Question for music experts about musical keys

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Re: Question for music experts about musical keys

Post by jalbert » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:33 pm

MP173 wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:19 am

Thanks for the link to stack exchange. I spent some time on that site reading questions and replies.

Here is a question regarding modes. I somewhat understand what a mode is. It is the scale of a note (lets say C because it is easier to notate) in which the scale "shifts" to another tone within that scale. Here is the C major scale:
back to C.

A mode shifts the tonal center from C to another note....lets say G. Then the mode is G,A,B,C,D,E,F and return to G.

What is the point of modes? I have tried to understand the usage for success. I understand how to build the modes, but have not taken the time to memorize the patterns of each.

Is a mode used when one shifts from a chord (C) to another (lets say G)? Does one then shift to playing notes based on the G mixoloydian mode? Then when the progression takes one to F then shift to the F Lydian?

I dont get it...never have. Why not stay in the C major scale and play over those notes?

Changing from C to Am is a mode shift from the Ionian mode (major key) to the Aeolian mode (natural minor key).

If you shifted from C Ionian (major) to C Aeolian (natural minor) this would be both a shift in mode and shift in key signature.

The mode determines the tonal center and harmonies of the key signature.

But the point of saying that, say, the Dorian mode is the scale you get using piano white keys from D to D is not to define the key signature, but to define the intervals between the tonal center (D in the defining example) and each position on the Dorian scale.
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Re: Question for music experts about musical keys

Post by MP173 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:33 am

Thanks for all replies regarding modes. It has opened another view of scales. Being an advanced beginner, I primarily hung around the pentonic minor blues scale...easy to use and pretty good sounding. This is pushing me to explore other scales, particularly the major scale shapes.

Again, thanks for patience.


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Re: Question for music experts about musical keys

Post by PaddyMac » Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:37 am

GoatRider wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:23 pm
I got a new piano about 10 years ago, and since I play a lot of Beethoven, I asked my tuner to try a historical temperament, and he picked "Valetti-Young", a slight modification of the one Beethoven would have used. My thinking was that Beethoven worked his music around the idiosyncracies of the imperfect temperaments of the day, since equal-tempered hadn't been figured out yet. I liked it a lot, my piano seemed "sweeter", which I would have expected around the keys on the top of the circle. And it also made Beethoven somehow a little more dramatic, which is what I was hoping for. To prove that it wasn't just me being happy with a freshly tuned piano, I had him tune it in an equal temperament next time, and the time after that "Werkmeister". Werkmeister was a student of Beethoven who had a falling out with him because Beethoven didn't like the way he tuned his piano. And I could hear the difference- Equal temperament was a little dull, and Werkmeister was downright crappy, I almost had my tuner come back and fix it rather than wait until the next time.

That reminds me, I'm way overdue for a piano tuning.
Thanks, that was interesting. I just got a new "hybrid" piano and it allows you to set the Scale Tuning - you have me curious to try them out now. Choices are:

Pure Major
Pure Minor

I now know who Werkmeister is at least!
Thank goodness I only have to press a button to switch though (no strings to tune!).

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