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#1147142 - 02/08/06 10:40 PM an experiment with modes
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
I composed a simple 6-bar tune and transcribed it into the 7 Gregorian modes:

(all of the scale degrees are the same; I just added sharps and flats as needed for each mode)

Midi file

Score:

[img]http://www-personal.umich.edu/~samzerin/misc/1.tiff[/img]
[img]http://www-personal.umich.edu/~samzerin/misc/2.tiff[/img]


What do you think? Do you like all of them, or are there certain modes here than don't quite strike a chord with you?

I'm surprised at how they sound. I thought that especially Locrian (without a P5, and with a TT) wouldn't sound so great, but they actually all sound fine to me. I think the Lydian mode doesn't sound quite as good in this example, but maybe it might elsewhere - who knows?
_________________________
Sam

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#1147143 - 02/09/06 11:20 AM Re: an experiment with modes
sarabande Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 1597
Loc: Mo.
Doesn't sound "bad" to me but sounds fine (except for being slow and sluggish - can you notch up the tempo on the recording a bit?) I think to someone just listening that didn't know they were written using modes, they would just guess that they were in a minor key.

I wonder sometimes if composers wind up using modes or parts of modes in a composition without even realizing that they are.

Keep up the composing!

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#1147144 - 02/09/06 02:13 PM Re: an experiment with modes
Johnny-Boy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 661
Loc: PA
 Quote:
Originally posted by sarabande:
Doesn't sound "bad" to me but sounds fine (except for being slow and sluggish - can you notch up the tempo on the recording a bit?) I think to someone just listening that didn't know they were written using modes, they would just guess that they were in a minor key.

I wonder sometimes if composers wind up using modes or parts of modes in a composition without even realizing that they are.

Keep up the composing! [/b]
Excellent point Sara! I'm sure composers use a mixture of modes in their compositions without realizing it.

I don't even consider modes when I'm composing. I have 12 half-tones and their octaves in my arsenal of tones and I use them at will.

I'm more concerned with making beautiful music than to let music theory get in my way. I'm sure I'll here about that statement.

Best, John
_________________________
Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!

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#1147145 - 02/09/06 05:31 PM Re: an experiment with modes
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2739
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
 Quote:
Originally posted by Johnny-Boy:
I'm more concerned with making beautiful music than to let music theory get in my way. I'm sure I'll here about that statement.
[/QB]
Here here! Let's here it for not thinking about theory at all! I here you! That's what we're hear for. OK enough fun.

Music theory is not the enemy of any kind of music, even beautiful music. I istened to your Deep Blue Mystery and there's some nice music there, it's playful and I think it even modulates in the middle section when the strings take the melody. You are creative with your subsidiary rhythms, but the underlying beat never changes. The dynamic range of this piece is very limited, but that's appropriate for what it is, it's nice. The bit of two part counterpoint at the end is an appropriate touch. I could enjoy listening to this piece two of three times (I actually listened twice today so you might get one more out of me).

So do I think you could make this piece better using theory? That depends on what you want to achieve with it. How would this be performed live?

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#1147146 - 02/09/06 06:31 PM Re: an experiment with modes
sarabande Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 1597
Loc: Mo.
pianojerome,

I forgot to applaud you also by not just talking about the idea of using modes in compositions but to actually compose something using modes to give us a concrete example.

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#1147147 - 02/09/06 06:50 PM Re: an experiment with modes
Johnny-Boy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 661
Loc: PA
Thanks Steve.

Don't misunderstand me. I studied theory, harmony, orchestration, and composition with a passion in my younger years. But there comes a time when one has to set the books down and get on with the business of making music (for better or worse).

I'm sure subconsciously theory and harmony is on auto-pilot (but I don't consciously consider it anymore).

I always told my students to learn all the rules before breaking them. There are a lot of good lessons to learn from the great ones - but there's also a time to discover what creativeness lurks within us.

I went through phases where my music sounded like Bach, then Beethoven, then Chopin, and even Gershwin, but now I think itís me (even though I know all the other influences are also there). I guess thatís the way of the composer. His work is the sum total of all his experiences Ė plus a little bit that comes from within his own soul.

Anyway, thanks for listening - I appreciate it.

Best, John
_________________________
Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!

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#1147148 - 02/09/06 06:57 PM Re: an experiment with modes
Johnny-Boy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 661
Loc: PA
"How would this be performed live?"-Steve

A very small orchestra and a keyboard (synthesizer) player. I believe also 2-3 keyboard players could take on the whole piece live.

I know, it's a different World today. I wonder what Bach would think.

John
_________________________
Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!

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#1147149 - 02/09/06 08:52 PM Re: an experiment with modes
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
Here's another short piece that I wrote: the whole thing is in the phrygian mode: C Db Eb F G Ab Bb C

midi file

and the score:

[img]http://www-personal.umich.edu/~samzerin/misc/p1.tiff[/img]
[img]http://www-personal.umich.edu/~samzerin/misc/p2.tiff[/img]
[img]http://www-personal.umich.edu/~samzerin/misc/p3.tiff[/img]


It sounds kind of weird. Well, of course it sounds weird, because I wrote it! :p Actually, I do like it, and it has a different kind of sound that I'm not quite used to hearing. I suppose it's really like A-flat major, or F minor, except in C tonality...

What do you think?
_________________________
Sam

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#1147150 - 02/09/06 09:39 PM Re: an experiment with modes
Johnny-Boy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 661
Loc: PA
Sounds interesting Sam!

I'd love to hear it with the 3rd. and 7th. sharped - and a little slower in tempo. I used that scale in my exotic dancer pieces.

Best, John
_________________________
Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!

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