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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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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.

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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

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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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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.

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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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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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Generally, when people are treated like crap, they leave.


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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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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.

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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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.

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