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Discussion in 'Music' started by jonowen, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Sorry to appear so ignorant but how can I explain to my pupils a way to deduce ([​IMG]) what is modal rather than minor? I have tried all the dictionary definitions but there must be a clearer explanation.
    (The word list thing is still on-going. I tried to avoid it but there was a short note on my desk reminding me the Music word-bank contribution was late - like I have loads of time to do these extra duties!)
  2. silverfern

    silverfern New commenter

    'Deducing' through listening or score analysis?
    If listening, could you let them loose on some keyboards and get them to learn to play, then sing, each different mode? Perhaps once they have a 'feel' for the different modes in their heads, then they will be one step closer to 'deducing' a modal tonality when they hear one.
    If score analysis, could they figure out the pattern of tones/semitones in each mode and then use this to identify modal tonality on a score?
    (Remember to point out that natural minor is the same as Aeolian mode).
  3. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    I'd be inclined to focus on what happens to note 7 of the scale at cadences. If the step up from this note to the next (the tonic or finalis) is a tone, the music is modal. If it is a semitone, it is minor.
    Note that this doesn't work for the Lydian mode, but the most common modes likely to be encountered by students in jazz, rock and their own compositions are the aeolian, dorian and mixolydian, and it works for all of those. The Lydian is quite rare.
  4. In the Scottish exam at higher etc it rarely comes up unless in plainchant.....! I would forget the explanation at this stage and just tell them that!

  5. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Thank you Danielle - your explanation has the makings of a worksheet I think! Will put on Resources if I can work out how to do it! [​IMG]
  6. TrueFaith

    TrueFaith New commenter

    Agreed, my problem with modes is always remembering which is which..

    That's certainly a help, and the clearest I've ever seen them explained!
  7. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    For modes starting on each of the seven notes from C up to B (and using white notes only):
  8. Very good! I used to use:
    Easy ones:
    A for Aeolian
    D for Dorian
    Two fun ones:
    E is Phrygian (looks like a fridge/freezer!!! You laugh, but you'll never forget it now)
    F is for Lydian (think FLydian)

    What fun - the good old days....

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