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Author Topic: The Melodeon Mode Show (writing/sharing modal tunes)  (Read 3734 times)

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Gena Crisman

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Re: The Melodeon Mode Show (writing/sharing modal tunes)
« Reply #40 on: June 12, 2019, 12:54:22 PM »

Jack put in the header:
K: D Phrygian ^F
 but it's definitely not Phrygian mode.
It's not G harmonic minor either, even though all the notes of the scale match

So, I was going to get there some day, but now seems like a good time! You may have observed that E harmonic minor was not a mode of either the G major or D major scale, or, in fact any major scale. Its order of tones and semitones is not found there, and is in fact a fresh, new 7 note scale, independent of the major scale...

And, of course, that means we now have a heap of new modes! The modes of the harmonic minor scale. The scale being described here is called Phrygian Dominant. It's actual a very popular (and sometimes considered overused in some genres) scale. On a two row DG, if you have a push D#, you can also play B phrygian dominant fairly comfortably, but you do have scale limits if you only have the one Accidental. Harmonic minor can be found by taking a natural minor scale, and sharping the 7th, or by taking a major scale, and flattening the 3rd and the 6th - we don't have either of these natively on our diatonic major scale instruments, but we do have accidentals, so, any major or minor scale we're used to playing, we can add either 1 or 2 accidentals to it to generate the scale.

The options for harmonic minor scales that come to mind for DG are approximately, since our goal is using as few accidentals as possible (the accidentals are bolded):

The semitone pattern is:
0  +2 +1 +2 +2 +1 +3 +1
E harmonic minor:
E  F# G  A  B  C  D# E
A harmonic minor:
A  B  C  D  E  F  G# A
B harmonic minor:
B  C# D  E  F# G  A# B
G harmonic minor:
G  A  Bb C  D  Eb F# G
D harmonic minor:
D  E  F  G  A  Bb C# D

Of these, the standard accidentals can be in the wrong places, eg in A and D harmonic minor due to the F being high, and the G# and Bb being low.

The scale  has a very distinct interval, the 3 semitones step up between eg C and D#, which differentiates it from the major scale. Phrygian dominant is a mode built from the 5th degree of the harmonic minor scale, and shifts that signature step right in front of the tonic. D phrygian dominant would be built from G harmonic minor, as D is the 5th note of that scale:

Regular D Phrygian (a mode of Bb major)
D  Eb F  G  A  Bb C  D
G harmonic minor:
G  A  Bb C  D  Eb F# G
D phrygian dominant:
D  Eb F# G  A  Bb C  D
hence, D phrygian ^F

Accompanying tunes in these scales is a little messy for us because of that +3 interval. The diatonic chords for Harmonic Minor are:
i    iio  III+ iv   V    VI   viio
which makes the chords of phrygian dominant:
I    II   iiio iv   vo   VI+  vii 
We now have two diminished chords (the o) chord, and one augmented chord (the +). An augmented chord is effectively where the relative 5th note is sharpened by a semitone. Like with a diminished chord, this means that the chord doesn't the root's relative 5th note, meaning it's much less stable and harder to work with, but, in the augmented case, at least the interval isn't tritone. At the very least, this means on our fixed chord instrument, we do have 3 chords out of the scale we likely can't play complete chords of - after all, very few people have a 5ths stop! But, you can quite happily use what is there. We can use the same pattern we used for phrygian; vii, I and ii, with I making us stand out as different. We can also look at iv. The iv -> I change is very nice (it's also called the 'minor plagal cadence'). However, you can also just pedal on a low drone if the tonic note, which could make eg D phrygian dominant attractive to a DG box player, where even with the 2 accidentals in positions that may make things tougher, we have the D bass in both directions.

Basically, we can totally do it! I learnt a lot, theory and practically, from this ideas in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCZezZf9bi0 (although the chap plays guitar).
« Last Edit: June 12, 2019, 02:17:14 PM by Gena Crisman »
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Anahata

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Re: The Melodeon Mode Show (writing/sharing modal tunes)
« Reply #41 on: June 12, 2019, 01:46:11 PM »

By golly, she's right!
This page also explains why it's called that. (A mode can be called 'dominant' if it contains both a major 3rd and a minor 7th.)

Incidentally, F♯ Phrygian dominant also works on a D/G with accidentals (just needs the B♭/A♯), but not as well as there's no F♯ bass.
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Eshed

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Re: The Melodeon Mode Show (writing/sharing modal tunes)
« Reply #42 on: June 12, 2019, 02:03:44 PM »

Actually this thread drove me to play with the phrygian dominant for the past few weeks as it's a core mode of Klezmer music (Can I get more cliche than that?).
The genre is not really my cup of tea, but it's fun to challenge your brain and fingers.
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I'm playing all the wrong notes but not necessarily in the wrong order.

Gena Crisman

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Re: The Melodeon Mode Show (writing/sharing modal tunes)
« Reply #43 on: June 12, 2019, 02:15:54 PM »

Actually this thread drove me to play with the phrygian dominant for the past few weeks as it's a core mode of Klezmer music (Can I get more cliche than that?).
The genre is not really my cup of tea, but it's fun to challenge your brain and fingers.

That's lovely to hear! I'd be interested to know how you've been getting on with that on your instruments, and how you've been placing the scale on your boxes.
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Eshed

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Re: The Melodeon Mode Show (writing/sharing modal tunes)
« Reply #44 on: June 12, 2019, 02:29:29 PM »

That's lovely to hear! I'd be interested to know how you've been getting on with that on your instruments, and how you've been placing the scale on your boxes.
I've flipped two plates on my C/F club box such that both C# notes are now on the push.
It was originally done to assist in playing Purcell tunes, but an improved A phrygian dominant is a very nice byproduct.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2019, 02:38:40 PM by Eshed »
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Gena Crisman

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Re: The Melodeon Mode Show (writing/sharing modal tunes)
« Reply #45 on: June 12, 2019, 03:36:51 PM »

That's lovely to hear! I'd be interested to know how you've been getting on with that on your instruments, and how you've been placing the scale on your boxes.
I've flipped two plates on my C/F club box such that both C# notes are now on the push.
It was originally done to assist in playing Purcell tunes, but an improved A phrygian dominant is a very nice byproduct.

Neat! Welcome to the club, of having reversed those plates I mean. The only downside I've found for plate reversal on my DG is playing a chord and its relative flat 5/tritone as a passing note at the same time, so, for me, Bb over an E chord or Eb over an A chord, which are both things that do come up from time to time.

If you're interested in another different sound, I'd also suggest you should check out mixolydian flat 6. It can be played roughly the same as your CF's A phrygian dominant, but, you sharp your 2nd back up, so, you defer to the outside row a little more (so instead of A Bb C#, the run becomes A B C#). This gives you a half major, half minor sort of scale that at the end of the day is closer to mixoldyian than taking multiple steps from anywhere else, hence the name, but, it plays very similar to what you've been figuring out. This removes some of the phrygian twang, but keeps a lot of the majesty of phrygian dominant. So, if you feel like it, maybe try; A B C# D E F G A, played over A major, D minor and G major (or, for us DG folks, B C# D# E F# G A B played over B major and E minor, and A major). I've played with this scale a bit, resulting in this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmSNPlghyM0 but don't think it's a great demonstration - I'd like to take another look at it, some day...
« Last Edit: June 12, 2019, 03:50:29 PM by Gena Crisman »
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Chris Ryall

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Re: The Melodeon Mode Show (writing/sharing modal tunes)
« Reply #46 on: June 12, 2019, 09:13:37 PM »

the difference is that phygian major is a harmonic minor mode, myxo b6 a mode of melodic minor, and yes, lovely.

the “twang” isn’t really phrygian. it stems from the abrupt 1½ tone interval between Bb and C# (hence having # and b in one scale). Only harmonic scales have this interval (there are 3 others)
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Gena Crisman

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Re: The Melodeon Mode Show (writing/sharing modal tunes)
« Reply #47 on: December 07, 2019, 06:00:49 PM »

Hello, I've done lots of mode stuff and not recorded or posted about it. Hooray.

So, I wrote a tune at the start of the year in D mixolydian based on a chord progression (for the A music) of D/D/C/C/G/G/D/DC. Plenty of tunes are in this mode and this is honestly probably one of the most straight forward modes to play in on a D/G. We're also quite used to hearing this mode, so it's pretty accessible, all around.

The title is from a mishearing of the word 'Verboten' as 'Fair Bolton' that occurred at my local folk club. I thought it was pretty funny and when I wrote this tune, I felt like that title was a good fit.

I felt like I really wanted it to 'go somewhere' so I wrote a(n attempt at a) harmony line for the A music. Then I left it in my tune book for a few months until I got around to actually playing it, intending to bring it to the folk club, but, it wrapped up a week earlier than I'd expected so I missed my chance. Instead, I was able to bring it along to club when it started (belatedly) in the winter, along with a harmony line for the B music. It was an important part in me learning effective partial/full chord strategies and using multiple RHS buttons to (I think) positive effect, as well as having the confidence to do so.

Here's a youtube of me playing it (as I actually opt to play it) and the ABC code below.

Fair Bolton (D mix)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOriGzMldPM

Code: [Select]
X:7
T:Fair Bolton
C:Gena Crisman 08/01/19
%%titlefont Consolas, 22
%%subtitlefont Consolas, 16
%%partsfont Consolas, 20
%%partsbox
%%gchordfont Consolas, 18
%%MIDI program 21 % Accordion
%%MIDI bassprog 1
%%MIDI chordprog 1 % Piano
M:4/4
Q:140
P:ABABCDCD
L:1/8
K:Dmixolydian
%%MIDI gchord fcfc
P:A
"D"D3E F2A2 |"D"defe fafd |"C"c4 cBAB|"C"G4 E2G2|
"G"B6A2|"G"BABcd2B2|"D"A4 dBA2|1"D"D4 "C"EGE2:|2"D"D4 "Em"EGE2|
P:B
|:"D"A,DF2 DFA2|"D"A4d2A2|"G"G4 FGB2|"G"d4 dedc|
"D"A3F AFAc|"C"G3c e2gf|"G"g3B deBc|"D"d8:|
P:C
"D"[dD]3[BE] [AF]2[DA]2 |"D"[Fd][Ee][Df]e [Df]a[Df]d |"C"[Ec]4 [Gc]-[GB]-[GA]-[GB]|"C"[EG]4 E2-[EG]2|
"G"[DB]6[DA]2|[DB][DA][DB]c[Gd]2[GB]2|1"D"[FA]-[EA][DA]2 [Dd]-[DB]-[DA]2|"D"[dD]4 "C"cG[cE]2:|2"D"[DA]-[EA][DA]2 [DA]-[DB]-[Dd]2 |"D"[dDF]8 |
% D music added 08/11/19
P:D
|:"D"[dA,]-[dD]-[dF]2 [fD]-[fF]-[fA]2|"D"[fA]-[aA]-[fA]2d2[aA]2|"G"[dG]-[gG]-[dG]2 [aF][gG][fB][eB]|"G"[Gd]4 [Bd][Be][Gd][Gc]|
"D"[FA]3[dF] [aA][aF][fA][ac]|"C"[gG]-[fG]-[eG]-[ec] [Ge]2gf|"G"[Gdg]3[gB] [gd]e[dBg][Ecg]|"D"[DAdf]8:|

Review of D (outside row) mix is that you can get a bit trapped for air if you don't use your pull D and accompanying inside row notes. Otherwise, neat tunes and straight forward to play.
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Pete Dunk

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Re: The Melodeon Mode Show (writing/sharing modal tunes)
« Reply #48 on: December 07, 2019, 11:00:22 PM »

Mixolydian is probably my favourite one of the modes and this is a well crafted tune, I like it a lot, well done.
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Gena Crisman

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Re: The Melodeon Mode Show (writing/sharing modal tunes)
« Reply #49 on: May 20, 2020, 09:12:42 PM »

Hello, I still care deeply about this.

The Device (Low E Aeolian)
https://youtu.be/p05fP6IGcIA

This is a 3/4 time waltz written specifically because I have been recently saying that low E minor playing is not particularly well catered for with the 4th button, low G scale DG layout. So, obviously, I wrote an E minor tune that falls entirely blow that E4 note.

I suppose, really, the weakness of the low G scale is that you can't from a low E minor chord harmony with the E4 as the top note. A low pull B or G or something would help with that, but, well, we gotta fit in what we can fit in, and a pull C and a pull A easily trounce those, but, I can see why people might consider a pull B in some of the layouts I've seen. The harmony here works by combining a pull E bass with push G chords to complete the effect of an E minor chord.

Interestingly, I do find that the low push A is substantially less useful than the pull A, at least in terms of the combinations it enables you to perform, but, I still find that I use it all the time.

Here's the ABC
Code: [Select]
X:37
T:The Device
C:Gena Crisman 20/05/2020
%%titlefont Consolas, 22
%%subtitlefont Consolas, 16
%%partsfont Consolas, 20
%%partsbox
%%gchordfont Consolas, 18
%%MIDI program 21 % Accordion
%%MIDI chordprog 1 % Piano
M:3/4
Q:1/4=140
L:1/8
P:ABABA
K:Em
P:A
"e"E2 "G"B,2 G,2 | "e"E2 "Em"EB, "G"G,2 | "C"C2-CD C2 | "G" B,6 |
"e"E2 "G"B,2 G,2 | "e"E2 "Em"EB, "G"G,2 | "D"A,6 | "D" D6 |
"e"E2 "G"B,2 G,2 | "e"E2 "Em"EB, "G"G,2 | "C"C2 CD C2 | "G" B,2 A,2 G,2 |
"e"E2 "G"B,2 G,2 | "e"E2 "Em"EB, "G"G,2 | "D"A,6 | "D" D2 B,2 D2 |
P:B
"C"E2 D2 C2 | "C"E2 D2 C2 | "G"B,2 B,"_attn"C B,A,  | "G"G,6 |
"C"E2 C2 G,2 | "C"E2 D2 C2 | "D"A,6 | "D"A,6 |
"C"E2 D2 C2 | "C"E2 ED C2 | "G"B,2 B,"_attn" D B,A,  | "G"G,6 |
"C"E2 C2 G,2 | "C"E2 ED CE | "D"D6 | "B" B,6 |


The Elegy of Tin Can Tommy (A Mixolydian)
https://youtu.be/ndFmjOmThx4

Another 3/4 time tune, but one which sometimes decides to be a jig, in A mixolydian. I think this was my first foray into writing for A mix, instead of D mix, on my DG. I particularly enjoyed the low C# over the A chord. This tune was named by a friend of mine, Vivian. I'm not sure why she chose this name, she hadn't heard the tune at all at the time - I never really went out of my way to learn my tune properly until yesterday.

I think the convenience of A Mix over A Ionian/major is that, G instead of G# is in the scale, so you can hit that E minor and find plenty of helpful notes for colour, and G major lets you comfortably drop your air while being the big 'look at me' chord you're wanting for mix. By comparison, playing in A major, you're probably looking at taking your thirds out so you can hit the ~E5 chord to get your contrast, which can also leave you looking at having a whole lot of air in your bellows in some tunes.

I find I gravitate to the G or D row depending on if I'm playing a G or D chord to drop air. E minor obviously goes to the outside row, and A is, as usual, A.

Code: [Select]
X:27
T:The Elegy of Tin Can Tommy
C:Gena Crisman 25/06/2019
%%titlefont Consolas, 22
%%subtitlefont Consolas, 16
%%partsfont Consolas, 20
%%partsbox
%%gchordfont Consolas, 18
%%MIDI program 21 % Accordion
%%MIDI chordprog 1 % Piano
M:3/4
Q:3/8=100
P:ABABAC
L:1/8
K:Amix
P:A
%%MIDI gchordbars 4
%%MIDI gchord fzczczfzczczfzcfzcfzcfzc
"A"c2 cd cA|"G"G4 AG|"^Jig time 2 bars""D"FED DFA|"G"B2A d2d |
%%MIDI gchord fzczczfzczczfzcfzcfzczcz
"A"e2 ef ef|"G"g4 g2|"^Jig 1 bar""D"f2f fed|"A"e2 a2 A2:|
P:B
%%MIDI gchordbars 1
%%MIDI gchord fzczcz
"A"cd cd cd | "Em" e6 | "A"cd cA GE | "D"D6 |
"A"CD C2 "Bm"D2 | "A"C6 | "A"CD C2 "G"D2 | "A" EC E2 A2 :|
P:C (final)
%%MIDI gchordbars 1
%%MIDI gchord fzczcz
"A"cd cd cd | "Em" e6 | "A"cd cA GE | "D"D6 |
"A"CD C2 "Bm"D2 | "A"C6 | "A"CD C2 "Bm"D2 | "A"C6 |
"A"CD C2 "Bm"D2 | "A"C6 | "A"CD C2 "Bm"D2 | "^etc""A"C6-|\
%%MIDI gchord b
C6|
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