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Phrygian Mode?

Phrygian mode

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#1 lachenal74693

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 02:29 AM

I'm trying very hard to get my head around modes in a sort of 'theoretical' way.

 

I have a tune which is scored in C, has no accidentals or other 'funnies', and

which uses the notes 'GABcdefga' and  finishes on 'e' in ABC terms. Does

that mean the tune is EPhr? I thought Phrygian mode was very uncommon?

 

Thanks.

 

Roger


Edited by lachenal74693, 31 December 2016 - 03:23 AM.


#2 Daddy Long Les

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 06:10 AM

Hi Roger,

 

I would think that this piece is in A minor - the relative minor of C major.

 

Regards

 

Les



#3 Jack Campin

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 09:30 PM

What's the piece?

 

It's common for tunes centred on A to end on the dominant (e.g. the mixolydian sword dance tune "Ghillie Callum"), and tunes in C sometimes end on the major third.



#4 lachenal74693

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 02:40 AM

I would think that this piece is in A minor - the relative minor of C major.

 

What's the piece?

 

It's common for tunes centred on A to end on the dominant (e.g. the mixolydian sword dance tune "Ghillie Callum"), and tunes in C sometimes end on the major third.

 

Thank you folks. I deliberately didn't include the piece with my initial post as I wanted to ask

the question in the most general terms possible. However, here it is:

 

X:1
T:Juice of Barley
C:From The Round Band Book of Playford
M:6/8
L:1/8
K:C
 "Am"A2 A e2 d | "C"efg "G"G2 G | "Am"A2 A e2 c | "Am"A3 "C"c3 |
 "F"A2 A e2 d  | "C"efg "G"G2 G | "Dm"A2 A e2 c | "Am"A3 c3    |
|: "C"c2 c c2 B/c/ | "G"d2 dd2 d  | "C"e2 e "F"a2 g |"C" e3 "G"g3 |
"C" c2 c c2 B/c/   | "G"d2 d d>ef | "Am"e>dc "G"BcG | "Am"A3 e3  :|

 

It's from the Mendocino Country Dance Tunebook, and is my ABC rendering of the tune (which

on the Mendocino web site appears only in the PDF version, not the ABC version).

 

Even to me, it looks (looked) as if it should be Amin, but I think I have allowed myself to be 'suckered'

by the strongly expressed opinion of a couple of acquaintances who have told me that 'The key of a

tune is decided by the final note.', or words to that effect. Also 'If tune is in the key of X, and the

last note is not X, the score is wrong!'. As I slowly learn a little more, I am beginning to think that this

is, to some extent, horse-poo.

 

Thank you and a Good New Year to you.

 

Roger


Edited by lachenal74693, 01 January 2017 - 02:46 AM.


#5 Jack Campin

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 01:44 PM

That is indeed horse poo.  I have a section in my modes tutorial on "misleading finals" of which this is a typical example.

 

It seems a rather weak version of this tune, though.  Here's Playford in 1651 (again from my modes tutorial, where I included it in a section on "multiple modes in the same tune" because of what a later adaptation did to it):

X:0
T:Stingo
F:http://www.campin.me.uk/Music/Modes/
Z:Jack Campin: last edit 26/11/2016
G:dance song
M:6/8
L:1/8
Q:3/8=108
K:GMin
G2G d2B   |cA2 F2F |G2G  d2B|G3 B3:|
B2B B2A/B/|c2c c2c |d2d  g2g|d3 f3 |
B2B B2A/B/|c2c c>de|dc>B cA2|G3 B3|]

That one ends on the third (less common than the fifth in minor keys).  For a highly repetitive dance, it's often better not to finish each repeat of the tune on the tonic, you want to push the dancers on and not give too strong an impression of finality.


Edited by Jack Campin, 01 January 2017 - 01:46 PM.


#6 lachenal74693

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 03:52 PM



That is indeed horse poo.  I have a section in my modes tutorial on "misleading finals" of which this is a typical example.

 

...Here's Playford in 1651 (again from my modes tutorial, where I included it in a section on "multiple modes in the same

tune" because of what a later adaptation did to it)...[code omitted]...That one ends on the third (less common than the fifth

in minor keys). For a highly repetitive dance, it's often better not to finish each repeat of the tune on the tonic, you want to

push the dancers on and not give too strong an impression of finality.

 

Thank you!

 

My New Year's Resolution: Be a bit more careful who you listen to, and what you believe!

 

I have your Modes tutorials on my tablet, and I'm looking at Parts 6 and 7 right now. Pretty

much the same same tune innit? I now see that in Playford, it (Stingo) has the alternate

title 'The Oil of Barley'.

 

That's a subtle final point you make there, about pushing the dancers...

 

Thank you very much!

 

Roger


Edited by lachenal74693, 01 January 2017 - 04:05 PM.


#7 nicx66

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 04:46 PM

 

 My New Year's Resolution: Be a bit more careful who you listen to, and what you believe!

 

 

 

So very true. My first instrument is the tin whistle, and being self taught, I took some direction from, and developed some bad habits as a result of, some questionable sources. I took my first proper classes this year and un-learning bad habits can be difficult and a bit mind numbing. Better to never develop them in the first place. Oh, and being self taught is over-rated. I asked the first person who's playing I admired to give me some lessons and she responded by telling me "teach yourself, thats how I learned" I still hold her in high regard as a player, but the advice is a bit suspect.



#8 Anglo-Irishman

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 08:23 AM

Oh, and being self taught is over-rated.

 

Hm!

The result of any teaching-learning process depends on two factors: how good is the teacher, and how apt is the pupil? In a self-taught scenario, you are both the teacher and the pupil.

 

If you're an apt pupil, you can get along quite well with only a bit of guidance, some tips, and a lot of listening to and watching things being done properly.

If you're a good teacher, you'll scour the literature about playing the instrument in question, and pick out information that seems relevant to the aptitude (or lack of it) of the pupil in question - that is, you.

 

I always say, "A person who takes lessons has one teacher; a person who is self-taught has many teachers." However, this is true only when you as the teacher/pupil take every opportunity to "talk shop" with other musicians, or listen attentively when more experienced players are talking shop among themselves.

 

I admit that learning your first instrument while learning music theory at the same time is a stiff challenge. But that's where forums like this come in. If you had one teacher who gave you lessons, it's quite possible that he or she would have to pass on the question of how to render or interpret modes in ABC. Here in the Forum, you have many teachers, and there's always one of them who can explain such exotic concepts to you!

 

Cheers,

John


Edited by Anglo-Irishman, 03 January 2017 - 08:24 AM.


#9 Jack Campin

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 08:58 AM

For a relatively straightforward instrument where the technical basics are not something that takes a lot of un-obvious groundwork, learning on your own has got a lot easier with the volume of free resources on the web.

 

The whistle and drumkit are in that category.  The violin and French horn aren't.



#10 JimLucas

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 09:14 AM

Here in the Forum, you have many teachers, and there's always one of them who can explain such exotic concepts to you!


Or at least two who will disagree about

  • the meaning
  • the purpose
  • whether asking a different question would be more useful.  :o

 

;)



#11 lachenal74693

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 01:07 PM

I won't directly quote any of the immediately preceding replies, in order to keep this simple, but a

few points suggest themselves:

 

It was being self-taught that led me to ask the question in the first place - my half-baked ideas about

modes led me to think that a tune might be in Phrygian mode - based on what I had taught myself, and

on advice I had received from a couple of acquaintances - who seemed sure enough of themselves

to make sweeping generalisations (in a condescending and patronising way, as it happens). Fortunately,

I had learned enough to be suspicious of: (1) my own conclusions and more importantly, (2) the advice

on which those conclusions were based.

 

The Anglo is certainly relatively easy to learn(*), up to a point, particularly when as has been stated,

there is a lot of helpful stuff 'out there', and also when my idiot questions are unfailingly answered in a helpful

way - as they are, both here on c.net and over on mel.net - I'm very grateful to all those who have patiently

answered my questions over the past two years. I do indeed have many teachers! Thank you all.

 

There does I think come a time when self-teaching ceases to show a balance on the credit side of the

ledger - one does indeed develop bad habits, one does fail to be aware of (and to exploit) the capabilities

of the instrument - and it's simply not much fun, always slogging away on yer own. Time to start interfacing

with other musicians - so, I'll be attending my first 'session' a week today - Hooray!

 

I'm relieved that that tune wasn't Phrygian - I don't know much but I was pretty sure that Phrygian while not

unheard-of, is pretty uncommon.

 

Roger

 

(*) and the French Horn is difficult - the only horn player I know has just taken a post with a symphony

orchestra in China! When he returns, I will expect him to do all the ordering when we go to the Chinese

restaurant...


Edited by lachenal74693, 03 January 2017 - 01:12 PM.




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