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Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? #2820157
02/26/19 01:27 AM
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Hi teachers,

I know the degree of scales in Mixolydian mode, but not really sure how to use this to write songs/composition. What chord brings more tension in this key? the Flat7? What is Vmin chord role in songwriting? Still the chord that build intensity? Any explanation helps, thanks!

pianocoach521

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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: pianocoach521] #2820260
02/26/19 09:47 AM
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gotta go practice
Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: pianocoach521] #2820506
02/26/19 09:32 PM
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Why counterpoint, Tim? smile

Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: pianocoach521] #2820528
02/26/19 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by pianocoach521
Hi teachers,

I know the degree of scales in Mixolydian mode, but not really sure how to use this to write songs/composition. What chord brings more tension in this key? the Flat7? What is Vmin chord role in songwriting? Still the chord that build intensity? Any explanation helps, thanks!

pianocoach521


Is this an assignment for a class?
Was there any instruction that preceded the assignment?


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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: pianocoach521] #2820598
02/27/19 05:11 AM
02/27/19 05:11 AM
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The OP gave a bit of background answering a question of mine, here:
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...ns-beginner-to-advanced.html#Post2820158

Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: keystring] #2820643
02/27/19 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by keystring
Why counterpoint, Tim? smile


Because way back in the 1700s Johan addressed the inherent tension between those who focus on chords and harmony, and those who focus on the scale.

Modern jazz improvisation tends to be very scalar, and that's why I don't listen to it. I prefer the older trad styles that stay more tonal. To my ears. Your mileage may vary.

When someone brings up mixolydian in this context they are usually talking a scalar approach, and then the OP goes right into chord functions, and I think you have to understand how they fit together. That's beyond my knowledge (or interest).

No, Mr. Fux will not be much help, but at least he pointed out the distinction. I first read his book when I was spending time with some Dixieland players who did not like how far outside the chord the modal improvisers were going.


gotta go practice
Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: TimR] #2820799
02/27/19 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by TimR
Originally Posted by keystring
Why counterpoint, Tim? smile


Because way back in the 1700s Johan addressed the inherent tension between those who focus on chords and harmony, and those who focus on the scale.

Modern jazz improvisation tends to be very scalar, and that's why I don't listen to it. I prefer the older trad styles that stay more tonal. To my ears. Your mileage may vary.

When someone brings up mixolydian in this context they are usually talking a scalar approach, and then the OP goes right into chord functions, and I think you have to understand how they fit together. That's beyond my knowledge (or interest).

No, Mr. Fux will not be much help, but at least he pointed out the distinction. I first read his book when I was spending time with some Dixieland players who did not like how far outside the chord the modal improvisers were going.

I think your answers have totally - ahem - Fuxed up the conversation, Tim. laugh


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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: TimR] #2820881
02/27/19 07:49 PM
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Tm, thank you for the answer. With Fux I got as far as successfully completing the First Species exercise after multiple corrections. I was even told by a musician who knew me, and understood counterpoint, that my unique "voice" came out in the exercise. It is a very difficult thing to master even at the first species level, and I can't imagine that the OP could quickly use this. As well, if he is looking for chords, at the time of Fux, I don't think the chords and chord progressions were a thing yet.

In another thread, Pianocoach51 told us that he is a music producer, teaches music production, and helps artists produce songs, and "mix and master". I'd see a more modern way of thinking. The modes do get used in modern times, but not in the way they were in the time of Fux. I'm thinking the question might be asked in:

a) Pianist Corner - Non-Classical

b) Composer's Lounge


Pianocoach51? smile

Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: Gary D.] #2820909
02/27/19 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by TimR
Originally Posted by keystring
Why counterpoint, Tim? smile


Because way back in the 1700s Johan addressed the inherent tension between those who focus on chords and harmony, and those who focus on the scale.

Modern jazz improvisation tends to be very scalar, and that's why I don't listen to it. I prefer the older trad styles that stay more tonal. To my ears. Your mileage may vary.

When someone brings up mixolydian in this context they are usually talking a scalar approach, and then the OP goes right into chord functions, and I think you have to understand how they fit together. That's beyond my knowledge (or interest).

No, Mr. Fux will not be much help, but at least he pointed out the distinction. I first read his book when I was spending time with some Dixieland players who did not like how far outside the chord the modal improvisers were going.

I think your answers have totally - ahem - Fuxed up the conversation, Tim. laugh


Haha Gary D.

Fiat Fux


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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: pianocoach521] #2821039
02/28/19 11:03 AM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZlAHkPE71k

Listen to what this does. To say a mode is only about scales misses the point. For anyone improvising, there will always be main chords, and that's the key to the mode. To establish the sound of a mode you need three triads. Any three triads will use all the notes in the mode.

Here you have a G major chord and an F major chord.

This gives you F G A B C D. Technically E is missing, but it's not exactly rocket science to figure out that's the other note, and by making the F chord an Fmaj7 you have the whole thing.

That's the principle right there. Those two chord establish the mode.

Here is Bartok's take on the same thing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0_dBYVuz_0

And bluegrass, VERY common in this style AND in folk songs from the Appalachian area.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkEWvBuM9P4

This is simply NOT just a scale thing. It's chords and scales.

Last edited by Gary D.; 02/28/19 11:04 AM.

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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: pianocoach521] #2821295
02/28/19 10:20 PM
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Thanks. The examples make a HUGE difference. What a resource!


gotta go practice
Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: TimR] #2821588
03/01/19 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by TimR
Thanks. The examples make a HUGE difference. What a resource!

The utter lack of response here other than what you wrote would lead me to believe what I just posted is either useless, because everyone already knows what I wrote, or that no one understands what I wrote. The thought of the latter is frightening.

I am coming to loathe this forum more every day because of the almost total lack of responses and the utter lack of thanks for anything I write. I find it astonishing that sharing HERE what I charge money for sharing in lessons goes completely without comment.

I am very close to formally asking that my name be removed from this place with the idea of never coming back here.

Last edited by Gary D.; 03/01/19 04:54 PM.

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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: TimR] #2821646
03/01/19 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by TimR
Thanks. The examples make a HUGE difference. What a resource!

Tim, because you posted about this elsewhere, I want to make clear what I'm doing and what I do.

For my students I always link to videos. I have not always done this, but I've gone into high gear this year. I also make videos for them in lessons, a newer thing, because I was not utilizing my camera and video options enough on my cell phone. The sound is not great because the recording basically used a condenser mike that keeps narrowing the dynamics, but it's fast and it's person.

When I make videos in lessons I NEVER yack, yack, yack the way you usually hear people do on YouTube. I tell students what I'm going to demonstrate, and why, then I play. I may do some commenting, but I don't take my hands away. It's all in the playing.

There are two videos I recommend for Lydian. This first one is a bit too talky for me, but once he gets going there is some steady playing, and I rather like the sound. He's also using F Lydian, which is handy for those of us who are keyboard players, because F Lydian is the model on piano, using only white keys.


I liked the beginning of it so much I stole it as a theme and wrote a piece with it, but using both hands and then with an ostinato bass. I then took this same theme, moved it to the dominant, put in a middle section with octaves using octatonic, then back to the theme.

The reason I like this kid's playing (or young guy) is that he just plays, and it's good.

Last edited by Gary D.; 03/01/19 07:35 PM.

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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: pianocoach521] #2821648
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Mistake in my last post:

https://youtu.be/PwW5lBd48B8

https://youtu.be/jEbga8rJCsk

The harp player, the guitarist....


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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: Gary D.] #2821676
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by TimR
Thanks. The examples make a HUGE difference. What a resource!

The utter lack of response here other than what you wrote would lead me to believe what I just posted is either useless, because everyone already knows what I wrote, or that no one understands what I wrote. The thought of the latter is frightening.

I am coming to loathe this forum more every day because of the almost total lack of responses and the utter lack of thanks for anything I write. I find it astonishing that sharing HERE what I charge money for sharing in lessons goes completely without comment.

I am very close to formally asking that my name be removed from this place with the idea of never coming back here.



Please do NOT leave PW! Your insights are always a breath of fresh air, and I have learned a lot from your posts. I am not a piano teacher, so I don't comment a lot of the time on your posts. However, they ARE extremely educational and I always look forward to YOUR posts.


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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: Gary D.] #2822271
03/03/19 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZlAHkPE71k

Listen to what this does. To say a mode is only about scales misses the point. For anyone improvising, there will always be main chords, and that's the key to the mode. To establish the sound of a mode you need three triads. Any three triads will use all the notes in the mode.

Here you have a G major chord and an F major chord.

This gives you F G A B C D. Technically E is missing, but it's not exactly rocket science to figure out that's the other note, and by making the F chord an Fmaj7 you have the whole thing.

That's the principle right there. Those two chord establish the mode.

Here is Bartok's take on the same thing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0_dBYVuz_0

And bluegrass, VERY common in this style AND in folk songs from the Appalachian area.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkEWvBuM9P4

This is simply NOT just a scale thing. It's chords and scales.

I read this a couple of times and also listened to the examples.

One thing you stressed is that it is about scales and chords; chords and scales. it seems such an obvious thing but it seems to get missed. Scales and chords interrelate for obvious reasons.

I think where we often get hung up is that in "traditional" or so-called "classical" training,we get taught a complicated thing that is based on something that was done some time in the Renaissance period or a bit before, like some ancient long-gone thing. It is also taught in a complicated manner. Meanwhile composers such as Bartok per your example, and musicians in other genres have used modes all along and it whizzes past us unnoticed.

Why is there so little interest here, in this, among teachers (I can't help wondering).

Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: keystring] #2822280
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Originally Posted by keystring
Why is there so little interest here, in this, among teachers (I can't help wondering).


keystring,
in all fairness, this level of knowledge probably does not become accessible to 99% of piano students, who never reach the level of skill required.

I find it highly interesting, and I would think any working musician would at almost any level. Even hobby musicians like myself have applications if we choose. Piano "enrichment" students who don't practice are not the target.

At the risk of another digression. Oops, too late. I used the phrase "applications if we choose." That isn't fully thought out. Unlike Gary who usually presents fully coherent ideas, I often think out loud here, sometimes to my embarrassment. But something struck me this weekend.

I took my handbell choir to a festival that required them to attempt music, some of which was 3 grades above their normal skill level. I included my adult daughter, who had one year of piano lessons in high school 12 years ago and does not ring handbells. (yes, I forced her to take that year of lessons, after explaining why.) I sightread the concert, no problem, but so did my daughter who attempted the hardest music when some of my ringers sat down. One of the experienced ringers was amazed that she could do this, without painstakingly marking every note she needed to play and working on it for weeks. "Well I took a year of piano lessons so I know notes and counting." But the ringer said "I had many years of piano lessons and it doesn't help at all."

And my point is some people make the jump from the academic to the execution, and most don't. What makes the difference?


gotta go practice
Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: pianocoach521] #2822292
03/03/19 10:16 AM
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Some possible bridges for anyone who started off with the "traditional" "back in ancient times" explanation for modes:

This one is a sample lesson from Gary Burton's course introducing modes before he goes on to chords in another lesson we don't get to see without signing up for the course. He starts off the traditional way, with Dorian being 2 to 2, Phrygian being 3 to 3 etc. which is how we get taught. but he says that for improvisers this is not very useful, and he then introduces another way of seeing modes according to "brightness of sound". If you already know the 2 to 2 etc. version, skip right to 0:41.

In this view, modes are seen according to their brightness, and modes are created by flatting successive notes, always with the same tonic. In the lecture we don't get to see, he then brings them together with chords, which is the other half of the chord-scale equation.

https://www.coursera.org/lecture/jazz-improvisation/the-modes-B24X7

This other video goes from the angle of chords, and we hear a lot of music being played, to give us a feel. You'll notice that he plays a chord type, and then says what modes with fit with that chord.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikENGelZ_5s

Just to give a feel for the thinking and mindset involved. I suppose you can think of it this way: If I have a Cm7, which mode(s) would have a minor 3rd and also the "7" (meaning b7)? What kinds of flavours or moods can I give my music through those choices? (Burton's "brightness")? And then if you move to "classical" music, where the composers used modes, it will also give us insights into written music that we play.

Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: pianocoach521] #2822469
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Given the historical nature of the modes, can you separate them from the temperament (or the tuning, if the comma was left unsplit)?

There's an explanation on page 152 of this excerpt:
https://books.google.com/books?id=L...ss%20intervals%20harpsichord&f=false

I watched the coursera video on defining modes by the lowered notes rather than the degree of scale you start on, and that makes more sense to me from an experiential rather than academic view. But that's also what triggered the thought that starting on the degree of the scale assumes equal temperament, and that very well may not have been the case when church modes were the rage.


gotta go practice
Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: TimR] #2822522
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Originally Posted by TimR
Given the historical nature of the modes, can you separate them from the temperament (or the tuning, if the comma was left unsplit)?

Tim, the person who knows a LOT about modes is Keystring, and her knowledge goes way WAY back. I don't touch things before the Renaissance.

But I think it is useful to do this:

1. Back to fairly ancient times, when the names and modes are nothing like what we know today.
2. What you are calling "Church Modes". When you start talking about tuning "back then", be aware that everything is based on text. We have no sound. Exactly how and when notes in a scale were adjusted from what we know as EQ is endlessly debated.
3. Modern use of modes, which is far more than jazz. They are all over the place in Debussy, Ravel, Bartok, and so on.

Re tuning, and you may sense my irritation merely because my ear for relative pitch is pretty freakish - which of course I can't prove here.

I started tuning pianos in my teens, so I'm infinitely familiar with the quirks of EQ. Coming from that I merely made note of how people shade notes in other systems, and it pretty much comes down to this. In diatonic music often 3rds are lowered different amount to a max of beatless. Then, using the key of C major, the same thing is done for FA, lowering the A, then GB, lowering the B, and 5ths are kept pretty pure for CG, GD and FC - for obvious reasons.

But these are all intellectual constructs, and the more you borrow from Peter, the more you have to pay Paul. If you have spent as much time as I have working with singers, you know that they are way more off on pitch than instrumentalists because OUR instruments to some extent guide us. There is no guide for the human voice except the ear. So the rules for keyboards are very different from the rules for other instruments merely because in the time of Bach and earlier some keys were unusable on keyboards. Never for singers, who are in practice often horrendously out of tune but POTENTIALLY better in tune than players other than string players, for the same reason - an infinity of possible pitches all equally easy to produce.

So in practical application musicians are much less reliable than they think in adjusting pitch, and this is why EQ is the system modern players start with. It means that potentially you, as a trombone player, only have to tune 12 notes, and all the players you play with do the same. Since very instrument in an orchestra has notes that differ from EQ, often in totally opposite directions, agreeing on EQ is a bit like everyone in a group agreeing to speak English, not because it is superior, but because it is common knowledge.

I won't go into all the out of tune notes on every brass instrument, and I won't even mention woodwind, but it's hard as h e l l to get several different instruments to tune together on one note or one interval in EQ. Yet until you can do that, you can't then adjust.

For advanced players you can then adjust for very diatonic and static music, agreeing how and when you will do it in whatever key you are playing. But you also have to understand that for an instrument like trumpet, if you are playing a high A, with 12, that note will NEVER be flat, always sharp, and there is no way you will play a beatless 3rd over F in that range. So if another instrument does that, there will be a unison off at least around 13 cents, and the result is awful.

In other words, on paper it's a wonderful idea. If you want to use an old system for tuning a keyboard, best for the key of C, and you write something in C, it will work. Modes in that key set will largely work because it's the same system. But when you move much away from the key of C, for instance to Eb, the whole thing collapses like a house of cards, and the key of Db will be just horrible.

Last edited by Gary D.; 03/03/19 08:55 PM.

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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: TimR] #2822525
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Originally Posted by TimR


I watched the coursera video on defining modes by the lowered notes rather than the degree of scale you start on, and that makes more sense to me from an experiential rather than academic view. But that's also what triggered the thought that starting on the degree of the scale assumes equal temperament, and that very well may not have been the case when church modes were the rage.

If you move from Ionian (major) to Dorian, lowering notes would work fine so long as D major itself was tuned in a way that pleased you. Back in the Renaissance we don't know what people did, but it is likely that in D Dorian, using it as an example, the 5ths would have been sung at least close to beatless. You won't hear BF for obvious reasons IF you are confined strictly to the mode.

I can think either way, but getting a mode from another key (such as getting A natural minor from C) is slower for me and not as useful. In most music it is more likely that you will move from A major to one of the A minors, and in our modern music this is especially useful because we have a blend of natural minor, harmonic minor and melodic minor, sometimes with Dorian stuck in. This involved always b3, but 6 and 7 are toggles and always moveable.

For me as a teacher it is far more intuitive to teach melodic minor first, only b3. Think of a Bb scale, just lowering D. Then from there you can lower G and A as you wish, getting different moods, and also modes.


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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: TimR] #2822546
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Originally Posted by TimR
Given the historical nature of the modes, can you separate them from the temperament (or the tuning, if the comma was left unsplit)?

There's an explanation on page 152 of this excerpt:
https://books.google.com/books?id=L...ss%20intervals%20harpsichord&f=false

I watched the coursera video on defining modes by the lowered notes rather than the degree of scale you start on, and that makes more sense to me from an experiential rather than academic view. But that's also what triggered the thought that starting on the degree of the scale assumes equal temperament, and that very well may not have been the case when church modes were the rage.


Tim, on all that laugh

Music has evolved over millenia, with concepts ideas morphing and recycling over and over. Different mindsets, philosophies, and trends come and go. For us in our time period, we have to look at how a given thing like modes is used now.

If you really want to go back historically, then you're in Ancient Greece. The modes consisted of sets of tetrachords: a P4 sandwich with two notes in between, and each of these sandwiches had a name. One of them had a quarter tone microtone. These packets were put together certain ways - two tetrachords gives you an octave so resembles a scale. These tone packets came together with rhythm packets. Each of these was thought to elicit certain moods, human character such as courage, fear, love. If you combined the tone and rhythm packet you would get just the right character/mood etc. effect. This came together with philosophy, ideal perfection thingies, mathematics etc.

The Indian Raga probably gets closest to that kind of musical thinking. It would be interesting to look into. smile Arabic modes I've just looked at recently - they might go that way. In any case, these are far removed from later modes.

These things got buried in Byzantium which came under the Ottoman Empire ruled by the Turks until centuries later our Constantinople, its other name, got liberated and the buried knowledge began circulating Western Europe. The ideals of the Greek times were hungrily studied by Middle Age Europe, which interpreted and pondered what it saw, and will have interpreted these things in their own way. That gets us into the "church modes" which like everything else was a passing phase.

Western Europe had been locked into religious chants, which gradually become complex with extra voices; pleasant intervals worked with P5's and octaves, and the third was finally allowed (started in France?), which automatically gives you chords, but they thought counterpoint, not chord. They experimented with expression emotion (affect), they experimented with things so much that it became more dissonant than consonant and then stepped way back from that again. What I'm trying to say is that music was not neat and tidy the way we get told.

Everything I use told you here is USELESS. wink How modes are used now: have been used by more modern composers (and maybe some older ones), how they are used in jazz and other genres - what we can do with them, and how this may help us understand written music - I think that is where it is at.

Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: TimR] #2822548
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Originally Posted by TimR
in all fairness, this level of knowledge probably does not become accessible to 99% of piano students, who never reach the level of skill required.

What I am understanding is that modes are not these complicated beasts in the way they are taught in theory classes. That it is not some complicated advanced thing, and that some teachers do teach this, and maybe rather early on.

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Originally Posted by TimR

keystring,
in all fairness, this level of knowledge probably does not become accessible to 99% of piano students, who never reach the level of skill required.

Modes? Playing modes in different keys? Good GOD, I'm doing this with first and second year students.

If 99% of piano students can't do this stuff, it just means that 99% of piano teachers are incredibly incompetent and don't know spit.
Quote

And my point is some people make the jump from the academic to the execution, and most don't. What makes the difference?

Tim, honestly I'm trying not to shout: BUT THIS IS NOT ACADEMIC.

This is about basic skills, tools for piano. The fact that they are not taught has nothing to do with their difficulty. You might as well say that playing lines and spaces is academic because most people taking piano lessons can't do it.

Every student who comes to me is deficient in this - unless I've forgotten someone odd over the years. The reason is that my transfers come from incompetents. You will think I am being horribly critical of other teachers in my area, but you don't see and hear what I see and hear. Under a very rare situation someone may come to me after having moved from elsewhere, and that's different because then a good student may merely be trying to find another good teacher after moving.

I have been talking for years about the desperate state of piano instruction, but I honestly do not think people are listening.


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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: keystring] #2822571
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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by TimR
in all fairness, this level of knowledge probably does not become accessible to 99% of piano students, who never reach the level of skill required.

What I am understanding is that modes are not these complicated beasts in the way they are taught in theory classes. That it is not some complicated advanced thing, and that some teachers do teach this, and maybe rather early on.

No. They are not. Dorian is an absolute fundamental for anyone ever wanting to play blues and jazz. Playing from D to D on the piano is not rocket science. It is not advanced of difficult. Any beginner can do it with one finger. Anyone who knows the D major scale can lower F# to F and C# to C and understand what is going on. If you know major scales, you can do this to any major scale. And Dorian is harder than Lydian and Mixolydian, each of which alter only one note.

The idea that this is advanced, or academic, is absolutely absurd. Why not say that everything we teach is only academic and will only be understood by 1% of the people we teach.

The EXPLANATIONS may be difficult, but only because people don't understand what they are teaching.

Last edited by Gary D.; 03/04/19 01:37 AM.

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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: Gary D.] #2822666
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by TimR

And my point is some people make the jump from the academic to the execution, and most don't. What makes the difference?

Tim, honestly I'm trying not to shout: BUT THIS IS NOT ACADEMIC.

This is about basic skills, tools for piano. The fact that they are not taught has nothing to do with their difficulty. You might as well say that playing lines and spaces is academic because most people taking piano lessons can't do it.



The point I am trying to make, and obviously not doing it well, may be one that is important only to me.

Gary's point, I think, is that many or most people do not learn what they should. Part of the reason is that their teachers are incompetent, and part of the reason is that a certain category of students have no interest in anything beyond padding their college application.

My point is that people who have learned then do not take the next step of being able to apply it, to execute it in some kind of real world setting outside the piano lesson, or the math class, or any of a number of similar jumps from input to output. I can give lots of examples. But like I said, perhaps this is only a problem for me.


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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: Gary D.] #2822670
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Originally Posted by Gary D.

In other words, on paper it's a wonderful idea. If you want to use an old system for tuning a keyboard, best for the key of C, and you write something in C, it will work. Modes in that key set will largely work because it's the same system. But when you move much away from the key of C, for instance to Eb, the whole thing collapses like a house of cards, and the key of Db will be just horrible.


I've played with the presets for historical tunings on digital pianos, and I couldn't hear a whole lot of difference.

I brought this up because keystring posted a video that talked about the relative brightness of modes, and it occurred to me that this might be more of a distinction in a different tuning. I had recently come across that article on harpsichord tuning and it was fresh in my mind, especially the idea that one might tune pure fifths then deliberately write music that avoided resulting bad combinations. Or in the case of modes, deliberately strive for an effect.

As part of a project to improve my ear I spend a little time each night detuning and retuning my wife's guitar, listening for pure and slightly wide fourths, slightly narrow thirds. It's definitely a work in progress, I hope I'm getting better. I'm still in the frustrating part of the learning curve.


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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: TimR] #2822715
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Originally Posted by TimR

My point is that people who have learned then do not take the next step of being able to apply it, to execute it in some kind of real world setting outside the piano lesson, or the math class, or any of a number of similar jumps from input to output. I can give lots of examples. But like I said, perhaps this is only a problem for me.

No. It's a teacher problem. There is no point in teaching anything that is not used.

If you teach a mode, you have teach things that use the mode, then link to music that is interesting that uses modes.

I won't say more at this time other than to mention that our public schools are, for the most part, absolutely horrible. Nowhere is it worse than in my state, Florida. None of my students can do more than basic math, and most do it very badly. But they do fine in the things I teach, and reading music is a lot harder than most of what they are supposedly learning in school.

Anything that is not applied is lost, and often very quickly. It also has to be applied over a long enough period to get things set in the mind permanently. I started a pre-teen girl last summer who was doing well, but she told her mother she "doesn't like piano any more". And now she thinks she wants to teach HERSELF how to play trumpet, by watching videos. She plays flute, probably not very well.

I told her and her mother that she has not played what I teach long enough to keep it, and that when only playing about 6 months she will soon lose everything important I was teaching her. Of course she was not listening.

I'm not sure how long it takes to absorb and keep things like playing the piano, or learning a new language, but it is certainly not 6 months.


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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: TimR] #2822750
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Originally Posted by TimR
I brought this up because keystring posted a video that talked about the relative brightness of modes, and it occurred to me that this might be more of a distinction in a different tuning. ,,,,,

A good idea with any kind of teaching is to explore these things thoroughly, and in as practical hands-on as possible, in order to understand. I took a Gary Burton course once. He is very knowledgeable and very much a musician, but can be overwhelming with what he presents.

To understand the brightness of the modes as presents them, go to the piano and try them out. Also explore the Tonic chord. Some of the scales have a major 3rd, and some have a minor 3rd, and they will also have respective (Tonic) chords sitting underneath them. You already know this from "classical" theory since each mode corresponds to a degree, and you'll know your I(maj7), ii7, iii7, IV(maj7), V7 etc. The Mixolydian mode having a maj7 will feel brighter than Ionian (major) having a 7. Locrian, having a 5b in it, will be the least bright.

Go try this. Play C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C (C major or Ionian) ---- Then play C, D, E, F, G, A Bb, C (C Mixolydian) --- on your regular, piano-tuned piano. Do you feel a different feeling to each of these? You might not hear it as brightness. You might hear it differently.

Google music that is in Lydian mode; google lessons on modes (you'll get mostly guitarists and brass players wink ), and start listening. Experiment. Go at it broadly. smile And enjoy!

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Correcting my post above:
Quote
The Mixolydian Ionian (major) mode having a maj7 will feel brighter than Ionian Mixolydian having a 7.

Anyway, refer back to Gary Burton's video where he orders them by brightness per his perception. Further down where I write them out you get the notes which show which is which.

This, from the previous post:

Quote
Go try this. Play C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C (C major or Ionian) ---- Then play C, D, E, F, G, A Bb, C (C Mixolydian) --- .

Last edited by keystring; 03/04/19 06:23 PM.
Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: pianocoach521] #2822859
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I don't like "brightness" for the modes at all because it's potentially horribly confusing. It's like saying that major is happy, and minor is sad.

Here is the problem. People tend to hear intervals as "brighter" or more "edgy" when they have beats. Tempered 3rds have a lot of beats. The moment you change the tuning system, that "brightnes" is toned down by getting rid of those beats or slowing them down. I still don't like using bright, because I hear the beats.

You can change the tuning for any mode. Let's say we pick A natural minor, also Aeolian, on a keyboard tuned with an older system. The CE is going to be closer to beatless, and that's going to radically change the sound of an A minor chord. And so on.

The reason why I pay zero attention to this tuning system is that they absolutely do no work on valved brass instruments. The beats in thirds are determined by the overtone series of the instrument. Upper CE is naturally beatless on trumpet. But Db F will beat as fast as a piano in EQ, and FA up high will beat faster than EQ because of the fingering. This is painfully obvious whenever you hear brass players, even the best of them, when playing with valves.

When trumpets were valveless, the 3rd of any key was beatless because that's the way the overtone series works.

Unlike Tim, those other presets on electronic keyboards sound radically different to me. The temperaments used by Bach don't scream at me because they were already getting closer to EQ, but earlier ones are horrendous. A simple Ab chord or Db chord sounds God awful.


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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: Gary D.] #2822877
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
I don't like "brightness" for the modes at all because it's potentially horribly confusing. It's like saying that major is happy, and minor is sad.

I agree, which is why I wrote something like "the way Burton sees it", and I think in my longer post, suggested experimenting with these modes and hear what you, personally, hear. Modes also get pair up with chords, and chords, incl. their movement from one chord to another, also have an effect. It's stuff that works together.

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Originally Posted by Gary D.

Unlike Tim, those other presets on electronic keyboards sound radically different to me. The temperaments used by Bach don't scream at me because they were already getting closer to EQ, but earlier ones are horrendous. A simple Ab chord or Db chord sounds God awful.


Some time ago the pastor where I was helping out requested his favorite hymn for his final service. (military chapel, they rotate after 2 years) It's a famous hymn that all of you would know, but I didn't. It's that dreary minor key one with all the triplets, I can't recall the name.

Anyway, at my skill level, it took hours a day for a week to get it under my fingers fluently, and I came to hate the harmonies, practicing it on my digital. All those thirds! I don't know if I heard obvious beats back then but I certainly heard dissonance/sourness.

And then at the service I played it on an organ, and it sounded really sweet. A piano with all the inharmonicity has a different set of overtones than a wind instrument.


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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: pianocoach521] #2823125
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Tim, your story reminds me of something that has intrigued me for some years. The first keyboard I ever had was a portable organ put out by Hohner - I got mine around 1963. I fell in love with the major 6. I was disappointed that the M6 didn't have the same effect for me on piano when I revisited the experience many decades later, even when I turned my piano into organ mode (one advantage of digitals). The old Hohner was actually given back to me a while back, and it still works enough, with rumbles, for sound to come out. The P6's were sweet. I don't know if the tuning is just a titch different to create this sweetness. Or if it's the fact of air blowing over reeds and giving the gentlest fast vibrato.

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If you want to write songs in Mixo you might try listening to The Beatles Revolver. Practically the entire album is in Mixo mode.

One of the main identifying characteristics of Mixo mode is that it lacks a major V chord, so you don't get that sense of tension at the end of a cadence (half or whole) that defines so much of Western tonal music. Instead the whole sound is lazier, and given to plagal cadences (IV--I) and double plagal cadences (bVII--IV--I). This quality is what made it possible for The Beatles to integrate Mixo mode with qualities of Indian music.


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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: pianocoach521] #2831513
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I have taught a lot of old time banjo (pre-Bluegrass, think barefoot hillbillies up in the mountains - wait, I resemble that remark) over the years, and even developed my own unique pedagogy to teach the style as it was historically played in the region where I grew up.

That repertoire uses a LOT of mixolydian. The five-string banjo even has specific tunings to facilitate playing mixolydian tunes. (In that tradition, one chooses the tuning to suit the tune. Banjos don't stay in tune anyway, so it is common to at least touch up the tuning between tunes.)

In that tradition, the mixolydian tunes are referred to as "modal." I don't get too technical with my old time banjo students, but I do at least throw out the technical definition of the mixolydian mode and how to it relates to a major scale.


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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: keystring] #2831845
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Originally Posted by keystring


If you really want to go back historically, then you're in Ancient Greece.

These things got buried in Byzantium which came under the Ottoman Empire ruled by the Turks until centuries later our Constantinople, its other name, got liberated and the buried knowledge began circulating Western Europe. The ideals of the Greek times were hungrily studied by Middle Age Europe, which interpreted and pondered what it saw, and will have interpreted these things in their own way. That gets us into the "church modes" which like everything else was a passing phase.

Western Europe had been locked into religious chants, which gradually become complex with extra voices; pleasant intervals worked with P5's and octaves, and the third was finally allowed (started in France?), which automatically gives you chords, but they thought counterpoint, not chord. They experimented with expression emotion (affect), they experimented with things so much that it became more dissonant than consonant and then stepped way back from that again. What I'm trying to say is that music was not neat and tidy the way we get told.

Everything I use told you here is USELESS. wink How modes are used now: have been used by more modern composers (and maybe some older ones), how they are used in jazz and other genres - what we can do with them, and how this may help us understand written music - I think that is where it is at.


The organisation of gregorian chants and the underlying theory behind was essentially based on the Roman theory - mainly the legacy of Boethius (5th century AC) and Isidore de Seville. They interpreted the greek theory with some changes and misconceptions due to lack of access to all the source materials. After the sack of Rome and transfer of the roman empire to Constantinople, the roman Church was the only structured organisation remaining, the relationships with the Byzantin empire were poor so they allied with the Franks. Under their leadership, the theory continued to evolve and again the concepts of Boethius were mis-understood and changed. So the theory as it appears in various writings like the Dialogus of Musica (11th century) or the Micrologus of Guido de Arrezzo is rather different from the greek concepts. We do have a pretty good knowledge of the greek concepts as most theory books were preserved (Aristoxene, Nikomedes, Ptolemy, ....) and are accessible nowadays.

The modes as they are used in Medieval music or during the baroque period are completely different from the modern modes. The naming was not even the same. The church modes were split in 2 groups of 4: Protus (D), Deuterus (E), Tritus (F) and Tetrardus (G) with each an Authentic and Plagal version. The main characteristic of church modes is their ambitus, their finalis (final note of the melody) and if the range of the melody is within D To D for example (Authentic) or A to A (one fourth below the finalis and a ffith above it) in which case it is plagal. The other main characteristic is the recitative psalm tone which later one was also used as cadential note. For example in the case of the G authentic mode it is D but in the G plagal mode it is C. The greek naming Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian and Mixolydian is dated from the new classification done by Glarean in the 16th century - he by the way also confused the greek theory as the for the Greek the Dorian mode is not based on D but on E scale - so we use today Dorian to designate the D mode but it is not the proper greek naming. Essentially by the 16th century there was 8 modes as renamed by Glarean: Dorian, Hypodorian, Phrygian, Hypophrygian, Lydian and Hypolydian, Myxolydian and Hypomyxolydian. Glarean added 4 additional modes based on Ionian and Aeolian.

The modes are essentially melodic at the origin and a number of theorists discussed in the 15th century (manuscripts available in various libraries) the adequacy of using them for polyphonic music with pros and cons. It did survive but if you skip forward to the early baroque period, the way they are used continued to evolve. Fact is that the main cadential notes are unrelated to the triadic structure we use nowadays and follow another logic until it started to converge with the chordal/harmonic approach. You can look at compositions by Sweelinck, Frescobaldi and other composers to see how these modes were used.

All in all, like KeyString said, none of that is relevant to the modern usage of modes which are essentially just a way of using alternate scales as the basis vs Major/Minor within the frame of harmonic tonality or for some atonality. But for sure our usage is in a different world than the medieval of baroque music, which in itself went through various stages anyway.

Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: pianocoach521] #2832320
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This is getting complicated.

You mention these:
Quote

Dorian, Hypodorian, Phrygian, Hypophrygian, Lydian and Hypolydian, Myxolydian and Hypomyxolydian. Glarean added 4 additional modes based on Ionian and Aeolian.

Each of these "hypo-X" modes differ from the modes we use today and confuses the issue.

If you are studying music from the 16th century or earlier, you just have to learn the names, terms and theory behind music of that time. Nothing is going to sync with what we ended up with.

Today Mixolydian is just 5 to 5 in any key (like G A B C D E F G in the key of C), where that 5 becomes the tonal center. Or take any major scale, like G major, and lower 7. That's the end of it in 2019, and it's been that way for some time. We need something practical for modern music and even traditional music from the last couple centuries or so.

This is why Bluegrass is mentioned as typical of Mixolydian. It gives you a v chord that is minor, what I teach as Vm, and also give you a minor 7 chord, like Dm7 in the key of what otherwise appears to be G major. It also give you a bVII chord, so in the key of G suddenly you have as your main chords:

G, F, Dm and so on. You will often hear jazz players just use G and F major, toggling, always finishing on G major, and with a liberal supply of everything but a iii chord (Bm), which gets flipped to B dim and is now unusable.

Just stick with an altered major scale, with b7 or lowered 7, and stick to that unless you are studying early church music, which is another universe.

Last edited by Gary D.; 03/28/19 12:19 PM.

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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: pianocoach521] #2832350
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I think that Sidokar was taking off from where I responded to Tim's reference to "historically" and what that actually means, and provided the other half of the sandwich. The conclusions is the same as mine:
Originally Posted by Sidokar
All in all, like KeyString said, none of that is relevant to the modern usage of modes which are essentially just a way of using alternate scales as the basis vs Major/Minor within the frame of harmonic tonality or for some atonality. But for sure our usage is in a different world than the medieval of baroque music, which in itself went through various stages anyway.

which puts us all on the same page.

Originally Posted by Gary D.
We need something practical for modern music and even traditional music from the last couple centuries or so.

This is why Bluegrass is mentioned as typical of Mixolydian....

Exactly. The original reference to historical modes brings us in the wrong direction. If one does refer to historical modes, then it should be done properly, but it's even better not to go there. smile

Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: Gary D.] #2832665
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Originally Posted by Gary D.

Today Mixolydian is just 5 to 5 in any key (like G A B C D E F G in the key of C), where that 5 becomes the tonal center. Or take any major scale, like G major, and lower 7. That's the end of it in 2019, and it's been that way for some time. We need something practical for modern music and even traditional music from the last couple centuries or so.




Sigh. I'm convinced, reluctantly, and I withdraw my objection to using the term Mixolydian. It may not be historical to the purist but I now see why it's practical.

I reserve the right to not like the term perfect!


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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: TimR] #2832904
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Originally Posted by TimR
Originally Posted by Gary D.

Today Mixolydian is just 5 to 5 in any key (like G A B C D E F G in the key of C), where that 5 becomes the tonal center. Or take any major scale, like G major, and lower 7. That's the end of it in 2019, and it's been that way for some time. We need something practical for modern music and even traditional music from the last couple centuries or so.




Sigh. I'm convinced, reluctantly, and I withdraw my objection to using the term Mixolydian. It may not be historical to the purist but I now see why it's practical.

I reserve the right to not like the term perfect!

Tim, I don't use perfect either in my own teaching. I start off having students identify distance according to white notes, so they learn to count the keys. Then I teach them always to do the same thing with accidentals, so C B is a 7th, but C Bb and C A#, even though the same notes, are either labeled with 7th or 6th, depending on the # or b.

What I start with has to be simple enough for a 5 year old - or an adult starting as a beginner.

For C F# or C Gb (that interval in any key) I just say that one is a 4th, the other a 5th, but both are tritones. If only it were so simple for all modern intervals based on ET.

Beyond that, moving into major and minor intervals, diminished and augmented, doubly augmented or diminished, and so on, I see a whole different universe. I know all of them. I understand all of them. But I sure as heck don't know how to explain them.

The things that are most difficult for me to teach are the things that are effortless for me. I always could hear all intervals with ease, and I don't remember a time when common chords were not instant to me in any key, in any version, in any voicing. I've always heard beats, always recognized different tuning systems.

At the moment I tend to just use the notes in each major scale and alter them to different scales. So in key of C major, C G is a regular 5th because that's the way the scale works, C Eb is a b3 because you have to lower 3 to get there, and so on. If I construct a more unusual scale - C D# E F G Ab B C is a good example - then I measure everything from C, so C D has a #2, and so on. But I don't teach people to hear that way because my students can't do it. I don't know what the answer is.


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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: keystring] #2833513
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Hi Keystring,

Yes I've been coaching artists how to write songs and music production but it's more in pop/rock form and you know that's different than modal stuff. I've been analyzing and listening some old songs that are hits. I teach people how to play the piano but not in a classical way although I know some songwriting technique do implement classical theory approach. Anyways going back to the modal question, I found quite a few of those songs are written in dorian and mixo mode. I once studied modes but have forgotten a lot of it. I Just need to get back into it and start practicing my theory again! By the way who brought up counterpoint? Counterpoint is a parallel counterpoint emphasize lyrics and melody usually during chorus and not used in verses. Again I'm talking from a music production standpoint.

Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: pianocoach521] #2833524
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Originally Posted by pianocoach521
Hi Keystring
,......... Anyways going back to the modal question, I found quite a few of those songs are written in dorian and mixo mode. I once studied modes but have forgotten a lot of it. ............

Just pointing out that a lot of folks wrote in besides me, and some had a few good thing that they were teaching or pointing out. Was any of that helpful, or do you have any questions to them about what they said? smile

Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: keystring] #2833893
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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by pianocoach521
Hi Keystring
,......... Anyways going back to the modal question, I found quite a few of those songs are written in dorian and mixo mode. I once studied modes but have forgotten a lot of it. ............

Just pointing out that a lot of folks wrote in besides me, and some had a few good thing that they were teaching or pointing out. Was any of that helpful, or do you have any questions to them about what they said? smile

Well, I tried...

Back to dead PW again, where there is almost no one posting...


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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: Gary D.] #2833940
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
Back to dead PW again, where there is almost no one posting...

Dead teacher forum anyway. Pianist forum was a-buzzing on the urgent question of portato vs. portamento and (n)ever the twain shall meet. Nah, better that it didn't drift over here.

Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: pianocoach521] #2833969
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Well, the ABF people have been scared off this forum by one or two teachers' vituperative comments about adult students; whereas the experienced pianists in Pianist Corner don't even look here (except me, but then I don't give a toss about anyone's credentials here, and base my opinions purely on what they actually post, and I call spades spades...... smirk ) so maybe this forum will be left for those who just want to sound off about their students.

Which is probably the way some - maybe most - teachers here like it.

But Pianist Corner always welcomes discerning and informative contributors, so any teacher who's in that category should be able to feel they have a second home there......... grin


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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: bennevis] #2833993
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Well, the ABF people have been scared off this forum by one or two teachers' vituperative comments about adult students; whereas the experienced pianists in Pianist Corner don't even look here (except me, but then I don't give a toss about anyone's credentials here, and base my opinions purely on what they actually post, and I call spades spades...... smirk ) so maybe this forum will be left for those who just want to sound off about their students.

Which is probably the way some - maybe most - teachers here like it.

But Pianist Corner always welcomes discerning and informative contributors, so any teacher who's in that category should be able to feel they have a second home there......... grin

It was not always like this here, not in the past. You are probably right. This IS probably how most teachers want things to be. I personally find it utterly disgusting.


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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: pianocoach521] #2834025
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Generally, when people are treated like crap, they leave.


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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: ebonykawai] #2834067
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Originally Posted by ebonykawai
Generally, when people are treated like crap, they leave.

High school students are treated like crap on a daily basis, but they can't leave. Not lawfully.


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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: pianocoach521] #2834072
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This isn't high school and that is not the point. This is a forum. It is actually a fact that a few adults have come over to the teacher forum and seen some ugly generalizations which I've also seen. Sometimes they come from people who sound like teachers but aren't. Some of them were on the verge of starting piano and were about to look for a teacher, and after seeing the comments here were scared away from it, which is most unfortunate. Others asked in the ABF if it was really that bad, whether anyone could actually find a teacher willing to accept and work with them, etc. and could be reassured enough to go find a teacher.

Personally I have also found encouraging and intelligent comments on the subject by teachers here. It is the negative things that people tend to hear, and it's wise to counter that human nature and find what is actually useful. For example, I won't waste my time on the idea of high school and crap since I don't find it useful. We're discussing private music lessons at this OT moment, and students who are older than high school age.

Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: pianocoach521] #2834075
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Back to the topic. pianocoach521 - various teachers and some musicians here have given their thoughts on your question. It would be interesting to read your thoughts on their thoughts. I think it would also help them kow they didn't waste their time. It is disheartening to put in effort and get no response. If you teach, you must know the feeling when students sort of seem to ignore your input. smile

Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: keystring] #2834103
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Originally Posted by keystring
Personally I have also found encouraging and intelligent comments on the subject by teachers here.

Well, in that spirit, I would like to offer my 3 cents to the OP.

Since this is an assignment for a student, I'm assuming that the student is already proficient in Major/minor modes.

Why not use the music notation program to write a piece in Major. Listen to it several times. Then simply change the key signature so the whole thing becomes Mixolydian? Then listen to the difference.

In college, I took Music Composition several times. For two of my composition projects, I was asked to write in modes. I had an easier time with Dorian since it's pretty close to minor, but as I was writing in Lydian, my brain kept on shifting the tonic. It was a struggle to establish the tonal center in Lydian, and my composition for that particular assignment was awful because my brain was fighting against 20 years of listening to Major/minor modes.

Years later, it dawned on me that I could have just written in Major and switched key signatures. Then, go back to the composition and make necessary changes, such as establishing a stronger tonal center at the very beginning for the listener (read: adding pedal points) and tweaking the melody to take advantage of the "peculiar" intervals in the said mode.


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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: AZNpiano] #2834193
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by keystring
Personally I have also found encouraging and intelligent comments on the subject by teachers here.

Well, in that spirit, I would like to offer my 3 cents to the OP.

Since this is an assignment for a student, I'm assuming that the student is already proficient in Major/minor modes.

Why not use the music notation program to write a piece in Major. Listen to it several times. Then simply change the key signature so the whole thing becomes Mixolydian? Then listen to the difference.

In college, I took Music Composition several times. For two of my composition projects, I was asked to write in modes. I had an easier time with Dorian since it's pretty close to minor, but as I was writing in Lydian, my brain kept on shifting the tonic. It was a struggle to establish the tonal center in Lydian, and my composition for that particular assignment was awful because my brain was fighting against 20 years of listening to Major/minor modes.

Years later, it dawned on me that I could have just written in Major and switched key signatures. Then, go back to the composition and make necessary changes, such as establishing a stronger tonal center at the very beginning for the listener (read: adding pedal points) and tweaking the melody to take advantage of the "peculiar" intervals in the said mode.


Brilliant! The compose and switch seems like it would be a useful activity to help students develop awareness of the differences in modes.

Back to off topic for a sec. The poster in ABF who initiated the current round of complaints against the teachers' forum also complains that his piano teacher did not acknowledge or value his or her expertise in whatever other area he or she has expertise and bristled when it was pointed out that other areas of expertise are irrelevant in piano lessons.


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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: malkin] #2834296
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Originally Posted by malkin
Brilliant! The compose and switch seems like it would be a useful activity to help students develop awareness of the differences in modes.

Thanks! This suggestions isn't even the best idea I have, but at least it should work for the people involved.

Years ago my branch of MTAC had a meeting about teaching strategies, and one of the most experienced teachers (who is the mother of my friend in middle/high school) said that as teachers we have to meet students where THEY are at. I tried to remember that piece of advice for the last 15 years.


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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: malkin] #2834513
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Originally Posted by malkin


Back to off topic for a sec. The poster in ABF who initiated the current round of complaints against the teachers' forum also complains that his piano teacher did not acknowledge or value his or her expertise in whatever other area he or she has expertise and bristled when it was pointed out that other areas of expertise are irrelevant in piano lessons.

I disagree a bit. I think you are misrepresenting his point, which is about the arrogance of many teachers who think they are superior to other people who are good at other things but may "suck" at music. wink

In other words, if I as a teacher project the kind of arrogance I often see from musicians, that people are sort of worthless unless they are "musical" or "talented" - meaning good at what I do - then I'm not going to have an easy, open relationship.

Here are two examples, in opposite directions.

I've seen athletes who are terribly stuck up about being good at sports. There is the stereotypical jock, the high school quarterback or captain of the basketball team, who looks down at everyone else as inferior.

It can also the reverse, the "dumb jock", and people assume he is just an idiot...


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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: Gary D.] #2834546
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I see your point about arrogance. Arrogance in a teacher is generally offensive when it is the "I'm good at (whatever) and you aren't" and it can be dangerous when it is "I'm good at (whatever) and you are fortunate to now have me lead you in the one true way of knowing (whatever). Neither one is a useful position for teaching.

I'm sort of amused by possibility of mutual arrogance where the teacher is of the first type above, and the student is of a mind set thinking "How can you presume to tell me how to (do whatever)! Don't you realize that I am a highly trained (very special person) and you wasted your whole life studying this thing that I now want to learn?!

Perhaps it is like matter meeting antimatter or like Dinah (Alice's cat) drinking looking glass milk.


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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: malkin] #2835508
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Originally Posted by malkin
I see your point about arrogance. Arrogance in a teacher is generally offensive when it is the "I'm good at (whatever) and you aren't" and it can be dangerous when it is "I'm good at (whatever) and you are fortunate to now have me lead you in the one true way of knowing (whatever). Neither one is a useful position for teaching.

No, it is not.
Quote

I'm sort of amused by possibility of mutual arrogance where the teacher is of the first type above, and the student is of a mind set thinking "How can you presume to tell me how to (do whatever)! Don't you realize that I am a highly trained (very special person) and you wasted your whole life studying this thing that I now want to learn?!

That's a recipe for disaster, and it does happen, unfortunately...


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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: pianocoach521] #2835591
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Last night I attended a concert by Anda Union, a Mongolian throat singing 7 person combo.
www.andaunion.com.

I wondered if there would be obvious variations from typical Western diatonic scales. To my less than educated ears, there mostly were not. Maybe those of you with better ears would detect more, there are clips on youtube. I thought the harmonies and melodies sounded familiar. They did a lot of singing against open fifth drones played on stringed instruments, and there seemed to be a lot of IV-I chord progressions. Again I'm not the best judge.

I googled to see if there was any discussion on the modes or scales used, and to my surprise it turns out there is something called the C-Mongolian. Who knew?

https://www.scales-chords.com/scaleinfo.php?skey=C&sname=mongolian

It wasn't all throat singing (overtone singing). But when they were using the overtones, the scale of the overtones did seem to be exactly what that website shows for the Mongolian scale. (exactly might be too precise a term - I don't have perfect pitch, possibly the temperament is different, but I would say the notes are right)

Very enjoyable concert, if you have the chance it's worth going.


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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: TimR] #2835663
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Originally Posted by TimR


I googled to see if there was any discussion on the modes or scales used, and to my surprise it turns out there is something called the C-Mongolian. Who knew?

https://www.scales-chords.com/scaleinfo.php?skey=C&sname=mongolian

In what universe is C D E G A not pentatonic?


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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: pianocoach521] #2835686
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Maybe a case of forests and trees? Has happened to me.

Tim, Gary, I found this:
https://www.pianoscales.org/chinese.html

The "Mongolian scale" is on the bottom, and it states that it's the same as the "major pentatonic". Which it is. This info may be more interesting than just that one scale which overlaps with / is the same as / is ... the pentatonic.

Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: pianocoach521] #2835761
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I was intrigued by the fact it had a name. Just like mixolydian.

I will probably never use the name. Hee, hee.

I was mildly surprised that none of the harmonies or chord progressions sounded alien. It had a very western feel. There were melodies that sounded very Chinese, but not all of them did.

The only time I heard that pentatonic was when someone was singing overtones against his own voice drone. In retrospect I think the tuning of those notes may have been a good bit off from ET. I may check a recording with a tuner or Audacity later.

Their stringed instruments appeared to be two string non fretted versions, mostly bowed. I couldn't see them in detail. They tuned frequently and without a pitch reference I could hear, bringing one string up amazingly fast and then double stopping for the second. Unisons were very clean. One of them explained they weren't used to such a humid climate and they needed a lot of adjustment.


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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: Gary D.] #2835891
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by TimR


I googled to see if there was any discussion on the modes or scales used, and to my surprise it turns out there is something called the C-Mongolian. Who knew?

https://www.scales-chords.com/scaleinfo.php?skey=C&sname=mongolian

In what universe is C D E G A not pentatonic?


In the Mongolian universe evidently.


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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: TimR] #2835909
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Originally Posted by TimR

The only time I heard that pentatonic was when someone was singing overtones against his own voice drone. In retrospect I think the tuning of those notes may have been a good bit off from ET. I may check a recording with a tuner or Audacity later.

If overtone singing it would have to be away from ET, or it wouldn't work.

This is the only example I found that has visuals, and you'll see some of the bands fall between the piano notes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHTF1-IhuC0

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Originally Posted by keystring

If overtone singing it would have to be away from ET, or it wouldn't work.

Frightening that you have to explain that to people...


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Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: Gary D.] #2835985
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by keystring

If overtone singing it would have to be away from ET, or it wouldn't work.

Frightening that you have to explain that to people...

I would not expect the average pianist or piano teacher to necessarily know these things - but I was a bit surprised with it coming from a brass player since from everything I've learned, these things are very much involved. Maybe it is a matter of "transference of knowledge to new places" - what lives in brass stays in brass.
Tim - did my link clarify anything for you?

Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: pianocoach521] #2836019
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keystring,

Sorry this might go long and off topic.

Thanks for finding that. I've been sharing an older Anna-Maria video with friends for years, but this one is incredible. I've never seen the overtone series demonstrated so cleanly and visually.

As a brass player I'm well familiar with the overtone series and the partial series, which are slightly different on trombone, but it's a distinction that most wouldn't be interested in.

The driven overtone series on trombone has a very simple mathematical relationship. The octave is exactly twice the frequency, and the others have similar integer multiple relationships, as do any "perfect" or beatless intervals. As an engineer I can tell you this is rare for mechanical systems and that's why we construct stiffness matrices and calculate eigenvalues and eigenvectors, at least if we don't want bridges to fall down or turbine blades to let go. Pianos and guitars are mechanical systems where the overtones do not have those simple relationships. That adds a complication beyond the difficulties of temperament. (inharmonicity)

My interest is mainly that the better I can learn to listen to subtle differences, the more precisely I can play and maybe sing in tune. Or at least know when I'm wrong.

I don't know much about the voice and its overtones. I've always assumed the overtone relationship must be different because you can sing the same note on different vowels. Something for me to research, I guess. Maybe you've looked into this.

Back on topic, to my ears the overtone singing done at the concert and by Anna-Marie is neither quite ET nor quite a pure interval.

Back off topic, a trombone player I know from forums,who's a working pro in NY, uses overtone singing as a guide to shaping his vocal cavity for expanding the high range. It's intriguing.


gotta go practice
Re: Anybody can help me with Mixolydian key theory? [Re: pianocoach521] #2836581
04/07/19 10:12 PM
04/07/19 10:12 PM
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Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
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Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 16,808
Canada
Tim, I answered in PM.

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