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Modes used in pop songs

Discussion in 'Music' started by Lily8, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. I'm starting a module on modes with year 9 next week and I'm trying to find a modern example to play to my students (hopefully something they'll recognise) but am struggling to locate one!
    Can anyone help?
    Thanks :)

     
  2. I'm starting a module on modes with year 9 next week and I'm trying to find a modern example to play to my students (hopefully something they'll recognise) but am struggling to locate one!
    Can anyone help?
    Thanks :)

     
  3. The Club is Alive - JLS - Aeolian mode (well most of it is)
     
  4. marlin

    marlin Star commenter Forum guide

  5. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    It's important to explain that while melodies are sometimes modal, they are more often formed from "gapped scales" (pentatonic and, especially, hexatonic) and that the harmonies are rarely modal at all.
    To put it another way, modality in pop music is often more theoretical than real.
     
  6. All I can really think of are folk songs made pop - Scarborough fair is in Dorian Mode. Jeff Buckley's Grace uses Mixolydian Mode mostly as does the folk song "She moved through the fair" which has a great pop version by All about even (I think). Check out Sweet Home Alabama which definitely has a rif that sequences down to the flattened seventh - not sure about the rest of the song.
    I would stick to folk music if you can which tends to stay in a particular mode. Pop songs wander around in modes that change into major/minor. For instance, Norwegian Wood by the beatles.
    Myxolidian mode in particular can also be confused with the use of a flattened blues seventh and visa-versa so Sweet Home might simply be doing the blues thing.
    Guitar music in particular lends itself to Mixolydian music because the barred major chord slides down two frets to become the chord buit on note VII (Flattened seventh again).
     
  7. Thanks for all the help. Will use some of these examples to get them started :)
     
  8. Eleanor Rigby by the Beatles is in E dorian.
    It is also a simple performance piece as backing is essentially C major and E minor.
    Obviously E minor has one sharp but when the melody has the C sharp played it creates E dorian mode E F# G A B C# D.

     

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