mixolydian?

mixolydian?

Having studied music for about 24 years, much of the time formally, I consider myself fairly well versed in musical theory. But I never heard the term mixolydian. How would you define it? ( i did a web search myself but was curious as to others comments on the mode).

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It goes "do re mi fa so la _FLAAAAT!_ do"

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"Classical" scales are

Ionian
Dorian
Phrygian
Lydian
Mixolydian
Aeolian
Locrian

It’s like playing one scale seven times, but starting from consecutive sounds in this scale every time. Because the half-tones will change place every time, the scales sound differently.

You get mixolydian if you start to play a scale from the fifth tone, e.g. if you play C scale starting from G.

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If you take the key of C: C D E F G A B C
Just like A (the sixth note) is the relative minor of C (using same notes as C major) ie A B C D E F G A

In the same way G (the fifth note) is the relative mixolydian
of C (using the same notes as C) ie G A B C D E F G

Compare this to G major which has an F#, so it’s like
G Major but the seventh note is flat.

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I’d try a web search of the term "greek modes".

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Except it doesn’t match the old Greek modes. All the modes were turned upside down in the Middle Ages and then scholars filled in gaps with extra modes they thought mathematically ought to exist. It’s all too much for a poor simple-minded soul like me, so I just play the tunes and hope for the best.

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LOL Dow! Exactly!


Cmaj/Gmix no sharps.
Dmaj/Amix has two.
Gmaj/Dmix has one.
And so forth….

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A major scale with a flat seventh in simpler terms. GHBs play in mixo so I have heard it many times.

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If you’re going to go all modal, Locrian is a lot more fun. Try playing Three Blind Mice in Locrian; sounds like incidental music for a Max Schreck film. ;-)

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Hahaha I just tried that - it’s hilarious, especially if you put loads of melodramatic dynamics in your playing :-D

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Don’t know if this is strictly accurate but I think of the common diddley modes as running on a bright-to-dark continuum going:

Ionian (bright)
Mix (less bright)
Dorian (pretty dark)
Aeloian (very dark)

Haven’t found a use for the Phrygian mode (aka the “Friggin’ Mode”)

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My mind prefers to think of these things in the Major (Ionian) "keys", but with the tonal center being somewhere else.

Example #1… D-Mixolydian (count up three letters/notes to "G")… is "in" G-Major (Ionian) but with a tonal center (ie, where it generally begins, ends, and hangs out around in the middle) on the note "D".

Example #2 … E-Dorian (count back one letter/note to "D")… is "in" D-Major (Ionian) but with a tonal center on the note "E"

It’s not technically correct (a D-Mix tune isn’t in G-Ionian… it’s in D-Mix), but it gives my mind a shorthand that I find more useful (to me) than remembering where to put the flats in various scales and translating that to notes.

It’s also handy for backers to think this way (substitute notes/tonal-centers with "chords").

Schy

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That’s exactly what I mean when I say view them in same was
as relative minors

C major harmonize with C Dm Em F G Am BDim C

A is realtive minor, harmonize with same chords (same notes in Am scale )
D is realtive Dorian harmonize with same chords
G is realtive mixolydian harmonize with same chords

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Yes it is more helpful to think of it the Schy/BegF way because you’re using the same set of chords, just giving them different functions and priorities. BTW no prizes for guessing which of the above posters are backers!! :-)

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BegF, a quick but only vaguely related question, do you use many dim chords in your backing?

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I prefer to be called an "alongsider" now thank you very much Mr. Dow.

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Sorry, do you use dims in your alongsiding?

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No, never, not in diddly music, I wouldn’t be
against if it worked but never tried it myself.
I only used it above for the sake of the completion.

That been said I will look for places where it might
work.

By the way, is it not 5 in the morning on Oz ?

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My co-instrumentalist of which I am not subservient to would give me a good kick in the alongside
if I was to throw in a dim chord

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I’ve started using some dims recently, but only very sparingly*. It’s not 5am but it’s getting quite late. I have a day off tomorrow and I haven’t finished my glass of whisky yet. I have a whole bottle to get through and I only started it last night.

* Melody players, don’t ask. You don’t need to know. We have interesting stuff to talk about too you know. Well, interesting to us anyway :-)

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Diddly Whisky or Diddley Whiskey ?

Any example where you’d put in Dim
(so I can copy you exactly of course)

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Well like in your C major example above I don’t think I’d ever use the Bdim. Basil’s away in his case and I don’t want to disturb the neighbours so I can’t test that, but off the top of my head I don’t think I use the dim on the 7. I’ve started using them sometimes on the #4 so that in C you’d be going F#dim-G7-C. Sometimes on the flat 2 or 3 to get you to 2, so Dbdim or Ebdim to get you to Dm7 so you can get a chromatic bass going like Em7-Ebdim-Dm7-F#dim-G7. Also on the flat 6 Abdim but I can’t remember what I do w/o getting Basil out. It sounds really jazzy so I only use it sometimes when I’m in the mood. It can sound really good in hornpipes and stuff. The thing I love about the dim is that it’s the same chord shape and you can move it up the neck to any key, so it’s quite good fun. At least, it is if you’re an alongsideup player.

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And it’s actually diddley whiskey this time.

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Oh hang on maybe it’s IIIdim not bIIIdim. Oh I dunno. I wish it wasn’t so late so that I could do some playing - I’m really in the mood right now :-(

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Dow, BegF, what do you think of relative minors in the place of major chords in major tunes? Someone told me it sounds gimmicky and cheap if overdone, but I loooooooooooooooove them, and would do it all the time if I could. Where does one draw the line?

(I’m new to alongsiding).

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I must look at what you’re saying in more detail at home
with the guitar can’t hear it in my head
I tell a small lie, sometime I would use dim as a passing chord
from G/B -> BbDim -> D/A (could have that assways, I need to have
guitar in hand, so I might correct this later)

Even more off topic, why is it that jazzy chords sound better in hornpipes or barndances
than anywhere else, eg tune in G playing Am7 Bbm7 Bm7 in succession.

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It depends on the tune, but they can be a bit much if overdone. If you overdo them they can lose their impact and it’s their impact in a major tune that’s the startling thing about them. I was talking about this with another backer at a session recently actually. There are other alternatives to using relative minors too. A lot of backers take the relative minor thing even further and do the whole 9 for 1 substitution thing, but again that can be overdone. I love that even more than the relative minor thing. It can sound awesome.

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Snap !
I overuse realtive minors as well !
I think if it sounds gimmicky then it is, if it sounds good and interesting then it is.

Are you alongsiding ourself in the mightycraic,
you don’t seem to be that new to it to me.

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"why is it that jazzy chords sound better in hornpipes or barndances
than anywhere else, eg tune in G playing Am7 Bbm7 Bm7 in succession."

Ah that’s an easy one. Because a) they’re slower so you have time to fit more passing chords in w/o it sounding cluttered, and b) there are more key modulations implicit in the tune than other types of tune, especially modulating from I to V through II7, so like you’re in Gmaj and you suddenly go A7 then D even though the C# of your A7 isn’t in the G key sig. Having said that I can’ t think of a single example off the top of my head. But you’ll see what I mean when you play the chords.

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9 for 1 ? Is that Am for G in G Major ?

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What’s the "9 for 1" thing?

BegF - that is me. I’ve been playing guitar for 15 years, but DADGAD and trad rhythms are still fresh enough that the people I play with would rather I stuck with the fiddle. ;-) so I never get to practice.

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Yeah. I use that quite a lot, especially for starting B-parts.

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Is that "deceptive cadence" or whatever?

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Oh my god, reading my posts I must come across like a total geek on this website, but I’m not really like that! It’s not like I start going on about substitution chords in the middle of a session or anything! :-)

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What’s a deceptive cadence?

Never mind, deceptive cadence is subbing 6 for 1, it looks like.

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Kerri, it’s funky (your alongsiding)

Dow, thanks - something to think about.
Now go to bed !

"Alongsiding" is my new word that I’m proud of.

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Yeah, but I totally stole the funky bit from Golo, who I’d heard playing something like that the night before (in standard).

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Ah at school I learnt that as an interrupted cadence - never heard deceptive. And we had to do about plagals and imperfects as well. Oh dear I think I’m getting hic… a b hic… a b hic… a bit tipsy.

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I know that 1st one as a perfect cadence, but I’ve not heard of "half" and "phrygian" cadences. Ooh I so can’t wait to try them out tomorrow. See I told you I was geeky! They’re probably of absolutely no use to me whatsoever, but hey.

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Oh so the "half" is the same as an imperfect…

(Don’t mind me)

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I can just hear the "A-men" in the Plagal Cadence. Can’t wait to drop that bit of useless knowledge to the pew-neighbors…

Did we cover what was meant by Dow’s "9 for 1 substitution thing"?
(I we did, I missed it…)

Schy

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“Did we cover what was meant by Dow’s "9 for 1 substitution thing"?
(I we did, I missed it…)”

I don’t think so. I wonder if it would be a ii-minor7 chord with the seventh in the bass. I don’t have a guitar handy, so I’m trying to imagine how it would work.

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Trust Dow to come in half tanked, get us all excited about a mysterious progression and then stagger off to bed without finishing his thought.

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Let’s all jump him when he comes back.

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Great plan.

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As Dow said earlier "Basil’s away in his case…."
? Basil ?
"Are you coming out now, Basil ?"
"No, I’m not."
"Oh yes you are…."
&c., &c.,

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Back in November 2002 there was a fairly detailed discussion here about the modes.
See https://thesession.org/discussions/1103 "Modes - lydian, phrygian, locrian".
In particular, six posts into that discussion I looked at the major("bright")/minor("dark") feel of the modes, and ordered them in such a way as to relate them to the "circle of fifths", which anyone who has studied classical music theory will have come across.
Mixolydian has a slightly darker/minor feel to it than the straight major scale, but not so much as the dorian mode – a very common mode in Irish music.
The mode with the most major or brightest feel is the lydian, which is found in much Eastern European folk music - it occurs for example in Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra (in which he makes several references to Hungarian folk tunes), and in Rimsky-Korsakov’s "Scheherezade". Provided it’s not overdone, it can have an effect of overwhelming excitement on the ear - a bit like red-hot trumpets. Its effect is probably because it has two half-tone leading notes – the usual one leading to the octave, and the second leading to the fifth above the keynote of the scale. So, starting on G, the lydian mode would be
G – A – B – C#- D – E – F# - G’.
Interestingly, there’s no mode inbetween the ordinary major scale (aka ionian mode) and the hypermajor lydian.
The phrygian mode is much darker than the aeolian (which is almost like the classical minor scale), and when you get to the locrian you are entering into territory where tonality verges on the chaotic. Dow, as an experiment, actually wrote a tune in the locrian mode, and it is on this site’s database somewhere, but I can’t remember what it’s called. Dow…?

Trevor

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Even stranger “modes” can surface occasionally in Irish music. For instance there is a Lucy Farr version of the “Pullet and the Cock” (Tune #1148) where the “c” in the second part of the tune should be played as a note halfway between c-nat and c# - so it’s not a note on the piano keyboard, and a guitarist would have to do some real “bending” to produce it. So an E-min scale with this “supernatural c” is going to sound different to any of the modes we’ve discussed so far – and wildly out-of-tune to any classical player who doesn’t understand.
The interesting thing about that tune is that if you play that “c” as a c-nat or a c# it just won’t sound right. But played halfway between c-nat and c# it does.

Trevor

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"Pullet and the Cock" tee hee hee.

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Kerri, read the little story in my post of 12 June 2005 in Tune #1148 ;-)

Trevor

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What’s a pullet? It would be way funnier if I knew…

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It’s the thing you do with a Christmas cracker.

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…or indeed a Cock

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Kerri, "pullet" = a young hen, less than a year old

Do you require a definition of "cock" ? :-)

Trevor

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7 major scale modes,
7 melodic minor scale modes,
2 diminished scale modes,
2 whole tone scales,
1 chromatic scale,
54 pentatonic(useable) scales,
74 indian parent scales,
A few neopolitan scales,
7 harmonic minor modes,
7 harmonic major modes,
Phrygian major
hunky dory,
the,oh look at that thick scarey looking book over there scale,
But since we,in Irish music only use 4 modes of the major scale,the melodic minor scale,and a few chromatics,
how come there’s only a handful of accompanist that can actually follow a tune harmonically accurately?
(and this isn’t a taste issue either!!!)

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or accurate…..even…