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A very basic question about modal transposition

Chords, scales, harmony, melody, etc.

Moderator: Moderators (Main)

Lode_Runner
KVRist
 
385 posts since 1 Jul, 2011

Postby Lode_Runner; Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:22 am

You're fighting over music theory? :?
jancivil
KVRAF
 
9370 posts since 20 Oct, 2007

Postby jancivil; Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:36 am

in the old church music where that terminology, eg., 'plagal of _' applies, there was no 'tonal environment'; by the time there was a music that one could possibly call 'tonal', the musica ficta practice took the character tones and fit them into major (or minor) and so the terms simply do not resemble what a modern musician uses practically today. At one time in the old church music there was a hint of the modes, and more than one occurred as such in the music, but to call that 'tonal environment' is a terrible confusion of language. At this point the character of the modes was the opposite of the thrust, they were interested in the other thing which promoted their values better they believed.

I was put in honors curriculae at CCM, including history and we had the most pedantic professor, deeply interested in this period, we were immersed in it month after month and had to write essay answers to tests... I'm familar with the facts and the wrong person to get over on here, do not assume people that disagree with you are ignorant.

if you want to demonstrate how modal usage works in 'the tonal environment' in modern terms, feel free. In fact, if you want to demonstrate it in the ancient church usage, feel free.

My interest here is STRICTLY in clarifying a confusion of terms and you're muddying the waters with pointless academic lingo trying to get over.

NB: the closed mind argument is fallacious, I don't have to be open to falsities and nonsense.
jancivil
KVRAF
 
9370 posts since 20 Oct, 2007

Postby jancivil; Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:59 am

Concretely: the nominative F lydian in the practice of "modal counterpoint". Once F is the tonic, the B that is the character tone as far am we're concerned today is corrected to Bb, 'musica ficta'. Before this practice, the nascence of tonal practice as we know it, your meaning 'tonal environment' is impossible.

the character of a mode is lost where there is [major/minor] *tonality*. The character of B in D dorian (or in F lydian, or the F in G mixolydian etc) is impossible if there is a C tonic. It's nonsense to call this statement a mistake. There is no dogma there, that's how the thing works.
JumpingJackFlash
KVRian
 
1142 posts since 10 Oct, 2004

Postby JumpingJackFlash; Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:08 am

I don't really want to get involved in the argument here (I think both of you are correct from different perspectives), so I'll just refer to the OP:

Krakatau wrote:- when you say about a scale "B Locrian" for instance, does it mean in fact "the Locrian mode or C major" ...or not ?


No. The major scale and the Locrian mode are two completely different things.

It just so happens that, if you take the notes of C major starting on B, you end up with the Locrian mode. This can be a useful way to work out the notes, but it's purely coincidental - there is no inherent musical relationship there.

Like the major scale, the Locrian mode can start on any note. If it starts on any note other than B, the notes will not be the same as the notes in C major.

My post on Scales, Modes and Chords might be useful.
Unfamiliar words can be looked up in my Glossary of musical terms.
Also check out my Introduction to Music Theory.
Harry_HH
KVRian
 
854 posts since 4 Aug, 2006, from Helsinki

Postby Harry_HH; Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:22 am

JumpingJackFlash wrote:
It just so happens that, if you take the notes of C major starting on B, you end up with the Locrian mode. This can be a useful way to work out the notes, but it's purely coincidental - there is no inherent musical relationship there.

Like the major scale, the Locrian mode can start on any note. If it starts on any note other than B, the notes will not be the same as the notes in C major.


Yes - but the relation is always the same: e.g. when you play the Locrian mode starting from C (C Locrian), the scale follows the Des major etc.
I don't have any argument concerning your comment - my interest awoke from your statement "(the relation) is purely coincidental". I have never thought WHY there's that relation, i.e. the mathematical relation to the one major scale concerns all the 7 church modes. Is it really "purely coincidental"? (And does this realation have anything to do with the parallel key - e.g. C - Am /Ionian - Aelolian realations). If someone (maybe you) can elaborate this - I don't know if this question belongs more to the neurobiology and brain physilogy than to the music theory - or maybe to the philosophy, no matter it interest me. H.
Last edited by Harry_HH on Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
JumpingJackFlash
KVRian
 
1142 posts since 10 Oct, 2004

Postby JumpingJackFlash; Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:29 am

Harry_HH wrote:my interest awoke from your statement "(the relation) is purely coincidental".


Perhaps I didn't explain myself very well with that comment. You're right that the mathematics is always the same; i.e. the notes of any Phrygian Mode will correspond to the notes of the major scale a major seventh below it, but the point is that this isn't really relevant to anything. - It's useful way to work out the notes, but there's nothing really significant musically, other than they happen to be the same notes.

So, in other words, B Lydian is not a part of C major, it just happens to share the same notes.
Unfamiliar words can be looked up in my Glossary of musical terms.
Also check out my Introduction to Music Theory.
Harry_HH
KVRian
 
854 posts since 4 Aug, 2006, from Helsinki

Postby Harry_HH; Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:50 am

JumpingJackFlash wrote:
Harry_HH wrote:my interest awoke from your statement "(the relation) is purely coincidental".

... but there's nothing really significant musically, other than they happen to be the same notes.
..., it just happens to share the same notes.


Thank you - I think I got you right in your first comment, you repeat here
those statements I'd just like someone to elaborate. Do they really "happen" to share same notes and in the realation "there's nothing really significant musically". I don't know, maybe there's someone who knows the theory more deeply and can say something more. H.
JumpingJackFlash
KVRian
 
1142 posts since 10 Oct, 2004

Postby JumpingJackFlash; Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:04 am

Harry_HH wrote:Do they really "happen" to share same notes and in the realation "there's nothing really significant musically".


Are you asking about the history of them (their origins etc.), or the difference between tonality and modality, or something else?

The Major Scale and the Ionian Mode share not only the same notes, but in the same order too. Yet still the two terms should not be used interchangeably.
Unfamiliar words can be looked up in my Glossary of musical terms.
Also check out my Introduction to Music Theory.
Harry_HH
KVRian
 
854 posts since 4 Aug, 2006, from Helsinki

Postby Harry_HH; Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:18 am

JumpingJackFlash wrote:
Harry_HH wrote:Do they really "happen" to share same notes and in the realation "there's nothing really significant musically".


Are you asking about the history of them (their origins etc.), or the difference between tonality and modality, or something else?

The Major Scale and the Ionian Mode share not only the same notes, but in the same order too. Yet still the two terms should not be used interchangeably.


No, I'm asking to elaborate your comment that the realation (mentioned) is "conincidental", i.e. what did you mean by that. I assume that you are talking about the musical /harmony theory point of view. This would be most interesting - if this means discussion about "difference between tonality and modality" ok, but I think these are just names and I'd like to go deeper behind these labels. Why there's mathematical constant relation between all modes to one major scale? H.
JumpingJackFlash
KVRian
 
1142 posts since 10 Oct, 2004

Postby JumpingJackFlash; Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:35 am

Harry_HH wrote:I'm asking to elaborate your comment that the realation (mentioned) is "conincidental", i.e. what did you mean by that.


I meant that the major scale, and any mode are completely different things. They may share the same notes, but that's as far as the relationship goes.

I'm not sure this is a good analogy, but go with me:
If I have 6 cubes, I can arrange them in a 3x3 square or a 3-2-1 triangle. Even though they are made up of the same building blocks, the resultant shapes are completely different.

Harry_HH wrote:Why there's mathematical constant relation between all modes to one major scale? H.


This relates to the history and evolution of modes and scales.

The modes came first, though not quite the same as jazz musicians think of them today (as fmr has already mentioned).

Later, our major scale evolved from them. - That's obviously putting it as simply as possible - entire books have been written on this!
Unfamiliar words can be looked up in my Glossary of musical terms.
Also check out my Introduction to Music Theory.
User avatar
fmr
KVRAF
 
2685 posts since 16 Mar, 2003, from Porto - Portugal

Postby fmr; Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:50 am

jancivil wrote:if you want to demonstrate how modal usage works in 'the tonal environment' in modern terms, feel free. In fact, if you want to demonstrate it in the ancient church usage, feel free.

OK, this will be my last post directly addessed to you. It's sad that you felt the need to "pull out for the epaulettes" as we say around here (perhaps there's an expression in english that means the same, but I don't know it). I also received my honours during my student life, yet I don't call on them to justify anything.
Regarding your "challenge" above, I don't know what you mean with "tonal environment in modern terms". AFAIK, tonal environment is tonal environment, and there not ancient and modern terms for it. Either it is tonal or it isn't. Back on the subject, there are several examples in Bach chorales (chorales that he harmonized), and one that comes to mind is the well known one wrote by Hans Leo Hassler. You can read about it here: http://legacy.earlham.edu/~tobeyfo/musi ... ales2.html
It's a melody in the mode of E, yet he harmonized it tonally. And you have the well knows "Scarborough Fair" canticle. And you have, in more modern composers, modal passages in Mahler works, yet the harmony is always there (the dense, late romantic harmony, but still tonal). Read about it here: http://gradworks.umi.com/34/00/3400562.html
Regarding the "musica ficta" ("ficta" as in ficticious, in case there are confusion about the latin term - because they were singing differently from what was notated), it's a practice, not a system. That practice consisted in raising or lowering some notes in some chords (basically for creating leading tones or avoiding the augmented fourth between F and B). It was that practice that slowly evolved from modality into tonality. This was a gradual and slow process, that took around 200/300 years. So "musica ficta" wasn't tonal - it was modal, yet slowly evolved more and more into tonality as we know it - mainly by creating cadences and the V - i progression, which is the base of it. Tonality as we know it wasn't born out of nothing - it was the result of an evolutionary process, and that evolutionary process didn't stop - or will ever.
Now, I'll try to get into the debate in general, and stop arguing with you.
Fernando (FMR)
JumpingJackFlash
KVRian
 
1142 posts since 10 Oct, 2004

Postby JumpingJackFlash; Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:03 pm

fmr wrote:there are several examples in Bach chorales (chorales that he harmonized), and one that comes to mind is the well known one wrote by Hans Leo Hassler. You can read about it here: http://legacy.earlham.edu/~tobeyfo/musi ... ales2.html


Interestingly, this melody was harmonised in several different ways by Bach.
In Cantata 153 for example, the opening phrase modulates to D minor.

Well worth studying if you're interested in harmony.

(Sorry for going OT).
Unfamiliar words can be looked up in my Glossary of musical terms.
Also check out my Introduction to Music Theory.
User avatar
fmr
KVRAF
 
2685 posts since 16 Mar, 2003, from Porto - Portugal

Postby fmr; Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:10 pm

Harry_HH wrote:No, I'm asking to elaborate your comment that the realation (mentioned) is "conincidental", i.e. what did you mean by that. I assume that you are talking about the musical /harmony theory point of view. This would be most interesting - if this means discussion about "difference between tonality and modality" ok, but I think these are just names and I'd like to go deeper behind these labels. Why there's mathematical constant relation between all modes to one major scale? H.

Allow me to add some points:
C Major, which was the departing point of this thread, is not a "scale". Sure it has seven notes, but those notes are not equal - there is an hyerarchy that's "built" in them. That hyerarchy is given by the "tonality". Tonality means there is a relationshipt of chords, where there are are some "poles". The main ones are the I degree and the V degree, with the IV degree a little behind.
You don't have tonality until you have the V - I progression. IV - I progression, for example, is ambiguous, because it can be seen also as a I - V progression (in another tonality, in this case would be F Major). But if you have IV - V - I, then the hyerarchy is even stronger. Tonality lives around this.
Therefore, you can play whatever sequence of notes (what we use to call "scales", and some also call "modes" when they start in notes other than the tonic), but the relationship, if there is a harmony present and that harmony is tonal, will always be the same, so, it will not sound as a mode, but just as notes of C Major - which is what they are. Therefore, even if you start your sequence in a B, that B will always be the leading tone - the one that leads to C.
In the mode of B, this relationship does not happen. B is no longer the leading tone of C. How do we achieve that? Precisely by conducting the melodies built in that mode so that they lead to a "dominant" (called in that system "repercusa") of G or A, and ending in the note of E (the finalis). You don't have to do this, of course, but if you don't, you will loose the B "mood" (the exact meaning of the word "mode").
So, as I told before, if you have the mode of B (whatever you call it, which is not not Locrian, at least in the theory I learned and follow), you never have a succession of notes from B to B, because it isn't meant to be that way, exactly as in a piece written in C Major, you will not end it with the chords of D minor and E minor, for example - because it would not make sense, although the notes may fit.
Last edited by fmr on Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Fernando (FMR)
User avatar
fmr
KVRAF
 
2685 posts since 16 Mar, 2003, from Porto - Portugal

Postby fmr; Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:11 pm

JumpingJackFlash wrote: Interestingly, this melody was harmonised in several different ways by Bach.
In Cantata 153 for example, the opening phrase modulates to D minor.

Well worth studying if you're interested in harmony.

(Sorry for going OT).

Bach chorales are like a bible ;-) Another one that's a good example is my beloved "Wer Nur Den Lieben Gott..." composed bt Georg Neumark. Bach wrote an entire cantata based on this chorale, composed several chorale preludes based on it, and harmonized it several times too, in many different ways.
Last edited by fmr on Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Fernando (FMR)
Harry_HH
KVRian
 
854 posts since 4 Aug, 2006, from Helsinki

Postby Harry_HH; Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:21 pm

JumpingJackFlash wrote:
This relates to the history and evolution of modes and scales.

The modes came first, though not quite the same as jazz musicians think of them today (as fmr has already mentioned).

Later, our major scale evolved from them. - That's obviously putting it as simply as possible - entire books have been written on this!


I was wishing maybe concentration of these books I have not (time to) read.
In stead of just mentioning historical connections I was hoping some words of the harmonic realations of the modes and major scales and how the musicians have experienced these harmonics during the centuries (not a minor challenge! .:wink: Major-minor /Ionian-Aelolian relation could be one starting point, Dorian/minor seventh/Blues scale maybe an other. H.
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