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Diatonic modes vs circle of fifths

Chords, scales, harmony, melody, etc.

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DJ Warmonger
KVRist
 
446 posts since 7 Jun, 2012, from Warsaw

Postby DJ Warmonger; Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:35 am Re: Diatonic modes vs circle of fifths

What is suggested there, I believe, is that you should be ready to identify the tracks - in terms of key, or matching note content here vis a vis '_ mode' - by your ear.

Yes, that's right. But now I actually want to compose a track and wonder how it will work in the mix. That's why I asked for opinion of musicans who probably use different modes a lot. I never considered harmony of other modes before.

Keep in mind that I am not musican by tranining, I am engineer. I like to know how things really work before trying them, and the answer "everybody knows that" is unsatisfactory ;)

Yet it seems that your first post, jancivil, confirms my belief.
http://djwarmonger.wordpress.com/
Tricky-Loops wrote: (...)someone like Armin van Buuren who claims to make a track in half an hour and all his songs sound somewhat boring(...)
Dunbar
KVRist
 
462 posts since 28 Apr, 2004, from location: location

Postby Dunbar; Sat Jan 25, 2014 6:08 am Re: Diatonic modes vs circle of fifths

Now I'm really confused...
eh?
JumpingJackFlash
KVRian
 
1146 posts since 10 Oct, 2004

Postby JumpingJackFlash; Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:09 am Re: Diatonic modes vs circle of fifths

DJ Warmonger wrote:Keep in mind that I am not musican by tranining, I am engineer.


This is perhaps the source of your problem. You appear to think there is some objective answer as to what "goes well" and what doesn't. It doesn't work like that; music is an art, not a science and what "sounds good" is largely subjective. Nobody can tell you how your track "works in the mix" until they hear it.
Unfamiliar words can be looked up in my Glossary of musical terms.
Also check out my Introduction to Music Theory.
Dunbar
KVRist
 
462 posts since 28 Apr, 2004, from location: location

Postby Dunbar; Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:33 pm Re: Diatonic modes vs circle of fifths

jancivil wrote:None of your statements here are true...


Thanks for replying, I confess my knowledge of music theory is scant, and I was simply repeating what I was taught (many years ago). If anybody could point out where I'm going wrong, I would be grateful:

I was under the impression the Dorien mode was simply the natural minor scale with a raised 6th?

If I was playing a C major progression and moved to the "ii" chord, I would play a Dm triad, and the most tonally consistent series of notes would belong to the Dorien mode (it only uses the white keys, same as C Major, same as all modes in the Key of C Major)?

I was taught it isn't possible to build a chord progression based on a mode (other than Ionian) because the mode is defined by its relationship to the Key. Dorien, where the series of notes begin on D, will always "belong" to the keys of C/Am, that's where its tonal centre lies.

If I'm wrong on any of this, please let me know.
eh?
JumpingJackFlash
KVRian
 
1146 posts since 10 Oct, 2004

Postby JumpingJackFlash; Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:49 pm Re: Diatonic modes vs circle of fifths

Dunbar wrote:If I'm wrong on any of this, please let me know


No offence, but jancivil was right. You were either taught incorrectly or you've just got muddled up over time.

Dunbar wrote:I was under the impression the Dorien mode was simply the natural minor scale with a raised 6th?


That is correct, except it's Dorian with an "a", not an "e".

Dunbar wrote:If I was playing a C major progression and moved to the "ii" chord, I would play a Dm triad


Again, correct.

Dunbar wrote:... and the most tonally consistent series of notes would belong to the Dorien mode (it only uses the white keys, same as C Major, same as all modes in the Key of C Major)?


No. This is where you start to get muddled.
Simply playing a D minor chord doesn't mean you're in the Dorian mode. You're still in C major, just playing chord ii.

Dunbar wrote:I was taught it isn't possible to build a chord progression based on a mode (other than Ionian) because the mode is defined by its relationship to the Key.


No. Modes and Keys are separate things. They are not defined in relation to each other at all (though some people learn them like this).

Dunbar wrote:Dorien, where the series of notes begin on D, will always "belong" to the keys of C/Am, that's where its tonal centre lies.


No, the centre of D Dorian is D.
The centre of C major is C, the centre of A minor is A, etc.
All three share the same notes (the white ones), but that doesn't mean they are all the same thing.
Unfamiliar words can be looked up in my Glossary of musical terms.
Also check out my Introduction to Music Theory.
Dunbar
KVRist
 
462 posts since 28 Apr, 2004, from location: location

Postby Dunbar; Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:01 pm Re: Diatonic modes vs circle of fifths

Thank you both for taking the time to reply, I appreciate it.
eh?
jancivil
KVRAF
 
9503 posts since 20 Oct, 2007

Postby jancivil; Sat Jan 25, 2014 3:29 pm Re: Diatonic modes vs circle of fifths

Dunbar wrote:If I was playing a C major progression and moved to the "ii" chord, I would play a Dm triad, and the most tonally consistent series of notes would belong to the Dorien mode (it only uses the white keys, same as C Major, same as all modes in the Key of C Major)?
"All modes in the key of C major" is a misconstruction. If it is indeed 'the ii chord in C major' you are in C major, and there is no gain from calling it 'dorian mode'. As I said, dorian mode on all white keys indicates a D as center. "In C major" means C is that center. We will have seven names for one thing out of "all modes in key of C major". Surely it's better to be clear and simple. What would be inconsistent about C major per C major? You see that 'B' in D dorian is the leading tone to the tonic of C major. You've noticed that consideration of that major sixth sets it apart from the other mode, 'natural minor'. It's known as 'the characteristic tone' of dorian accordingly. That character doesn't happen 'in C major'.

(In practice, certain harmonies should be considered carefully as they would take us out of character into a feeling of tension per that eg., C major. vii or V7 in that major, for instance.)

So, we can say 'Dorian is the second mode of C Ionian' and we have a true statement. But equally true is 'C Ionian is the seventh mode of D dorian'. It is a handy way to show these seven things, beginning with the familiar, but too often this very confusion arises out of it. The modes have an identify themselves, they shouldn't be reduced to a property of major, they are not that thing.
jancivil
KVRAF
 
9503 posts since 20 Oct, 2007

Postby jancivil; Sat Jan 25, 2014 3:50 pm Re: Diatonic modes vs circle of fifths

Dunbar wrote:If I'm wrong on any of this, please let me know]I was taught it isn't possible to build a chord progression based on a mode (other than Ionian) because the mode is defined by its relationship to the Key.
No, that's the opposite of what you want. The chord progressions based on C as I belong to C. The mode is itself, the character of it belongs with its internal relationships, first of all to its tonic. "D dorian" must first of all be defined by D = home.

What's impossible about constructing a set of chords from the set arranged as 'D E F G A B C'? Now if one is entrained to hear chords as they would work in C major and have no other experience, I would advise to do less. I would advise to get away from relying on chords for interest now, actually. You're already entrained to consider C as I, so we have an obstacle built in.
The thing of really doing 'D dorian' respects the character of it, which is the point of choosing it. Putting many chords to it is not really helping it but distracting from it.
One can do i-IV7 and get away with it if there is enough weight - particularly to note is the rhythm - to eg., D as I, but there is the hazard of this being ii-V7 in C so we'd take care if what we want is D dorian really.
Dunbar
KVRist
 
462 posts since 28 Apr, 2004, from location: location

Postby Dunbar; Sat Jan 25, 2014 4:04 pm Re: Diatonic modes vs circle of fifths

Thanks Jancivil, that's a clear explanation. I'm sure my old music teacher would be horrified to hear me blame her for my misunderstanding.

Thanks again for taking time to reply, it's a big help.
eh?
jancivil
KVRAF
 
9503 posts since 20 Oct, 2007

Postby jancivil; Sat Jan 25, 2014 4:12 pm Re: Diatonic modes vs circle of fifths

DJ Warmonger wrote:
What is suggested there, I believe, is that you should be ready to identify the tracks - in terms of key, or matching note content here vis a vis '_ mode' - by your ear.

Yes, that's right. But now I actually want to compose a track and wonder how it will work in the mix. That's why I asked for opinion of musicans who probably use different modes a lot. I never considered harmony of other modes before.

Keep in mind that I am not musican by tranining, I am engineer. I like to know how things really work before trying them, and the answer "everybody knows that" is unsatisfactory ;)

Yet it seems that your first post, jancivil, confirms my belief.

I am indicating to you the difference between information and knowledge.
"How it works" here is restricted to what you want, which seems to be you don't want a jarring or interruptive change. So, understanding cycle of fifths I think has its place. Like I said, you have no sharps or flats, and the closest thing is one of either 'in a key signature'. However you've now been advised not to confound key signature with key here, per "D dorian". EG: D dorian would not use sharps or flats in its signature. C dorian would use two if such a signature be required. However D dorian is not C major and C dorian is not Bb major.
These advisements do not come out of opinion really.

I don't know how well 'key' will be detected from a mode, or how you're indicating the mode, even; through what mechanism or how the machine prejudges what it's given.

D minor key contains A# note, which is not white key of C Dorian. This breaks decent progression around circle of fifths, since for example distance from G to C is one note, while from G to Dmin is 2 notes (plus major-minor change).

What you're after is *degree of distance*. The Bb [NB: not A#; you won't find that through cycle of fifths before five removes from 'all white keys'] indicates one remove from 'all white keys'. A problem, how much of a problem? This needs to be a matter between you and your ear.
Having the information does not rise to knowing it works. Knowing what to do in music, well, music is contextual. It depends. I realize what you want is much more rudimentary than that, but if you're going to move from an engineering mindset towards musicianship, well the former is not through itself conducive to the latter.

You're inclined to want to trust the machine, but you have acknowledged it's prone to error in this matter. Does it consider 'B in D dorian' vis a vis 'D minor' and a sort of mistake, will it form 'C major' as the answer, who knows. "eventually" it's in the ballpark? Seems not too useful.
Since D dorian is neither, it looks like a problem and I think the path to knowledge lies elsewhere than interest in the machine's result.
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vurt
addled muppet weed
 
33625 posts since 25 Jan, 2003, from through the looking glass

Postby vurt; Sun Jan 26, 2014 12:26 pm Re: Diatonic modes vs circle of fifths

DJ Warmonger wrote: Many DJs play tracks that they think will sound together (I used to do the same), but they end up nowhere since they are in very different keys, even though sound feels similiar. On the other hand, two tracks in same key can have very different feel.


there where djs before there was keytracking software.
MadBrain
KVRian
 
713 posts since 1 Dec, 2004

Postby MadBrain; Sun Jan 26, 2014 5:50 pm Re: Diatonic modes vs circle of fifths

jancivil wrote:
MadBrain wrote:the trick to get dorian is to take a minor key and remove a flat/add a sharp).

In practice, D dorian mode is notated as just D minor, with an accidental on the B each time it happens. IRL most minor key songs aren't totally in one scale and freely mix natural minor (Bb C), melodic minor (B C#), harmonic minor (Bb C#) and dorian mode (B C).
I don't know of anything that gives key signature with a sign such as Bb if the content is clearly D dorian which does_not have that note. Never_heard_of_it. 'In practice'? What practice?


I'm looking it up... seems that people are divided on if you should use modal key signatures or not, or even leave modal songs with no signature at all. If a modal signature is used, the scale used should probably written ("D dorian" at the top of the part) to prevent transposition errors. Seems that in some styles (turkish music in particular with very strange signatures, some folk parts, baroque and earlier music) modal signatures are ok...

But for classical or jazz musicians I'm pretty sure it's better to use the closest major or minor key, even though it adds more alterations, since that's what musicians are used to anyways: having the alteration show up every time the note is used is a good remainder that "oh yeah that's the modal note" (even in jazz where they are heavily used). Also, usually the harmony changes fast enough that the song isn't really that much in a mode or another anyways, so the unusual key signature probably causes more confusion than anything.
jancivil
KVRAF
 
9503 posts since 20 Oct, 2007

Postby jancivil; Mon Feb 03, 2014 2:24 pm Re: Diatonic modes vs circle of fifths

... to prevent transposition errors."

Transpose D dorian to E dorian: 0 flats/sharps ->now two sharps, how can you f**k that up specifically? "modal signature"? Kind of ad hoc, isn't it?
Let's keep it clear and simple: If there is no B flat to occur, signing B flat in the key signature is wrong.
turkish music in particular with very strange signatures, some folk parts, baroque and earlier music) modal signatures are ok...
So for modal music, eschewing the sign denoting something that isn't the mode, in the signature {in favor of the useful sign, albeit strange to you} is "ok" by you.
gracias por su permiso
jancivil
KVRAF
 
9503 posts since 20 Oct, 2007

Postby jancivil; Mon Feb 03, 2014 2:43 pm Re: Diatonic modes vs circle of fifths

MadBrain wrote:But for classical or jazz musicians I'm pretty sure it's better to use the closest major or minor key, even though it adds more alterations, since that's what musicians are used to anyways: having the alteration show up every time the note is used is a good remainder that "oh yeah that's the modal note" (even in jazz where they are heavily used). Also, usually the harmony changes fast enough that the song isn't really that much in a mode or another anyways, so the unusual key signature probably causes more confusion than anything.
I've already addressed this quite clearly: if it is a passing thing and we're calling 'dorian' when it isn't (ie., <"dorian" = ii in C major> is not meaningful), confusion is avoided by staying with the useful name.

You're actually trying to argue for using a sign that has to be voided, per se, by an argument 'many people are easily confused'?
I'm pretty sure I'd prefer not to deal with anybody this confused's score, as I'm not confused. If this is constantly modulating harmonic practice, eg., modern jazz, this is a pointless distinction; one gears for the target or temporary 'I', there is no ['dorian'] mode. If I'm writing for classical musicians, they handle key signatures just fine, I'm pretty sure.
Last edited by jancivil on Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
yessongs
KVRian
 
829 posts since 9 Feb, 2013, from dallas tx

Postby yessongs; Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:22 pm Re: Diatonic modes vs circle of fifths

nobody composes notes using modes like you guys think it is dumb to think you are playing modes when you start on a particular note then run through a scale from the 1st note to the octave higher and return to the 1st. Modes are ways of relating scales to tonics when used in modulations strategies. At least that is the way I use them and there probably is not a right or wrong way so go ahead and do that if you want to do it that way but if I am in C ionian I can start on any note in the key of c and play any other note from c simultaneously or after that first note. If I want to hit passing notes outside of the diatonic scale then I can do that but then I am not playing in the key of C. Shifting into other tonal centers is also possible but the reason that I call them modes of C is these are the keys that all contain a C. The modes of C are also related to the key of Ab since every note in that key is a root of a key with identical notes to one of the modes of C. The key of Ab (Ab Bb C Db Eb F G) is also the same notes as a backward major scale starting from C so C with a backwards major scale would be C (1/2) Db (1) Eb (1) F (1) G (1/2) Ab (1) Bb (1) C were 1 = whole step and 1/2 = half step. Now when you want to play in other keys and always play something that could sound good when your intial tonal center is C you can choose to play in any key that has as its root a not contained in Ab and this assures that you are going to be playing a key with a C in it.
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