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Music Theory
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Author:  MausterofDisguise [ Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:00 am ]
Post subject:  Music Theory

John has spoken a lot about his preferences for certain forms of music, medieval, baroque, etc. etc. He also points out that one particular reason he likes Ariel's music is its modal qualities. I've done some online research and I understand the very basics of it, I think, but can anyone provide a thorough explanation of this, or recommend some good sources?

Author:  RareGoat [ Fri Jun 17, 2016 3:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Music Theory

"Modes" are basically different variations on a given musical scale: major, minor, and about a dozen others that I'm only partially familiar with but which guitar players love to talk about (mixolydian, for example). As I understand it, when a piece of music is described as "Modal", it means that it focuses more on variations over a single chord rather than a lot of chord changes. Miles Davis's "Kind of Blue" album was an early example of this kind of approach in jazz - formally, much of the music centers around a single chord, but the soloists play a variety of scales or "modes" over it. This is contrasted against earlier "bop" jazz which was more about chord changes and chord progressions, with the modes themselves staying pretty consistent (like a blues mode, for example).

These days, I most often hear the word "modal" applied to music that has a drone-like quality, or which delves into "Eastern"-sounding scales

Author:  MausterofDisguise [ Sat Jun 18, 2016 9:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Music Theory

Thanks for the reply. I bought a music theory textbook but I doubt it'll have much info about modes and exotic scales. Perhaps John is talking about the borrowed chords (also called modal mixture) in Ariel's songs, like say "Among Dreams." Anyway, maybe I'll come across more resources on the subject after I get a little more of the basics in theory down.

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