'modes' in popular music. Lydian examples? ughhh

Chords, scales, harmony, melody, etc.
User avatar
jancivil
KVRAF
19154 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Post Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:28 pm

fmr wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:03 am
sslyutov wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:30 pm
White keys is just a case mentioned as an example of visualization of patterns which correspond modes.
I think understanding modes is pretty simple.
No it isn't. That's the mistake you (and countless others) always do.
[...]

As Jancivil wrote several times, it's not enough to play the white keys starting in a different note to have "a mode". You will most likely only have a scale played in whatever tonality you are in but over a different chord. In the end, you remain tonal, and you have no resemblance of the mode you "think" you are, whatsoever.

Modes were not used as "scales" (you will not see a single "scale" played in modal music), and you will never establish a mode by simply playing the "scale". The way to state the mode is through its polar notes (which vary from mode to mode, BTW), and characteristic interval sequences (since you didn't have the harmony to establish it).
For instance, let's stay with Dorian. It's a minor mode [min. 3] with a major sixth and a minor seventh.
D Dorian, F and B are our primary identifiers for its character.

F and B are also strong indicators of C Major harmonically; so it's definitely not enough to merely point to 'starts with D', even if there is a notion of D as 1 implied in your clause there.

It's a linear consideration. I mean the character notes are considered in a melodic aspect, a linear way of operating. There isn't really a "harmonically" in modal thought.

So we treat, eg., B in a certain way. This can be ruined by lack of awareness/lack of care. F E cannot be perceived as 4-3, B C cannot be perceived as 7-8. And there are so many ways this will happen. If you glom chords as if 'here's all seven triads' just as in C Major onto this purported D Dorian, for example. You wind up with a harmony or an implicit harmony containing F and B and Dorian vanishes, if you have no modi operandi for bringing out the character of Dorian.

It's beyond the scope of such a thread to be instructive enough here, I think.

User avatar
jancivil
KVRAF
19154 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: 'modes' in popular music. Lydian examples? ughhh

Post Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:48 pm

fmr wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:03 am
you will never establish a mode by simply playing the "scale". The way to state the mode is through its polar notes (which vary from mode to mode, BTW), and characteristic interval sequences (since you didn't have the harmony to establish it).
And first of all, you want 'D Dorian' we have to feel that D is 1. You can state it is, but there's no 'there' just in the words. Simply running the scale does nothing. F has to relate with D first of all as that minor thing. But now, B has to relate to D, and characteristically in relation to its neighbors in support of it being overtly the 6th degree to D. F has to relate to its neighbors in support of being 3. F to E... what happens to make this 3-2? A drone D tends to... but how do we make it true per se, without that help...

It's interesting to see that, characteristic interval sequences as crucial, which is true from western modal polyphony to Indian raga.

musiclover91
KVRist
34 posts since 7 Feb, 2016

Re: 'modes' in popular music. Lydian examples? ughhh

Post Tue Mar 05, 2019 5:47 am

A bit late but Royals by Lorde is in D Mixolydian mode:x..

Cobla
KVRer
2 posts since 20 Jun, 2019

Re: 'modes' in popular music. Lydian examples? ughhh

Post Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:29 am

Hiya folks! Bumping this thread because I reckon modes ares used extensively in modern popular music but many people - musicians included - don't think of melodies in such terms. To these people I'd probably describe modes as the "harmonic feeling" of a song or piece.

To that end Lydian is certainly one of those that are rarely used. Really it's just the major scale (ionian mode) with a sharpened fourth. IMO thinking of it in other terms - like "all white notes starting on F" - is unhelpful, especially if you're trying to work out what notes are in say D Lydian. Just take the D Major scale and sharpen the fourth - ie. G to G Sharp.

Personally I really like Lydian mode but like I say, it's rarely used - especially compared to something more obviously musical, such as Mixolydian - which is the major scale with simply a flattened seventh. Mixolydian is used in a LOT of early Beatles songs, for example. Try it out, it allows for a major key where the dominant seventh is also the root of a major chord - eg. Bb major in the key of C major.

Anyway I'm here to discuss Lydian, so what I would consider a great example of it being used well is 'More Yellow Birds' by Sparklehorse, which is entirely in C Lydian (apart from a Bb accidental in the turnaround of the bass line during the chorus). One of the reasons that this is an excellent example of Lydian is that, depending on how you look at it, the song is either in C Lydian or just straight G Major. Both feature exactly the same notes - it could even be in D Mixolydian - but the tonic note very much sounds like C. And if you accept that, then it's certainly in C Lydian.

The case for this perspective is strong, with the song not only starting with a C Major chord but with the chorus turnaround also resolving to the same chord. Thoughts / opinions?

https://youtu.be/7OHibNwNRJc

User avatar
jancivil
KVRAF
19154 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: 'modes' in popular music. Lydian examples? ughhh

Post Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:37 am

tonic is G. there is a lydian feel over a C chord early, but tonic *is* G.

User avatar
jancivil
KVRAF
19154 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: 'modes' in popular music. Lydian examples? ughhh

Post Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:12 am

Here is modal melody in a popular song
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpqlwRvGeDA

it's a mix of Ionian and Mixolydian (and as such, a signal illustration of Ionian ≠ Major).
The original by Nitin Sawhney in the Coke Studios performance uses a minor 3 additionally in the intro.
NB: major 7 to minor 7 is reflected by major 3 to minor 3 at the P5 relation, a feature of ICM.

User avatar
jancivil
KVRAF
19154 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: 'modes' in popular music. Lydian examples? ughhh

Post Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:23 am

(sung by Nicky Wells in the Coke Studio performance)

CF: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBjxLv9Dfhk

Cobla
KVRer
2 posts since 20 Jun, 2019

Re: 'modes' in popular music. Lydian examples? ughhh

Post Sat Jun 29, 2019 1:17 am

jancivil wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:37 am
tonic is G. there is a lydian feel over a C chord early, but tonic *is* G.
Thanks for that. On reflection I definitely think you're right. It sounds way too diatonic to be Lydian!

User avatar
jancivil
KVRAF
19154 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: 'modes' in popular music. Lydian examples? ughhh

Post Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:25 am

Yeah, I sang a pedal G throughout, it's solid.

Kbcooljay
KVRer
1 posts since 23 Oct, 2019

Re: 'modes' in popular music. Lydian examples? ughhh

Post Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:18 pm

How about David Gilmour’s solo album?

https://youtu.be/kcve0ux5Rkk

Return to “Music Theory”