 PM »

'No accs' does limit your "parallel" mode swiching to changing basis row and flattening/sharpening the C   ..    But hell,  that's what the "diatonic" accordion is all about! (I never liked the word "accidental" anyway, only losers play them "accidentally") :-\

Still plenty to work with .. basically take favorite D row tunes and sub C for its C#, as per above: mixolydian.  And you can do the reverse, with a G row tune and sub C# (from D row). That is called lydian mode (note the similarity) and is perhaps "more major than the major". It is bright as a button and sounds really weird at first - you just have to play through that feeling and it settles into your musicality as just another mode. Try listening to the Attenborough "Life" documentaries on Eden TV channel if you have it.  They do lydian all the time ...

    Hedingarna's slingpolska "King Salma" is a fabulous tune for exploring C/C# modal shift in a minor context.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ty48tLp2CqE&feature=youtu.be   (in original  Dm)

As per Steve - all 7 modes are available "along the rows" and B phrygian is not a bad one to explore. Play on the G row and you have a B bass in right direction (the chord will clash). Rock onto an A bass for pull notes and trust your ears. This one in "more minor than the minor" and again its b9=C will feel weird at first. Play through that: think belly dance. A B/C trill is classical but not melodeon friendly. Google up " Fantasia On A Theme By Thomas Tallis" by Vaughan Williams. It was Mondays' Prom .. repeats (it sez here) Radio 3 tomorrow 2pm

[ed] just hacked some B phrygian "on the rows" on my box (I usually use my D pull) and rocking B bass to C chord works best to my ear. A D/E rock on bellows isn't too bad either. Once you get up to E I'd cross row the rest of the scale against a drone.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2014, 03:08:26 PM by Chris Ryall »
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Same "tune", different mode
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2014, 03:15:47 PM »

E dorian: E D F# G A B C# D E'  - all notes available on the standard D-row

Thanks Steve.  I am assuming proper Em (E aeolian) as the relative minor of G should also be in the list? Do'able with a hop over from D to G rows  ;) 
E aeolian: E F# G A B C D E'
Yes - I should have added that, sorry. Also I've corrected a typo - a rogue D which crept in to my E dorian! Sorry again  :|bl
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Theo

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Re: Same "tune", different mode
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2014, 03:58:29 PM »

A nice tune to try is Davy Nicnac.  Usually plaed in G major, play it on the G row but starting the scale on A and you have a minor version which also exists as a separate tune "The New Road to Alston"
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Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

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nigelr

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Re: Same "tune", different mode
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2014, 04:37:43 PM »

From Steve and Theo's examples I'm fascinated by the fact that the same melody line in a different mode can be referred to by a new name and considered a different tune.  I'm sure there must be quite a few examples of this out there.  Thanks.  Nigel
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Theo

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Re: Same "tune", different mode
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2014, 05:18:06 PM »

Another example is "If you will not have me you may let me go"  which exists in Bm and D versions.  It is usually played in Bm today, but I know a few people who play the D (major) version.  Both versions have the same name and the same key signature, so it is possible that one version came about accidentally by a misreading of notation.
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Re: Same "tune", different mode
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2014, 08:04:45 PM »

It's often very simple to change a tune from Major into mixolydian. And it's often a very cool effect too.

For instance, when you play something in D, you change the C# into a C. It even works often when there is no 7th in the tune: you change your V-chord (Amajor) into a C.

W
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Chris Ryall

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Re: Same "tune", different mode
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2014, 09:27:52 AM »

That's a nice shift of emphasis Wouter! We've all focussed on the notes of the scale, and ignored the other half of the instrument. There is usually a chord pattern going on, with ears/brain interpreting mode from that too.

I generally put in an explicit C note on right end, but yes, most of us have done that without even realising. It's also not uncommon in the Em Irish session tunes. The fiddles etc are hammering along in dorian, with poor old guitar and chorders like me chugging out Em…D…A … seemingly forever.

Then someone plays a C chord instead of A (or D where the C# isn't even there, explicitly) the room falls in and the tune drops (briefly) into aolian. Again, feels weird at first, but after the first 1000 or so it becomes part of the style. Mind you, I suspect the first melodeonista to try that was knee-cappped! I still recall the dark looks I got in the Whitby Hard Irish session for playing a single Bm7. Got to Galway years later and they were all doing it!
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nigelr

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Re: Same "tune", different mode
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2014, 09:18:33 AM »

That's a nice shift of emphasis Wouter! We've all focussed on the notes of the scale, and ignored the other half of the instrument. There is usually a chord pattern going on, with ears/brain interpreting mode from that too.
Apologies if I'm being a bit thick, Chris, but aren't the chords essential to changing the mode?  If I play in Ador with the right hand but play G/D/C in the left, I'm still just playing in G (and probably sounding a bit rubbish).  My understanding is that chords/melody have to go hand in hand to properly reflect the mode?  Thanks.  Nigel
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Customs & Exiles | Theale Tattoo | A couple of Dinos (D/G), a Dony (D/G/Acc) and an Erika (Bb/Eb)

Chris Ryall

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Re: Same "tune", different mode
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2014, 07:02:22 AM »

A spot on question, simple answer is yes. Basic background is that a 7 note diatonic scale eg CDEFGABC is naturally associated with seven chords, in this case Cmaj Dm Em Fmaj G7 Am B½dim. Don't lose sleep over that last one, very rare in folk, but cool in swing music and minor harmony. You can add "maj7" to all the major chords, and make the minors "m7" if on guitar, but we poor melodeonists only get 3 note triads. That G7 dominant is a true 4 note chord though have to fake it with a G triad too. 

Chords/scale are as ever "the same thing" but may approach mode shifting from either aspect, much as Wouter points out. As a simplifying example, say it's an Am pentatonic tune, no 6th. Is it aolian or dorian? In this case the accompaniment leads the ear. Stick to those "C scale" chords, and you could technically use any of them to suit your style (some nicer than others ;)) and you are anchoring it in the "relative" aolian Am.

The moment you play any chord with an F# in it, you have pulled the listeners ear into dorian. G isn't enough, as it is also in the C diatonic chords (though Gmaj7 isn't!)  D triad is your "sensitive" triad.  But if you leave thirds out … no F# and it's still ambiguous (:). I like the "mode" term. It is not really "a scale", more "a framework within which one's ear hears melody"
« Last Edit: August 13, 2014, 07:12:41 AM by Chris Ryall »
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nigelr

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Re: Same "tune", different mode
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2014, 04:00:30 PM »

Thanks, Chris. (:) N
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Customs & Exiles | Theale Tattoo | A couple of Dinos (D/G), a Dony (D/G/Acc) and an Erika (Bb/Eb)

Chris Ryall

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Re: Same "tune", different mode
« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2014, 10:28:44 AM »

Just ploughing through series 4 videos of the present Edinburgh course which returns to harmony .. intimately connected with modal stuff as we know.

They use "twinkle , twinkle" as an exemplar melody, harmonising first on the I,IV,V,I trick we all know and love. Then they resolve the dominant V chord to a ii Em instead. Mode shift ...

    https://class.coursera.org/musictheory-001/lecture/129

Like others, I got a bit cheesed off with the navel gazing of the rhythm lecture (yes, rhythm is very important ... but ::)). However last week's series is I think useful to any melodeonista, and I'd say best approached from video 1. The above link is into the middle, to pick up the theme of this thread.

[ed] I spoke too soon ... nombrilisation strikes again. They have just done a nice easy set of chords in C and G and then thrown in a "name the chord" quiz on the tenor clef :Ph
« Last Edit: August 14, 2014, 10:47:20 AM by Chris Ryall »
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