Writing Key Signatures For Modal Music

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Bryan R. Tyler, Jul 27, 2018.


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  1. Bravo! Please continue!
     
  2. LOL. I have no desire to correct you. I'm enjoying this.


    I REALLY like this line:
    This one too:
    You are obviously some kind of musical savant... I was sadly led to believe that D Dorian is the second mode of C Major, with no sharps or flats, rather than the genius level of understanding you posses where D Dorian (still the second mode) is associated with F Major which has one flat.

    And all this time, I never knew the second mode of F major was D Dorian. You have enlightened me sir! I thank you...
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2018
  3. SteveCS

    SteveCS

    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    Actually you did rather more than that. You dismissed one accepted and practiced approach to the problem and presented an alternative as the only way, inferring that all other methods are wrong or misinformed.

    I, on the other hand, had the cojones (silly word, and I neither know nor care whose spelling is correct) to acknowledge that your method, which incidentally I was aware previously - has merit and could prove useful under some circumstances - two ends of the same telescope, shall we say.

    It seems this thread might be going the same way as its predecessors, which is a shame - it was doing so well.

    /S
     
  4. Blissful_Lad

    Blissful_Lad Inactive

    Feb 22, 2018
    LA/NYC
    Then you've come to the end of your understanding. Sit back and learn, going forward.

    Some quotes attributed to Spin Doctor (doctor of what, we don't know):

    "I tend to stay out of these type of threads since they are so "controversial" but I'm curious as to where you learned this approach to modes." ~ Spin Doctor

    You should've heeded your own advice, early on. You've contributed nothing pertaining to the topic. And what you have added, has clearly indicated your lack of knowledge. I learned "this approach" in music school. Maybe you should enroll.

    "Exactly... I've never, ever seen "So What" written with a flat in the key signature." ~ Spin Doctor

    Who needs sheet music for that one? Miles? I doubt anyone wrote anything on manuscript. Paul Chambers came up with the riff, Bill Evans the chord voicings, Miles took the composition credit (and royalty check).

    "If you base it on a tonality with one flat, that being B flat, then the parent key is F which makes the D minor an Aeolian mode, not Dorian." ~ Spin Doctor

    Oy vey! The relative key of F Major (one flat) is D Minor. Some theory instruction is needed, for you. You are confused.

    "The whole point of something being modal is that, the song is in a mode of a certain parent key." ~ Spin Doctor

    "Having read over your posts, I have to say that your understanding of modes is grossly inaccurate and deeply flawed..." ~ Spin Doctor


    More confusion, jeez. Before you "go to battle" with me, you need some schoolin'.
     
  5. Blissful_Lad

    Blissful_Lad Inactive

    Feb 22, 2018
    LA/NYC
    Not true. Anyone can do as they please. I stated that early on. Break convention if you want. It's really unimportant considering most, if not all the music used as examples, probably was never committed to paper.

     
  6. Hey you're the one who said "The correct key signature for D Dorian is One-Flat."

    Got it, thanks. But whatever school you claim to have attended, you need to ask for a refund.
     
  7. SteveCS

    SteveCS

    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    I'm not breaking convention - I'm using and recommending a different, and well established, convention that you refuse to acknowledge. Try it, you might like it...
     
  8. Blissful_Lad

    Blissful_Lad Inactive

    Feb 22, 2018
    LA/NYC
    No one is expecting you to. You are not qualified, as indicated by your vapid posts.


    I'm starting to sense you have very poor reading comprehension skills - if any. I certainly wouldn't expect you to read music either. Tabs, maybe?


    Do you sideline as a stump? If you are attributing that word-mess to me, you have proven your poor reading comprehension skills.

    Yes, D Dorian is the second mode of C Major. That you got correct. You were NOT sadly misled. But the question for you is: What do you do with this grand knowledge.

    If you are capable, refer back to the title of the post: "Writing Key Signatures For Modal Music". I said that D Dorian is a minor mode. And that the Key Signature used is the parallel minor: D minor. Never did I say there was an association between D Dorian and F Major.

    A stump indeed. Your real problem is that you really do not know much. Your ramblings are confused, at best.

    But you have been amusing. Looking forward to your next blurt.

    You're welcome, but you don't "got it".
     
  9. IamGroot

    IamGroot

    Jan 18, 2018
    Well then quote me correctly.
    Today at 9:56 AM#55

    IamGroot
    Jan 18, 2018
    "So What" modulates between Dm7 and Ebm7 modally.

    The Dm7 is D Dorian, which is key of C major (no accidentals).

    What wasn't said outright was the Dm7 is D Dorian because that that is what the scale form that fits what everyone is playing over the tune. Its Dorian because that's the scale mode that fits the tune, not because it Dm7. You chose to ignore that key point when I corrected
    you earlier and kept harping on your incorrect read of my statement and I am not going to let you off the hook.


    I am going to borrow a few words from Mark Levine's excellent book "Jazz Theory" (1995) on "So What" (pg 29-30):

    "Modal Jazz:.....The quintessential modal tune from that album ("Kind of Blue") is "So What", a song with only two chords (Dm7, Ebm7)....Modal Tunes provided much more space for improvising on each chord compared to previous jazz tunes and standards..... Because of this it was natural for musicians to focus on the scale, or mode of each chord, rather than the chord itself. Thus, although the two chords in "So What" are D-7 and Eb-7, musicians are more apt to be thinking "D Dorian" and "Eb Dorian" when improvising. Historically, this caused a seismic shift among jazz musicians, away from thinking vertically (the chord), and towards a more horizontal approach (the scale)."

    You don't want to use modal scale playing, knock yourself out.

    You want to notate tunes in a key signature according to your rules, knock yourself out. The real book and my transcribed scores for Kind of Blue both show it in C Maj, but hey, what do they know.

    You want to malign a proven teaching method and those instructors without a shred of evidence of why it doesn't work, quoting your internet credentials, nope, no can do.

    By the way, I am no school kid. I played jazz gigs 3 to 4 times a week back in 2001 to 2008 after I spent two years in music school. I quit when I left the USA. Now I am back and I aim to play my ass off in all forms of music. And last week, while I had down time in the hotel room, I marked up Bach's Violin partita in Gminor (presto) with chords and resolution notes. I get around.

    OK, I wanted to set the record straight before I sign off this buffoonery.

    Having done so, happy trails and good bye.
     
  10. Blissful_Lad

    Blissful_Lad Inactive

    Feb 22, 2018
    LA/NYC
    I completely get what you are saying.

    But for me, and many others, "A Mixolydian" is best written with threes sharps. No confusion as to the tonic. If one wants to use two sharps, go for it.
     
    Mushroo and SteveCS like this.
  11. SteveCS

    SteveCS

    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    I liked your post, but the cracks are showing.Tonic of a mode? Are you sure?
     
  12. Blissful_Lad

    Blissful_Lad Inactive

    Feb 22, 2018
    LA/NYC
    IamGroot sez: Well then quote me correctly.
    Today at 9:56 AM#55

    IamGroot
    Jan 18, 2018
    "So What" modulates between Dm7 and Ebm7 modally.

    The Dm7 is D Dorian, which is key of C major (no accidentals).

    What wasn't said outright was the Dm7 is D Dorian because that that is what the scale form that fits what everyone is playing over the tune. If you listen to the "famous recording" you will HEAR that is not the case. Its Dorian because that's the scale mode that fits the tune, not because it Dm7. You chose to ignore that key point when I corrected
    you earlier and kept harping on your incorrect read of my statement and I am not going to let you off the hook.
    It was your own hook that took you down.

    I am going to borrow a few words from Mark Levine's excellent book "Jazz Theory" (1995) on "So What" (pg 29-30):

    "Modal Jazz:.....The quintessential modal tune from that album ("Kind of Blue") is "So What", a song with only two chords (Dm7, Ebm7)....Modal Tunes provided much more space for improvising on each chord compared to previous jazz tunes and standards..... Because of this it was natural for musicians to focus on the scale, or mode of each chord, rather than the chord itself. Thus, although the two chords in "So What" are D-7 and Eb-7, musicians are more apt to be thinking "D Dorian" and "Eb Dorian" when improvising. Historically, this caused a seismic shift among jazz musicians, away from thinking vertically (the chord), and towards a more horizontal approach (the scale)."

    You need to listen to the record. Levine's paragraph hardly covers what is being played. It's ONE factor but hardly the only one. Have you analyzed Paul Chambers' bass line? After you have, get back to me.

    You don't want to use modal scale playing, knock yourself out.

    You want to notate tunes in a key signature according to your rules, knock yourself out. The real book and my transcribed scores for Kind of Blue both show it in C Maj, but hey, what do they know.

    You want to malign a proven teaching method and those instructors without a shred of evidence of why it doesn't work, quoting your internet credentials, nope, no can do.

    By the way, I am no school kid. I played jazz gigs 3 to 4 times a week back in 2001 to 2008 after I spent two years in music school. I quit when I left the USA. Now I am back and I aim to play my ass off in all forms of music. And last week, while I had down time in the hotel room, I marked up Bach's Violin partita in Gminor (presto) with chords and resolution notes. I get around. Next time transcribe Chambers' bass line.

    OK, I wanted to set the record straight before I sign off this buffoonery.

    Having done so, happy trails and good bye.

    Cool, man!
     
  13. Blissful_Lad

    Blissful_Lad Inactive

    Feb 22, 2018
    LA/NYC
    Tonic: relating to or denoting the first degree of a scale

    You must've gone to a WAY different music school than I did. No cracks anywhere.

    Should I have said "One Chord"? Root?

    What's the Tonic of F-Blues? F? The "One Chord"? ???
     
  14. SteveCS

    SteveCS

    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    Tonic is a term used in functional harmony and tonal music. The equivalent term for a mode is the Final. Your insistance on using tonal terminology to describe modal concepts, including a tonal key signature and accidentals as departures from a major (tonal) key, suggests all sorts of things...
     
  15. Blissful_Lad

    Blissful_Lad Inactive

    Feb 22, 2018
    LA/NYC
    Groot, you seem well-intentioned, and genuinely thirsty for jazz knowledge.

    Since you are centering on "So What", and I suggested you transcribe Paul Chambers' bass line (I am sure someone has already done so, and you can find it on the internet). Look carefully at this Miles Davis transcription of his solo on "So What". You will see as I pointed out, he does NOT solely derive his note selection to a Dorian mode - Levine was incomplete with his description. As does PC, Miles uses the Leading Tone and Diminished Fifth (in a bluesy way). Just these two things take it out of the Dorian mode. Might want to spend some time with Cannonball's Trane's contributions, too.

    Also, very interestingly, is what he plays on the first 8 measures of his second chorus, ms. 34-41. I hear Miles' playing more in A Aeolian, while the rhythm section is in D Dorian. Poly-modes? Really? Who knows where the "tonic" is? Anyone?

    I have come across way too many college jazz musicians that do not REALLY listen to the Masters' recordings, yet they want to play jazz. Odd. And most come to it too late, so it remains a dissatisfying endeavor. Chord/Scale theory band-aids this. As a college bassist, you will soon tire of the sax player's 100th chorus of running scales up and down over the Real Book Faves chord changes - and never saying anything interesting. Try to stay awake, it will eventually be time for the bass solo. And everyone will exit for the beverage selection, and leave you high and dry. Good luck!

    Check out the link below: Not my transcription. It's transposed for Bb Trumpet, so you'll have to transpose the music down a whole-step. I doubt Spin has this skill set, but he'll blurt out some dribble. And interestingly, the transposed part has one-sharp (E Minor). Hmm... Transpose it down and the key signature is one-flat (D Minor). Probably transcribed an East/West Coast Schooled Musician. What do they know? Paying attention Mr. Spun?

    Miles Davis Solo
     
  16. Blissful_Lad

    Blissful_Lad Inactive

    Feb 22, 2018
    LA/NYC
    Then let your mind wander toward all sorts of things.

    I'll use "Tonic" and you can write A-Mixolydian with a 2-sharp key signature, with A as the "Final".

    Really, I do not care, as I doubt I'll be reading any of your music.

    "Yo dudes, "So What", no flats, no sharps, Final D. 1,2, 1,2,3,4. Where's the bass?"

    I think you'll be playing alone.

    You might want to check out Miles' transcription.
     
  17. SteveCS

    SteveCS

    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    That's fine. I doubt I'll be reading or playing any of yours, and if I do I'll be sure to bring along a bottle of Tippex and a pencil.
     
  18. Blissful_Lad

    Blissful_Lad Inactive

    Feb 22, 2018
    LA/NYC
    You might've already, but without music.

    :bassist:

    What's a Tippex? A Modal Key Signature Interpreter?
     
  19. SteveCS

    SteveCS

    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    Once upon a time, as a study opportunity, I transcribed Eric Satie's Gymnopedies for a string orchestra (consisting of 12× Vln1, 10x Vln2, 8x Vla and 8x VC) . As you will surely know there is a distinct modulation in that piece.

    In the first section I used accidentals for the change, and for the second section I used a key signature. When the group played the score, guess what, both sections sounded the same, but they preferred the second method because 1) they felt it was easier to read and 2) they felt they better understood the music.
    I don't expect you to take anything from this, but you might do well to accept that you are not the only person here who knows what they are doing...

    Perhaps you might enlighten us?
     
  20. Blissful_Lad

    Blissful_Lad Inactive

    Feb 22, 2018
    LA/NYC
    Which Gymnopédie? I'm familiar with several harmonic analyses. I'm sure they are exactly what Satie was thinking when he composed these pieces.

    Why did Satie use a 2-sharp key signature?

    Not the 2nd one, or were you up for a challenge?

    How much were you paying them? That affects their attitude exponentially.

    And your observations of Miles' transcription?


    Nah. It's hardly important.
     
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