question about modes,keys,scales

Chords, scales, harmony, melody, etc.
jancivil
KVRAF
23649 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from gonesville

Post Sun Dec 05, 2021 7:26 pm

I just defined it.

jancivil
KVRAF
23649 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from gonesville

Post Sun Dec 05, 2021 7:36 pm

"[heptatonic scale] without chromatic alteration"
F to G#, example given, occurs within the key of A minor. 7 notes named by consecutive letter names in the alphabet is diatonic, per se. So, according to a definition that ties it to key as a necessity, the same 7 notes re-ordered, eg., D E F G# A B C the same 7-tone set as A harmonic minor is defined as diatonic, but then not? Doesn't work.

mattrix3
KVRer

Topic Starter

22 posts since 1 Dec, 2021

Post Sun Dec 05, 2021 8:35 pm

lost :?

Natural A minor, A B C D E F G.
"[heptatonic scale] without chromatic alteration"
We go around in circles,
What is a heptatonic scale?
Any selection having 1 variety from each of A,B,C,D,E,F,G.
AND
adjacent notes are 1 or more semitones apart.
ps you may have missed my edit on my previous post.
Last edited by mattrix3 on Mon Dec 06, 2021 1:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

shawshawraw
KVRist
338 posts since 4 Aug, 2020 from Montreal, Canada

Post Sun Dec 05, 2021 9:24 pm

Good question on minor. It's a can of worms you're opening. Hope this helps a little: https://imgur.com/a/hN3Eom1 (Melody in Songwriting, by Jack Perricone)

jancivil
KVRAF
23649 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from gonesville

Post Wed Dec 08, 2021 11:34 am

So, according to a definition that ties <the definition of diatonic> to key as a necessity, the same 7 notes re-ordered {eg., D E F G# A B C - the same 7-tone set as A harmonic minor} is defined as diatonic, but then not? Doesn't work.

So there are definitions out there, even at Wiki, which state diatonic means all seven members must belong to a key. Then there's "a diatonic scale is any heptatonic scale that includes five whole steps (whole tones) and two half steps (semitones) in each octave, in which the two half steps are separated from each other by either two or three whole steps, depending on their position in the scale."
So I went to harmonic minor. No educated musician is going to feature a belief that the leading tone in minor is a chromaticism. But one Wiki editor does, by their logic. And has asserted that only two of seven modes are diatonic even as all seven fit their definition. That's just someone's confusion.

2, of 7 different statements of 7 tones are diatonic - Ionian might be said to agree with or even be 'the major key'; Aeolian might be said to agree or even be 'the minor key', by the identicality - while the same intervals only ordered differently are not?
Can we infer an axiom here? We cannot. The one definition needs another whole definition to be a definition, as though it's just another way of saying 'in key'. Unless it has an interval that isn't a tone or semitone, eg., F to G#, then it doesn't mean in key. Incoherent. There's a simple clear distinction, and definition, seven-tones alphabetically; once exceeded (NB: in addition to 7) it's called something else, usually chromatic.

No, seven note modes are diatonic. The definition is essentially 'here there are no chromaticisms'.
F# in eg., C major scale - in key and an addition to F natural and with a purpose (such as a move to its dominant degree {5} harmonically.) it's a chromaticism.

to go further would make my same mistake of including edge cases in order to be thorough.

jancivil
KVRAF
23649 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from gonesville

Post Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:03 pm

"We go around in circles,

"ps you may have missed my edit on my previous post."
the circle here is down to you unable to google 'heptatonic' which will have answered the edited question.
Last edited by jancivil on Wed Dec 08, 2021 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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BertKoor
KVRAF
13368 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Post Wed Dec 08, 2021 2:41 pm

We are the KVR collective. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. Image
My MusicCalc is served over https!!

mattrix3
KVRer

Topic Starter

22 posts since 1 Dec, 2021

Post Thu Dec 09, 2021 10:06 pm

I do google but find many pages expect you to know more about music terminology than I do, or seem to contradict themselves and I get confused. Hense my question. Googling simple terms like 'scale' tend toward tuning systems.

I did give you my definition of a 'heptatonic scale'. I realise now that it was incomplete. It should have been prefixed with "An ordered list composed with the notes of 1 member of the following set ...."
Each member having 1 variety from each of A,B,C,D,E,F,G.
AND
adjacent notes are 1 or more semitones apart.
Does that satisfy the definition of a "[heptatonic scale] without chromatic alteration" ?

What is your definition of a key?
"F to G#, example given, occurs within the key of A minor" A B C D E F G#
The key of A minor is also A B C D E F G (various sources)
Do all keys have multiple forms?
Last edited by mattrix3 on Fri Dec 10, 2021 6:34 pm, edited 6 times in total.

mattrix3
KVRer

Topic Starter

22 posts since 1 Dec, 2021

Post Thu Dec 09, 2021 10:13 pm

I found another definition of 'diatonic':
A scale with a single tritone interval.

shawshawraw
KVRist
338 posts since 4 Aug, 2020 from Montreal, Canada

Post Fri Dec 10, 2021 6:15 am

mattrix3 wrote:
Thu Dec 09, 2021 10:06 pm
I do google but find many pages expect you to know more about music than I do, ...
Haha, you noticed this. In some way your baby steps are taking way too far than what you have experienced in listening. It's a little like explaining what 'green colour' is - we can define things like the colour of leaves and grass, having 495-570nm wavelength, the colour on Starbucks logo, etc... but it doesn't make much sense if you don't already have a sensory impression. A little extreme analogy it is, but I hope you'll understand why I'm thinking you're off when you're trying hard to dig a perfect definition at this point. Music is meant to be heard. Definitions are second-class citizens and only start to make sense when you experience enough :)

Unless you have a very specific goal other than for the sake of learning music, though! Otherwise, play, experiment, and listen!

jancivil
KVRAF
23649 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from gonesville

Post Sat Dec 11, 2021 9:56 am

"Isn't it equally true that given G Ab B C D Eb F that the 4th mode of this is C Harmonic minor?"
Obviously it is. Also that Ionian is the seventh mode of Dorian.

"There needs to be some convention for which is the root mode."
Why? Because you want to be argumentative, even as a "rank beginner"?
It is probably illogical, by the very fact of them being interchangeable; even so, where do we look for this needed primacy? History mayhaps?
BZZZZZT. Major does not precede Dorian or the other manifestations of those seven notes; modes prefigure major by an historical epoch.
"Modes of the major scale", appears to be what you want, but this is not logical. Any assertion would be someone's opinion - or, better, worldview - which there has been quite a lot of over time, trying to make one thing seem more central or important. Arguments to the naturalness of one's own purely cultural reception are made (CF., Furtwangler insisting on the supremacy of major/minor paradigm tonal system).

mattrix3
KVRer

Topic Starter

22 posts since 1 Dec, 2021

Post Sun Dec 12, 2021 12:27 am

I find that when people talk about music, a lot is implied and left unstated. When some one says "... the third mode ...", I have to ask myself "the third mode of what?" Or when thy say "that part is in the key of C" , I have to assume they mean C major. I'm sure the author knows what they meant but I feel by reading between the lines that I am putting words into their mouths. Or as I just skip over the bits I don't understand.

If I had the sheet music I might be able to work out what they meant. But I don't and I can't work it out from just listening to that part.

If my definition of a heptatonic scale is correct, there are 168*7 possible scales. If that is correct - so what, lets move on, Is it?. But I can't help feeling that I am missing something, that there is some other criteria that has to be satisfied.

I feel I could learn from someone more experienced than me. For communication to work there has to be some agreement as to what the basic units mean, words and/or terms. In the original post I made-up my own terms, and so felt I had to define them, 'mode-group' and 'selection'. I still don't know what would be a more appropriate term instead of 'selection'. Googling 'selection music' is not very useful.
In another post on this forum someone couldn't see how a 3 semitone interval could sound different to a 3 semitone interval. I couldn't follow many of the replies because I didn't understand the terminology they were using, or the 'basics' they were relying on. That poster also wanted some definition of what they saw as ambiguous terms.
That the key of C major and the key of A minor do not have the same key-signature is new to me.

"BZZZZZT. Major does not precede Dorian"
I realise sometimes you have to reorient your thinking to an historical context. Churh modes don't precede Dorian either. If my memory serves me, the western church had 4 modess, each with 2 varients - authentic and plagal. I am not sure what the Byzantine church had. I understand that naming modes was done by the 'harmonists' in Ancient Greece, albeit not the same 'pattern' as in modern usage. Somewhere history has appropriated the terms and redefined them. (Before you jump down my throat, I am well out of my depth here and only have a rudimentary understanding of the history of western music).

jancivil
KVRAF
23649 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from gonesville

Post Sat Dec 18, 2021 7:10 am

mattrix3 wrote:
Sun Dec 12, 2021 12:27 am
I find that when people talk about music, a lot is implied and left unstated. When some one says "... the third mode ...", I have to ask myself "the third mode of what?"
I said the n mode of actual things, what are you on about?
You stated a strong opinion there's no real support for, the need for a primary mode above all others. That isn't the reality of this, which won't be more than stating a preference in the end. And when this is done, and believe me it is, by people you'd think would know better, someone is being narrow-minded. So, example given, the hegemony of tonal music appears.

In actual music making, 'In C' can simply mean the tonic is C; we call 'ok, blues in C'. Your blues in C could be modal, and this is not a quiz
When there's a reason for a major/minor distinction we can make one. :shrug:
Last edited by jancivil on Sat Dec 18, 2021 7:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

jancivil
KVRAF
23649 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from gonesville

Post Sat Dec 18, 2021 7:22 am

mattrix3 wrote:
Sun Dec 12, 2021 12:27 am


"BZZZZZT. Major does not precede Dorian"
I realise sometimes you have to reorient your thinking to an historical context. Churh modes don't precede Dorian either. If my memory serves me, the western church had 4 modess, each with 2 varients - authentic and plagal. I am not sure what the Byzantine church had. I understand that naming modes was done by the 'harmonists' in Ancient Greece, albeit not the same 'pattern' as in modern usage. Somewhere history has appropriated the terms and redefined them. (Before you jump down my throat, I am well out of my depth here and only have a rudimentary understanding of the history of western music).
There was a point to me saying that, you wanted there to be established for all time a first scale concept, as though D Dorian et al must refer to something more primary. So for example, Major key isn't that thing, logically and the particular history shows it is a derivation and an evolution from an earlier practice. Logically Ionian is the seventh mode of Dorian, the fifth mode of Lydian etc. Tonality occurs later than modality, and we can hear the change in certain musics. Know that tonality is a different modi operandi than modal. Know that "Dorian" and "key of" are mutually exclusive concepts.

the other stuff, plagal vs authentic I don't care a lot about because I'm not set up to write academic papers, or have need to recreate that kind of music. It was 44 yrs ago and a really boring course to me. ;)
I'm only pointing out that a primary source of a mode (of a putative seven) isn't necessary at all and the need for such as a mistaken conception.

jancivil
KVRAF
23649 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from gonesville

Post Sat Dec 18, 2021 7:39 am

So for the use of, it's probably natural to reckon that the same seven triads on a seven-note scale work equally and are as apt here as they are there in eg, major. But major (or minor) key uses a dominant-tonic paradigm, where a certain tension inherent in harmony has a function.
That is, white key now, B and F. So here is a problem particularly for western musicians for whom major/minor music has for some reason been prevalent, the resolution to C and E feels imminent. So the same seven harmonies do not weigh the same for all seven varieties of the set, because C cannot be the tonic of eg., D Dorian. Dm to G is one thing, Dm to G7 being ii to V7 of C major has to be recognized; and B D F, B diminished is not a terrifically useful thing in D Dorian or any of the other six. And actually the dominant tension probably means major, distinct from Ionian.

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