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Commonly Used Modal Scales and Chords in Electronic Music

Chords, scales, harmony, melody, etc.

Moderator: Moderators (Main)

tapper mike
KVRAF
 
3671 posts since 19 Jan, 2008

Postby tapper mike; Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:17 am Re: Commonly Used Modal Scales and Chords in Electronic Music

Genllemen,

I love this thread. Generally I try to avoid the theory forum these days because of threads such as this.

Music is art. It's not literature nor is it science. Simply because one person hundreds of years ago had a theorum on modes or it had a specific purpose at a point of time does not makd that statement always true. The word travel came from another similar word that did not mean transportation
travel (v.) late 14c., "to journey," from travailen (1300) "to make a journey," originally "to toil, labor" (see travail).


Modes and modal playing has evolved from centuries past to a new context of which altruist/historians cannot accept. We are a dynamic (changing) culture we artisans / craftsmen who use music as our canvas. In the education of music one can simply utilize knowledge from cenuries old text that may or may not be relevent to real world situations of contemporary music. If one is to teach from purely a middle ages mentality then one should at least acknoledge that cultural developments have changed the landscape and context of music. Modes applied to jazz were applied not hard and fast to the standards set forth during earlier centuries. Jazz musicians are artisans crafting ideas to their will, not the other way around. The experiments with coloring outside the box and not being bound to older standards lead to the creation of new approaches which became standards. Jazz is dynamic in it's nature. The constructs of early jazz are not always present or evident in later forms. Jazz musicians made their own stands and follow their own schools, Usually they are perfectly comfortable using different "schools" of comtemporary music over a career. Just as Piccasso originally started as an impressionist then moved away to the style of painting we recognize him most for that being Cubanism.


There is a huge difference in the fields of jazz/blues vs the fields of pop/rock. In pop/rock/country the main goal is to "play it like it is" and that can be very rewarding in and of itself. In Jazz/Blues while a set form exists for the original melody and harmony there is greater freedom of interpertaion not just limited to the soloist. There is a communication going on between the musicians on a different level and there also is an opporituntity for exploration within the framework. Much much more so then could be attained in classical settings.

Classical musicians at one time had greater control of thier own performances however this is mostly reigned in by the overly detailed sheet music and what little is left is dominated by the conductor. He's doing much more then keeping time with that stick he is directing minute aspects in performance.

Regaring B.B. King
BBK was a pragmatic student, What doesn't apply to the field he's doing he casts off to the side. This is something every musician should learn to do. Discriminate what works for them and what doesn't. Music is not simply one form of art. It's several. You may not be able to endeavor in all art forms best to the method that works for you and acknoledge that other forms which may be equally valid may not work for you.

He is a sharp listener and continues to be at the forefront of the Blues, He is the elder statesman of the style. He's been a freelance columnist for Guitar Player and several other magazines long before I was born (I'm in my 50's) and he still offers sage advise to up and coming blues musicians as well as seasoned ones. If you don't believe me ask Joe Bossona. BB King still has a packed tour date. He's the hardest working blues man out there and doesn't have to teach. He fully acknoledges that others can teach the blues just as well.

That's BB King.


Regarding personal tastes. Personal tastes in music are exactly that. Personal. There are forms of music that do not speak to me. There are forms of music that do not speak to you. If deride them or reject them then in a very real sense you are rejecting and deriding the music you claim to love in one way or another. A more pragmatic approach is simply to state "It's not my thing" I don't have to love the music you love and you don't have to love the music I love. Hate on the other hand is insulary. When one starts building walls on hate the walls rise and surround you. Till there is nothing left but you in a coffin of your own making. Doesn't it make more sense to simply enjoy what you like and focus on your enjoyment rather then live a life filled with rage and hatred?
jancivil
KVRAF
 
9725 posts since 20 Oct, 2007

Postby jancivil; Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:20 am Re: Commonly Used Modal Scales and Chords in Electronic Music

ghettosynth wrote:it's your opinion that their music is mediocre. They will disagree with you, and by all rights, they have the sales to tell you STFU.

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_populum

"Despite the juvenile nature of the argument, it is often used by people who should know better, particularly by those who are trying to force other people to their way of thinking."

https://www.google.com/search?q=argumen ... annel=fflb
ghettosynth
KVRAF
 
4266 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:30 am Re: Commonly Used Modal Scales and Chords in Electronic Music

jancivil wrote:He is totally moving the goalposts around justifying coming in here to sound off, like his religion was disrespected essentially.

Yes, we verge off into things like the roots of modes (I'm not an academic, I quit high school at 16 to be a guitar player and spent I think was 5 trimesters at a conservative kind of conservatory. and I tend to be thorough.)


Don't flatter yourself, I wasn't referring to you or JJF.

If you don't like music theory talk, why not use your time to read other things? You're trying to blot out the point here, which is the guy came in here with a top-down attitude yet is pretty much at the beginning as per the material. You, 'ghettosynth' are definitely and absolutely not going to push me around and not get a push-back, let alone modify my sense of my own right to use this space! What you did here is outrageous.


You have no more right to use this space than anybody else. Stop playing the victim, it's nauseating.

But no. We have seen threads where I insisted on becoming somewhat a musician, and get an instrument and learn some music and the reaction of people that resent that was strong to say the least. And here's you, even though you play instruments, desperately trying to shore up this whole shitty attitude. What's with you?


I should ignore you because you don't listen to what I say and you don't grasp at all how to have a civil disagreement with someone. In fact, you aren't seriously interested in the response because you're so prejudiced to begin with.

Resentment, clearly, obviously, starkly.


Yes, you see, you don't ask honest questions. You're not really interested in my point of view, you don't respect it to begin with. If you want me to have a civil conversation with you, learn how to be civil.

The context is someone doesn't know what modes do. He evidently had no real interest in it.


A LOT of people don't have any REAL interest in modes, or even any kind of harmony theory. A LOT of EDM producers just improvise everything. By improvise, I mean that they copy/paste/drag/click until it sounds "right."

But the approach was wrong and I think it's safe to say he revealed his arrogance in more than one way.


I bet that many many many more people download and use his files to make music than those that read what you write to do the same.
ras.s
KVRian
 
852 posts since 2 Dec, 2008, from Finland

Postby ras.s; Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:40 am Re: Commonly Used Modal Scales and Chords in Electronic Music

"Vitriol" is one of the english-language words I've learned by reading KVR.


Yes, that's about all I have to say now, carry on.
DSmolken
KVRist
 
423 posts since 20 Sep, 2013, from Poland

Postby DSmolken; Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:47 am Re: Commonly Used Modal Scales and Chords in Electronic Music

Maybe we should phrase the question another way: what are the most important bits of theory that make the cookie cutter in cookie-cuttern EDM cut the cookies? Whether you want to avoid that or take full advantage of it (I'm on that side - I want to play music that makes women think I'm less old and boring than I actually am) doesn't matter, either way it's good to know.

ras.s wrote:"Vitriol" is one of the english-language words I've learned by reading KVR.


Yes, that's about all I have to say now, carry on.


Americans call it hydrochloric acid. Less catchy, you gotta admit.
ghettosynth
KVRAF
 
4266 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:55 am Re: Commonly Used Modal Scales and Chords in Electronic Music

jancivil wrote:
ghettosynth wrote:it's your opinion that their music is mediocre. They will disagree with you, and by all rights, they have the sales to tell you STFU.

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_populum

"Despite the juvenile nature of the argument, it is often used by people who should know better, particularly by those who are trying to force other people to their way of thinking."

https://www.google.com/search?q=argumen ... annel=fflb


No, the first statement is a rejoinder to parent's fallacious appeal to authority. I did not say, they have sales, therefore their records are great, I said they have sales, and since you don't, and are just spouting your opinion, they would have every right to tell you to STFU. In other words, my assertion was only that they are successful, and in this case, an ad populum rejoinder is completely legitimate argument to support that assertion.
D.Josef
KVRist
 
103 posts since 6 Feb, 2012

Postby D.Josef; Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:57 am Re: Commonly Used Modal Scales and Chords in Electronic Music

ghettosynth wrote:
That actually makes it EASIER to make. The music theory that covers that is rather simple compared to all the other stuff out there. It's stuff every garage rocker knows


So to bring this back home, tell us what garage rockers know about modes?

Probably not the first thing.

What does that tell us about the relationship of modes and EDM? It tells me that you don't need them! ;) 99% of all music played in clubs and radios is made in major or minor.

You don't NEED modes! In fact, having some weird and wrong half-knowledge about them is only distracting you and creating misunderstandings, which will get in the way of making good music in major or minor! Because that's what you should be doing.

The op's half-baked ideas are of no use to anybody, least of all a theory-light EDM maker. It's like, I don't know, telling a kid that he needs to follow the rules of feng shui and quantum physics in playing on the monkey gym - while at the same time holding serious misunderstandings about feng shui and quantum physics. So, the added information is:
- WRONG
- Not applicable
- Not useful
- Creates misunderstanding
- HINDERS ability

See?
egbert
KVRAF
 
3559 posts since 20 Oct, 2001, from my bolthole in the south pacific

Postby egbert; Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:00 am Re: Commonly Used Modal Scales and Chords in Electronic Music

ghettosynth wrote:[
Out of curiosity, do you DJ? By which, I mean either with records, or digitally with manual synchronization? The reason that I ask is because hearing out of sync records is a learned skill. It would be interesting to see how DJs differ from the public, and other non-DJ musicians in a neuronal sense. The real point here is that neuronal differences are something of a chicken and egg phenomena. Because brains are different owing to training doesn't mean that the difference is necessary, it just means that it is a consequence of training.

It's interesting because it's one of those things that, once learned, you become attuned to it. You can hear when records slip a little bit and nobody around you is noticing at all.

I don't DJ - never have. I agree that the way brains process input will have quite a lot to do with their history of exposure to that kind of input. You definitely develop the ability to discriminate by being exposed to whatever it is you are dealing with - whether it is a flavour in food or drink or instrument tones or a musical style. Japanese people were initially completely put off by the cacophony of western orchestral music - it was so foreign to them and unlike the simpler and comparatively sparse music they knew. They are now leading consumers of it.

As far as being attuned to rhythmic shifts - absolutely. I remember visiting a studio where some guys I knew had spent the day putting down a tune - they had an experienced engineer/producer running the session and brought in a drummer friend. I heard a playback of the recording and at a change of sections the drummer's tempo suddenly sagged for a few moments while he changed grooves. I said "Whoa! - what happened there?" I found it very off putting - it stuck out like dogs' balls to me. The producer guy made it clear he had had the same reaction but the other guys in this fledgling band - not so much.

The perceptions of non-musicians have amazed me a times. People at gigs have confided to me that they had no idea which instrument was making which noise - eg could be drums, could be guitar - no idea. Once in the mid 80s I went to a student union night where a leading band was playing live with a drum machine - (they later used a live drummer) but this was something like a Linn Drum with programming running for the whole set. It was too loud to talk so the group I was with were all just watching/ listening/bopping around to this band - which had a national profile already and was getting radio play etc. After they finished a set I observed that it was the first time I'd seen a live performance of a rock band with a drum machine. None of this group had even noticed the absence of a kit or drummer. And yet they had been staring at the stage for half an hour.
"I got a car battery and two jumper cables that argue different."
Rust Cohle
ghettosynth
KVRAF
 
4266 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:02 am Re: Commonly Used Modal Scales and Chords in Electronic Music

DSmolken wrote:Maybe we should phrase the question another way: what are the most important bits of theory that make the cookie cutter in cookie-cuttern EDM cut the cookies? Whether you want to avoid that or take full advantage of it (I'm on that side - I want to play music that makes women think I'm less old and boring than I actually am) doesn't matter, either way it's good to know.


What kind of EDM?

In general, I think that the most important thing to know isn't music theory at all, it's how to DJ the style of music that you want to produce. The reason is that the DJ set is the context in which your music will be played.
DSmolken
KVRist
 
423 posts since 20 Sep, 2013, from Poland

Postby DSmolken; Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:15 am Re: Commonly Used Modal Scales and Chords in Electronic Music

Let's say big room. Of course there's a lot more to it than theory, but just sticking to the theory aspects of it. I actually want to take some big room that has vocals and sneak it into a cover band's setlist, it'd be good to understand it what makes it bigger than other styles of EDM so we do it right.
MfLI
KVRist
 
34 posts since 2 Dec, 2003, from Helsinki, Finland

Postby MfLI; Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:54 am Re: Commonly Used Modal Scales and Chords in Electronic Music

ghettosynth wrote:
D.Josef wrote:This topic has devolved into pure crazy,

Okay, first things first. When the op first posted his "modal chords", an idea that has been thoroughly discussed and mostly refuted ONE topic below this one, Jancivil wrote a courteous explanation why it's wrong. To which, the answer was "sorry you didn't find what you were looking for", and something like "if you need help here are some software to find chords", which is the heights of arrogance.
I can kind of understand why Jancivil would explode over the guy.




jancivil wrote

Absolutely useless for Aeolian, exactly the problem one would avoid. Mindlessly stepping through seventh chords (and later some things, who knows what they are? Why would you have a midi and no text to even say what the chords are?) produce the hazards of making it sound like major, all the tensions that make it pull to major are present. When you get away from this obvious major thing the impression is more of randomness.* Some of it's a real mess, too.
Any idiot can have stepped through things and slapped chords on it. Anyway, you don't know what you're doing.


That's not polite, that's rude. The op then wrote

MfLI wrote:jancivil: Thank's for your response. Fair enough and sorry to hear you didn't quite find what looking for.


This is a polite response from someone who believed that they were offering something of value. You are free to disagree that it's of any value, however, I suspect that anything clickable, downloadable, and copy/pasteable, is of value to someone.

He then goes on to explain his intention for how he expected these to be used.

The midi-file reps chords used starting with triads and then moving on to more rare ones: 7th, various 9th etc. I intended the midi-files as a reference only. If you really want to use those chords I would go for the VST presets for midiChords VST (I personally find it a very handy chorder :)). Further, the SMART chords VST presets (Based on Apple Garageband) might serve you even better as a smaller set of chords fitting nicely together.


This is just someone politely offering a product and trying to provide some value in the form of some chord presets. Seriously, you don't think that people use chord tools?

Oh but woe is him for misreading a response. In fact, this is what caught my attention because I knew that jancivil would blow a gasket at anyone daring to suggest that she might need a midi chord tool. She didn't disappoint of course launching into her typical diatribe full of personal insults mode of communication.

I'm not looking for anything. What a way to distort the situation. Does it look like I'm asking? I'm telling you. I know what I'm doing. You do not.
...
Fucken EDM people, man.


Then ends with a condemnation of EDM people who might dare to come into her church and start talking about something of interest to him.

He responds, again reasonably considering the provocation specifically letting the forum know that he wasn't trying to teach anything. Did you read his blogpost? It's a few lines, a few midi files, and some plugin presets. OMFG, the world's going to come to an end if someone shares a few presets that aren't "approved!"

FYI: I'm not here to teach you or anyone else anything. If the stuff ain't u'r piece of cake, simply forget about it. It is really just that simple.


To this we get more insults and vitriol.

You've shown the shitty attitude by posting that shite in the first place.
...
Don't insult my intelligence, goddamn.


You see, that's what it's really all about. OP is right, he posted a topic about "music theory" that might be "of interest" to EDM producers, and if the local "experts" feel that it's beneath them, then they should just avoid the post. I'm not judging the quality, I don't think that matters.
After a few more vitriolic posts we get this form JJF:

I assume this thread will likely be locked soon, but before that happens I just want to say a couple of things just so you know that jancivil is not just one angry individual with an axe to grind...

In this case, jancivil is quite correct.


That is, even JJF agrees that she's over the top but he's not willing to say much more than that because these threads offend him as well.

You DO focken need music theory for EDM!


First, not everyone does for everything even if you don't "only use premade loops." But of course, in general, a certain amount helps, nobody in here is denying that. And, BTW, I started spinning records long after I started playing music and that was long before I started writing electronic music. So please don't assume that because I defend some practice that it's my practice.

Good EDM is relatively rare (compared to all the shite generated daily), and interestingly always produced by people who are competent musicians.


In your opinion. You've not presented evidence of anything other than your preference. Don't get me wrong, I agree that good EDM is rare, but I don't agree that it is "always" produced by "competent musicians." In fact, the best stuff that I've heard is generally produced by comptent DJs with some music skill.

That actually makes it EASIER to make. The music theory that covers that is rather simple compared to all the other stuff out there. It's stuff every garage rocker knows


So to bring this back home, tell us what garage rockers know about modes?

But you DO need that. And the idea that using a DAW somehow replaces music theory is so inane I can't even start to address it.


Who said that? The quote was that a particular producer felt that "musicianship" got in the way of production.


"ghettosynth"... Once again thank's for taking a stance in this thread. My apologies I haven't got the time but to occasionally read the new posts and drop a comment. Totally agree with your words above and all this commenting going on kinda stuns me as none of these folks have made any real effort in pointing out the completely flaved chords or something such.

I mean it is a midi-file with some chords aside of a VST preset file, goddamit! :D

When "jancivil" first came across I actually thought it was an April fools prank... Apparently not :( These people seem to be totally serious.

The school I went to at my time was world famous for choir ("Tapiola Choir") and students who had musical talent were pretty highly regarded and given many privileges. One pretty cool one was for an a capella group named Opus Five who actually got to train with The Manhattan Transfer.

Those years thought about putting unreasonable purists in their own little hole. There were not that many, but they existed and were imo actually real funny to listen to. Very similar than the "lot" here is. With their PhD's and what not. Already then I made the simple assumption they would never achieve much at least in the context of becoming cool and liked well performing popular music artists. Cert not superhot DJ's! ROFLMAO!!!

But boy did someone of them grow bitter and eventually some really literally lost their minds, which naturally is only very sad.

Anyways... Those years brings a couple of pretty funny memories into my mind when I still played the cans and was attending our schools marching band gig, the band leader Mr. Martti Lappalainen, nowadays CEO of April Jazz in Finland told me to forget about the notes and just jam along. I mean in a marching band! :D
User avatar
fmr
KVRAF
 
3033 posts since 16 Mar, 2003, from Porto - Portugal

Postby fmr; Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:05 am Re: Commonly Used Modal Scales and Chords in Electronic Music

tapper mike wrote:Modes and modal playing has evolved from centuries past to a new context of which altruist/historians cannot accept. We are a dynamic (changing) culture we artisans / craftsmen who use music as our canvas. In the education of music one can simply utilize knowledge from cenuries old text that may or may not be relevent to real world situations of contemporary music. If one is to teach from purely a middle ages mentality then one should at least acknoledge that cultural developments have changed the landscape and context of music. Modes applied to jazz were applied not hard and fast to the standards set forth during earlier centuries. Jazz musicians are artisans crafting ideas to their will, not the other way around. The experiments with coloring outside the box and not being bound to older standards lead to the creation of new approaches which became standards. Jazz is dynamic in it's nature. The constructs of early jazz are not always present or evident in later forms. Jazz musicians made their own stands and follow their own schools, Usually they are perfectly comfortable using different "schools" of comtemporary music over a career. Just as Piccasso originally started as an impressionist then moved away to the style of painting we recognize him most for that being Cubanism.

First of all, it's Cubism, not "Cubanism" (comes from "cube", not Cuba).
Regarding modes, they didn't "evolve" - what evolved was the way composers use them - but jazz is a poor example, since what the majority do is not using modes, but using notes from major and minor keys starting in other notes that not the tonic, to play over TONAL chords, and calling that "modes". As I said repeatedly, that are mere sequences of notes, not modes. There is modal jazz though, but it's not common. Where modes were used deeply was in "classical" music, with composers like Debussy, Messiaen, Stravinsky or Orff, for example. And yes, they used chords (or sound aggregates), but not in a tonal way. Actually, tonality functions are carefully avoided, to not destroy the mode.
Last edited by fmr on Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
Fernando (FMR)
User avatar
IncarnateX
KVRAF
 
1797 posts since 25 Jan, 2009

Postby IncarnateX; Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:19 am Re: Commonly Used Modal Scales and Chords in Electronic Music

I can tell you all that none of this shit really matter. I have put a contract on all of you and you will be taken out within the next 48 hours. So my advice is that you get off this deep shit forum and spend your last hours on Earth with your families and friends and above all: That you make save your last words in this life to something that actually will suit a tombstone.

Hi and bye and screw you all so f**king very much!
datroof
KVRist
 
52 posts since 19 Sep, 2012

Postby datroof; Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:22 am Re: Commonly Used Modal Scales and Chords in Electronic Music

MfLI wrote: I actually thought it was an April fools prank... Apparently not :( These people seem to be totally serious.


In a more perfect world, music theory experts would be well-respected by society, well-paid for their knowledge, and secure enough in their sense of self-worth that they wouldn't feel the need to rage and skirmish over minuscule scraps of recognition and validation on some obscure website forum.
MfLI
KVRist
 
34 posts since 2 Dec, 2003, from Helsinki, Finland

Postby MfLI; Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:24 am Re: Commonly Used Modal Scales and Chords in Electronic Music

datroof wrote:
MfLI wrote: I actually thought it was an April fools prank... Apparently not :( These people seem to be totally serious.


In a more perfect world, music theory experts would be well-respected by society, well-paid for their knowledge, and secure enough in their sense of self-worth that they wouldn't feel the need to rage and skirmish over minuscule scraps of recognition and validation on some obscure website forum.


So true.
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