Guitar Forums

Go Back   Guitar Forums > Skills > Theory

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-11-2017, 04:34 PM   #1
zanshin777
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 316
zanshin777 Just getting started
Default Modal Mixture and Modal Modulation

What is the difference between those two terms?

https://youtu.be/C8xbmna58qA?t=75 (Pinpointed Link)

Modal Mixture : Just using different modes randomly?

Modal Modulation : Moving counter clockwise or clockwise using different modes of the same note letter?
zanshin777 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2017, 11:34 PM   #2
JonR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 145
JonR Just getting started
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
What is the difference between those two terms?

https://youtu.be/C8xbmna58qA?t=75 (Pinpointed Link)

Modal Mixture : Just using different modes randomly?
Yes, more or less - but always with the same keynote: parallel modes, IOW. G in the case of his demo.

He's also only mixing modes with a minor 3rd. In actual music (rather than his artificial exercise), it's more common to mix major and minor modes, and not to mix so many.
It comes down to using chords harmonized from the different modes, and is a standard common practice in rock music (less so in jazz). E.g., a typical rock song in E major (chords E, A, B7, C#m etc) will often contain chords from E minor (D, G, C, Am).
If the only non-E major chord it contained was D, you might say that was borrowed from E mixolydian. But the parallel minor (E aeolian in this case) contains all the most common borrowed chords, so the practice is often called "borrowing from the parallel minor".
Quote:
Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post

Modal Modulation : Moving counter clockwise or clockwise using different modes of the same note letter?
As I understand it, yes. At least that's what he's demonstrating. (I'm not familiar with the term "modal modulation".)

The difference (I guess), is that his demo is changing modes in turn, moving round the circle. Mode mixture (in normal practice) is about suggesting other modes at various points via the borrowed chords. It's more like having a key in which certain scale degrees are not fixed. So you have a major 3rd and minor 3rd at different times, or a minor 6th and major 6th, etc. (and the chords reflect that). It keeps the mood of the piece flexible.

IOW, his demo is showing a progression through the minor modes from bright (dorian) to dark (locrian), and beyond to the diminished scales. Each mode is established, and then changed to the next by lowering one note.
This is more like an exercise to compare one mode with another, than a composition practice. "Mode mixture" is a composition practice.

Examples of his "modal modulation" do exist, but are quite rare and usually limited to just two modes. E.g., Miles Davis "All Blues", which flips from G mixolydian to G dorian and back. Or the Beatles' Norwegian Wood, which flips from E mixolydian to E dorian and back (via an E major ii-V).
In both those cases, each mode is just one chord, making for the most subtle transition. Examples of tunes which flip (section to section) between parallel major and minor keys (with several chords in each section) are more common (eg the Beatles' While My Guitar Gently Weeps and Fool on the Hill). More common still is true "mode mixture", where chords from different modes are all mixed in together (pick almost any classic heavy rock song).
JonR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2018, 11:34 AM   #3
zanshin777
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 316
zanshin777 Just getting started
Default

He plays respectively

G Dorian, G Aeolian, G Phrygian, G Locrian, G Tonic Diminisihed, G Dominant Diminished

and it resolves to C Major

I don't understand how it's moved around the Circle of Fifths in one direction.
zanshin777 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2018, 07:23 PM   #4
JonR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 145
JonR Just getting started
Default

Well, it's an interesting idea that I've not come across before. I don't know any tunes that use that principle. (It's possible I may have heard one or two that do, without knowing it.)
Essentially it's like a circle progression with a dominant pedal note. Translated to functional chords, it could work as C7/G, F7/G, Bb7/G, Eb7/G, Gdim7, G7b9, C.
I guess that would explain why he works around the circle of 5ths in that direction, as it's the usual root movement in the functional circle progression (with a tritone sub switch). In dom7 roots: C > F > Bb > Eb > (Ab or D) > G (> C).

The oddity in that respect is G WH dim (what he calls "G tonic diminished"). G WH dim is really just repeating the function of the previous Eb7/G (G locrian). G WH dim = Eb HW dim (dominant diminished).
IOW, in between Eb7 and G7, in a functional sequence, you'd normally see something related to D7 or Ab7, or possibly Dm7. A G-root scale wouldn't work with Ab7, and the diminished scale that relates to both D7 and Ab7 doesn't contain a G either. But (to keep the G pedal) a simple G major (ionian) scale would do the job.
Maybe he thought that was counter-intuitive, following the darkest mode (locrian) with a brighter one. But I think it works well. As a G tonic major scale, it's a half-step down from the previous Ab major scale (G locrian), and half-step descents are always good. I guess the downside is it would sound too resolved before the move to G HW dim and C.
JonR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2018, 06:48 PM   #5
zanshin777
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 316
zanshin777 Just getting started
Default

Understood.

Thank you very much JonR for your detailed answer.
zanshin777 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 10:17 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Guitar Competition | Piano Lessons