Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Arrangement, instrumentation, lyric writing, music theory, inspiration… it’s all here.

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Post by Sam Spoons »

That is an approach to modes I haven't come across before and I think it has helped my understanding. Thanks :thumbup:
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 15954 Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am Location: Manchester UK
Your karma has run over my dogma

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Post by tea for two »

Approximately 200 Modes yes 200 in Indian music.
tea for two
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1063 Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2002 1:00 am

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Post by merlyn »

If we count all the transpositions of modes based on tempered tuning then it's about the same.

There are seven modes of the major scale, seven of the melodic minor, seven of the harmonic minor, two of the diminished scale and one of the whole tone scale.

Those five scales cover most jazz/pop harmony. We now have 24 different step patterns and each of those can start on any one of 12 notes :

24 * 12 = 288
merlyn
Regular
Posts: 354 Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:15 am
It ain't what you don't know. It's what you know that ain't so.

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Post by tea for two »

I don't know anything about Indian music
So I don't know how Indian Modes works.

I think I will look into it a little. I think it will be useful if I want to make a World Music album.

(I listen to 1970s Indian Fusion as Ananda Shankar, Shakti, L Shankar double electric Violin, some Sitar, some Qawali).

merlyn wrote: Wed Jul 28, 2021 12:42 pm If we count all the transpositions of modes based on tempered tuning then it's about the same.

24 * 12 = 288

There's easily 288 SOS forum members. We could each make one track based on a mode.
That would be the Mother of Modal albums.
tea for two
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1063 Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2002 1:00 am

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Post by merlyn »

Some of those modes sound a bit weird/unusable.

In introductory jazz improvisation courses there are 10 useful modes --

Seven modes of the major scale.
Two modes of the melodic minor -- lydian dominant and super locrian
One mode of the diminished -- half step/whole step

Transpose them to all keys and that makes 120 modes.
merlyn
Regular
Posts: 354 Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:15 am
It ain't what you don't know. It's what you know that ain't so.

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Post by blinddrew »

I suspect the first thing you'll discover is that 'Indian' music covers several really quite different traditions and heritages. You'll need plenty of time for your exploration. :thumbup:
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16148 Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Post by BJG145 »

merlyn wrote: Wed Jul 28, 2021 1:15 pmTranspose them to all keys and that makes 120 modes.

120 scales.

*edit*

Oh, OK, so you're doing calculations about tempered tuning and stuff...ignore me then... ;)
User avatar
BJG145
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5416 Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 12:00 am

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Post by merlyn »

I would reserve 'scale' for the underlying step pattern that the modes are derived from. So 'major' is a scale, 'dorian' is a mode. 'melodic minor' is a scale, 'super locrian' is a mode.

The question is then is C dorian a different mode from D dorian?

Not really, so to avoid confusion I think I would revise my terminology to 120 transpositions of 10 modes.

EDIT :
BJG145 wrote:Oh, OK, so you're doing calculations about tempered tuning ...

Your point was valid. I used 'tempered tuning' to differentiate from Indian music which can be microtonal -- e.g. a sitar has movable frets, so the possibilities could get seriously out of hand :)
merlyn
Regular
Posts: 354 Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:15 am
It ain't what you don't know. It's what you know that ain't so.

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Post by tea for two »

blinddrew wrote: Wed Jul 28, 2021 1:35 pm I suspect the first thing you'll discover is that 'Indian' music covers several really quite different traditions and heritages. You'll need plenty of time for your exploration. :thumbup:

I should have started during lockdown, when I had time on my hands :headbang:
tea for two
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1063 Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2002 1:00 am

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Post by Kwackman »

blinddrew wrote: Wed Jul 28, 2021 1:35 pm I suspect the first thing you'll discover is that 'Indian' music covers several really quite different traditions and heritages. You'll need plenty of time for your exploration. :thumbup:

Correct- this and lots of other interesting ideas in this recent article.
https://www.soundonsound.com/people/sai ... dian-music
User avatar
Kwackman
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2406 Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2002 1:00 am Location: Belfast
Cubase, guitars.

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Post by tea for two »

Tbh I try to fill myself with less theory as possible.
I was never gifted in any sense musically.
Theory would just clog me up frazzle me.
At the same time I can appreciate the complex to the simple to even atonal as Arnold Schoenberg.
tea for two
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1063 Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2002 1:00 am

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Post by tea for two »

Kwackman wrote: Wed Jul 28, 2021 3:22 pm
blinddrew wrote: Wed Jul 28, 2021 1:35 pm I suspect the first thing you'll discover is that 'Indian' music covers several really quite different traditions and heritages. You'll need plenty of time for your exploration. :thumbup:

Correct- this and lots of other interesting ideas in this recent article.
https://www.soundonsound.com/people/sai ... dian-music

I once sent a chum a youtube link of one the notable elderly Indian vocal singers.
This particular improvisation by the elderly gent was one of my favourite Raaga known as Raaga Darbari.
This chum said it sounded like a drunk warbling :beamup:
tea for two
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1063 Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2002 1:00 am

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Post by tea for two »

merlyn wrote: Wed Jul 28, 2021 1:15 pm Some of those modes sound a bit weird/unusable.

In introductory jazz improvisation courses there are 10 useful modes --

Seven modes of the major scale.
Two modes of the melodic minor -- lydian dominant and super locrian
One mode of the diminished -- half step/whole step

Transpose them to all keys and that makes 120 modes.

I would say there's many people for whom, learning practicing theory helps them appreciate various types of music.

There's also many people for whom, they appreciate various types of music without learning practising theory.

I really dig hard Bebop Charlie Parker, Free Jazz exploration John Coltrane.
However I don't have even an ounce of their Jazz theory.
tea for two
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1063 Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2002 1:00 am

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Post by Johnsy »

The major scale has a tritone between the IV and VII degrees. Hence each mode of the major scale contains that same tritone, but in a different position relative to its modal tonal centre. Taking C major as an example:

C Ionian (major), tritone between IV (F) and VII (B)
D Dorian, tritone between bIII (F) and VI (B)
E Phrygian, tritone between bII (F) and V (B)
F Lydian, tritone between I (F) and #IV (B)
G Mixolydian, tritone between bVII (F) and III (B)
A Aeolian, tritone between bVI (F) and II (B)
B Locrian, tritone between bV (F) and I (B)

Because it's the same tritone, it wants to resolve to the same interval (i.e. the major third on the I of the parent major). Preventing that from happening is the key (no pun intended) to staying within a particular mode, rather than "falling through" to the parent major scale. In other words, as the functional V7-I is the essence of tonality, so avoiding it - though it lurks within - is the essence of modality.

(Just in case you're not completing the conceptual circle, observe that the note we think of as giving each mode its unique flavour is always one or other of the two scale tones comprising the diatonic tritone - the natural sixth of Dorian (B), the raised fourth of Lydian (B), the flat second of Phrygian (F), the flat seventh of Mixolydian (F), etc. In the case of the Ionian mode, of course, it's both).
Johnsy
Regular
Posts: 256 Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2004 12:00 am

Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Post by merlyn »

tea for two wrote: Wed Jul 28, 2021 7:55 am Approximately 200 Modes yes 200 in Indian music.

I had a look into this and I think you mean there are over 200 ragas. A raga isn't exactly a mode as we understand it -- there is more to it. It's a vehicle for improvisation and includes melodic phrases. A parallel would be a jazz standard which is also a vehicle for improvisation, but the parallel is not exact as a raga is not a song or a melody.

There are scales called thaats that are a way of classifying ragas. Probably important to think about it that way round -- the raga comes first and the thaat is used to classify the raga. In the northern tradition there are ten thaats and on the raga Wikipedia page there is notation for nine :

Image

You can see Indian music has its own solfege. The practice is to use flats (komal) for all scale degrees except the fourth which can be natural or sharp (tivra). When all scale degrees are natural we have ... the major scale. Coincidence or what? Or maybe people like the sound of that one.

Bilawal : Ionian
Kalyan : Lydian
Bhairav : Phrygian

Those three thaats are modes of each other.

Purvi : Lydian b2 b6

Not a very satisfying name -- it's merely a description as this step pattern doesn't appear in any of the major or minor scales we are familiar with. It could also be :

Purvi : Blues scale with an added natural seventh.

To see how Purvi contains a blues scale I've started on the natural seventh. It's easier to think of it as C# blues scale : C# E F# G G# B C# + C natural (B# spelling it correctly).

Purvi could also be thought on as chromatic enclosures (i.e. the semi tone above and the semitone below) around the root and fifth + the major third

Image
Marva : Lydian b2 or
Marva : Blues scale with added b2

In this case it's F# blues scale -- F# A B C C# E F# + G

Bhairavi : Phrygian #4
Asavari : Aeolian
Kafi : Dorian
Todi : Phrygian #4 natural 7

Again a merely descriptive name. Todi could be thought on as the minor version of Purvi -- chromatic enclosures around the root and fifth + the minor third.

The tenth thaat is Khamaj : Mixolydian.

I have also seen Bhairav given as the double harmonic which you will know the sound of from Miserlou, the theme from Pulp Fiction.

If you turn these scales/modes/thaats/pool of notes to improvise with into sound then you've left the realm of theory and moved into practice. To get a feel for them every time there's a semitone bend up to it. Shakti have a track India which is bendtastic. :)
merlyn
Regular
Posts: 354 Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:15 am
It ain't what you don't know. It's what you know that ain't so.
Post Reply