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Old 10-11-2017, 03:34 PM   #1
zanshin777
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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?
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:34 PM   #2
JonR
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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).
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