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A very basic question about modal transposition

Chords, scales, harmony, melody, etc.

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Krakatau
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4575 posts since 24 May, 2002, from Bobo-dioulasso\BF__Geneva/CH

Postby Krakatau; Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:17 am A very basic question about modal transposition

As a very basic question :

- when you say about a scale "B Locrian" for instance, does it mean in fact "the Locrian mode or C major" ...or not ?
manducator
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1650 posts since 10 Feb, 2007

Postby manducator; Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:53 am

Here you can see a scheme of intervals for all modal scales:

http://www.jacmuse.com/melodic%20resour ... page2a.htm

B Locrian, means that you take the note B as first note and count the others from there.

So for B locrian, it means that the second note is a half step up, that would be C, and so on.
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Krakatau
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4575 posts since 24 May, 2002, from Bobo-dioulasso\BF__Geneva/CH

Postby Krakatau; Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:15 am

Thank for the detailed answer,

As far as i can see it only concerns major/relative minor scales rather than melodic minor or harmonic minor ones...
jancivil
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9490 posts since 20 Oct, 2007

Postby jancivil; Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:15 am

Krakatau wrote:As a very basic question :

- when you say about a scale "B Locrian" for instance, does it mean in fact "the Locrian mode or C major" ...or not ?
No. C major's tonic is C. B Locrian's tonic is B. You can say 'Locrian is the seventh mode of Ionian/major', but you can equally say 'major/Ionian is the second mode of Locrian'. The modes coincidental to each other should not be confused for one another.

you can be using the seven notes we're calling 'major', 'Ionian', outside of the meaning of 'major' in a certain regard, 'major' suggests in a stricter sense harmonic usage. At any rate, if you're in C major, ie., you've a solid tonic C with the seven white keys, the term 'Locrian', or any modal name is just a confusion of two things that aren't the same, you've obliterated the meaning.

Locrian is the most striking example of the difference of harmonic usage v. modal usage. You have so much as a triad on the tonic note, the convention of harmonic function tends to make us believe it needs resolution, eg., B diminished to C. The reason for eg., Locrian is its identity/character, the thing we notice about it is that flat fifth. Some seem to take the fact of constructing 7 trie on major or minor scales as something desirable to do with the modes concidental with major , but there are problems that arise such as that we find at once with Locrian, there really are not necessarily seven useful chords to apply if you want modal character intact. Particularly the occurrence of B/F has to be considered, does it want to turn into C major...
Last edited by jancivil on Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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fmr
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2866 posts since 16 Mar, 2003, from Porto - Portugal

Postby fmr; Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:29 am

The given link has a very biased and erroneous information about modes, about tonality, and seems like a very personal working pespective from the author.
The way modes are referred today is more like as "working scales" within the tonal setting of intervals - so, they are not treated as modes, at all, since their own "way of being" is not used, but just their peculiar succession of intervals, for colouring purposes.
That said, the modes always have a beginning note, and use the natural notes. The mentioned "locrian" (these names are all wrong, and should not used when we are talking about modes as a system, although widespread) is the B mode, so, you have the mode in it's natural form if you play a succession of notes from B to B (bear in mind that "in illo tempore" modes were never used like that).
Regarding the use of modes as "scales" within the tonal environment, you can use that same mode in whatever transposition you want, to fit the particular tonality, as long as you use the same interval relationship (half tone, tone, tone, tone, half tone, etc).
For more information about modes used in thae perspective you seem to be interested on, you may refer to: http://musictheoryblog.blogspot.pt/2007 ... scale.html or http://docs.solfege.org/3.21/C/scales/maj.html
For the historical view of the modal system, you may read:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mode_(music) or http://www.beaufort.demon.co.uk/modes.htm or http://www.cartage.org.lb/en/themes/art ... hmodes.htm
Fernando (FMR)
jancivil
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9490 posts since 20 Oct, 2007

Postby jancivil; Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:36 am

fmr wrote:Within the use of modes as "scales" within the tonal environment, you can use that same mode in whatever transposition you want, to fit the particular tonality, as long as you use the same interval relaionship
'the use of modes within the tonal environment' is nonsense, there is no such thing, there is no use. If you're IN C MAJOR, there is no other mode. There is no point to the term, you're uselessly renaming C major and confusing the issue. The 'interval relationship' belongs with the tonic in the first place, the relationships cannot be the same, that's meaningless lingo. The character of these modes does not exist in major. If you want D Dorian, the tonic is D. D is not C. Et cetera.
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fmr
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Postby fmr; Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:41 am

jancivil wrote:
fmr wrote:Within the use of modes as "scales" within the tonal environment, you can use that same mode in whatever transposition you want, to fit the particular tonality, as long as you use the same interval relaionship
'the use of modes within the tonal environment' is nonsense. If you're IN C MAJOR, there is no other mode. There is no point to the term, you're uselessly renaming C major and confusing the issue.

I Am not. It's the misconcepted common practice I am referring about. As I said, modal system is a system as is tonal system, with it's own rules, which are particular to each mode (BTW - locrian never existed as a mode, B mode is te plagal mode of E mode, or second mode, or Deuterus, and sometimes also called HypoPhrygian). It's the use of modes as "scales" with names given that creates the nonsense you are talking about. Read the links I gave.
Fernando (FMR)
jancivil
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Postby jancivil; Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:48 am

I have to read other material to interpret the actual sentence you provided? I have no interest whatsoever in the link. Whoever said, then, 'the use of modes within tonality' has provided us with nonsense.

Locrian in currency today is an artifice provided by the method of deriving the other modes, which do have some basis historically. People use it, it's something encountered as such. "Plagal of E" is not current, the theory is of historical/academic interest, for instance modal counterpoint rules. If one is required to sound just like this narrow practice period that would be useful I suppose.

I just want to be perfectly clear about the difference of modal vs harmonic usage, which is a fundamental confusion which crops up here with fair frequency.
Last edited by jancivil on Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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fmr
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2866 posts since 16 Mar, 2003, from Porto - Portugal

Postby fmr; Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:50 am

jancivil wrote:The character of these modes does not exist in major. If you want D Dorian, the tonic is D. D is not C. Et cetera.

Several mistakes in the above statement:
1. Modes were always used in several transpositions, simply these were not notated becasuse in the middle ages there was no fixed pitch reference, hence there was no need to "rename" the notes.
2. Modes have no "tonic" - they have a finalis - which, in the B mode, is E, BTW.
3. The character of the modes indeed exist and is commented abundantly in the literature about them. invite you to make some research upon the subject.
Fernando (FMR)
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fmr
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Postby fmr; Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:59 am

jancivil wrote:I have to read other material to interpret the actual sentence you provided? I have no interest whatsoever in the link. Whoever said, then, 'the use of modes within tonality' has provided us with nonsense.

Locrian is an artifice provided by the method of deriving the other modes, which do have some basis historically. People use it, it's something encountered as such. I just want to be perfectly clear about the difference of modal vs harmonic usage, which is a fundamental confusion which crops up here with fair frequency.

There is no such thing as "nonsense" in music, IMO - you are being dogmatic and creating nonsense yourself.
And we are basically saying the same thing, so, I don't know exactly what's your point. A reality may very well exist within another reality, and actually they do. I don't know what's so shocking for you about "modes within tonality". As you pointed yourself, tonality is basically about harmony, while modes are basically about melody. You can create a modal melody, and harmonize it tonally (actually there are examples of that in some very popular songs). Would you say it changed from modal to tonal because of that?
Fernando (FMR)
jancivil
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9490 posts since 20 Oct, 2007

Postby jancivil; Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:59 am

there is no mistake. You're referring to a practice that is just academic today. and trying to pull me into a pissing contest on ancient terminology.

The character of D Dorian means D is the tonic, today.

I'd invite you to stop dancing around your own whopping error and clouding the issue. The modal counterpoint practice resulted in the hegemony of Major. The use the whole point of musica ficta, you know.
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fmr
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Postby fmr; Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:07 am

jancivil wrote: "Plagal of E" is not current, the theory is of historical/academic interest, for instance modal counterpoint rules. If one is required to sound just like this narrow practice period that would be useful I suppose.

That "narrow practice period" lasted for about 400-500 years :wink:
And although the designation of "plagal of E" may not be current, it has the advantage of being correct in the modal system context. Locrian (as well as Ionian), OTOH has no reference, historical or musical. It's just a misconcept that was born lately in the XIX century of early XX century, derived from some middle-age theoreticians. It's the same as saying they are the base of the modern Major and minor modes. The minor mode is directly derived from the D mode, while the major mode is derived from the F mode or the G mode (all by means of the alterations systematically made during the transition period).
Fernando (FMR)
jancivil
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9490 posts since 20 Oct, 2007

Postby jancivil; Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:08 am

fmr wrote:There is no such thing as "nonsense" in music
what utter bullshit. The term Dorian or any of the 'ecclesiastical modes' confuses the issue in major. There is nonsense IN LANGUAGE; you're perpetuating bullshit via language now that you've been caught promoting nonsense, 'the use of modes in the tonal environment', resorting to a narrow topic to carry meanings out of its narrow focus. You're trying to pull off 'tonal environment' in talk of modal counterpoint? Bullshit.

there is no usage of modes in the tonal environment in modern terms.
Last edited by jancivil on Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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fmr
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2866 posts since 16 Mar, 2003, from Porto - Portugal

Postby fmr; Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:10 am

jancivil wrote:there is no mistake. You're referring to a practice that is just academic today. and trying to pull me into a pissing contest on ancient terminology.

It doesn't matter how ancient it is - it's the correct terminology. The right is right and the wrong is wrong, no matter how old each one is. It was you who brough the subject to the table, and you are WRONG, so take it.
Fernando (FMR)
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fmr
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2866 posts since 16 Mar, 2003, from Porto - Portugal

Postby fmr; Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:12 am

jancivil wrote:
there is no usage of modes in the tonal environment in modern terms.

Bullshit. You have a very narrow perspective, it seems.
Fernando (FMR)
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