Why do jazz theorists see church modes as scales when chant theorists (who use the older system) do not?



Asked by: Kristen Turner

What is the purpose of church modes?





church mode, also called ecclesiastical mode, in music, any one of eight scalar arrangements of whole and half tones, derived by medieval theorists, most likely from early Christian vocal convention. The Eastern church was doubtless influenced by ancient Hebrew modal music.

What scales modes were used in Gregorian chants?

The eight modes



Seven of them were given names identical with those used in the musical theory of ancient Greece: Dorian, Hypodorian, Phrygian, Hypophrygian, Lydian, Hypolydian, and Mixolydian, while the name of the eighth mode, Hypomixolydian, was adapted from the Greek.

How does a church mode differ from major and minor scales?

Terms in this set (49) How are church modes similar and different from major and minor scales? They are similar to the major and minor scales used today, but their half steps fall in different places so that they do not express as strong a tonic (tonal center) as do today’s scales.

When were modes first used in music?

The oldest medieval treatise regarding modes is Musica disciplina by Aurelian of Réôme (dating from around 850) while Hermannus Contractus was the first to define modes as partitionings of the octave.

What are the church scales?





We know seven of the scales: ionic, dorian, phrygian, lydian, mixolydian, locrian, and the aeolian, one of which is now known as the major scale (the ionic mode) and one of which is know as the minor scale (the aeolian).

What is the difference between a scale and a mode?

A scale is an ordered sequence of notes with a start and end. A mode is a permutation upon a scale that is repeatable at the octave, such that the start and end points are shifted. For example, the major scale is repeatable at the octave.

How do you find the mode of a Gregorian chant?

The difference between an authentic mode and its related plagal lies in the nature of the dominant note and in the range or ambitus. Treatises on Gregorian Chant assign the odd numbers I, III, V, and VII to authentic modes. Their related plagal modes are assigned the even numbers, II, IV, VI, and VIII.

How do I find church mode?

So what key is that e major okay because e major has four sharps. So let's take it to the e. Or from the c sharp because that's the name of the mode. Okay it's for the letter c.

How were modes used in the Middle Ages?

Modal scales



In describing the tonality of early music, the term “mode” (or “tone”) refers to any of eight sets of pitch intervals that may form a musical scale, representing the tonality of a piece and associated with characteristic melodic shapes (psalm tones) in Gregorian chant.



What is church mode in music?

Definition of church mode



: one of eight scales prevalent in medieval music each utilizing a different pattern of intervals and beginning on a different tone.

What is the purpose of modes in music theory?

Modes are a way to reorganize the pitches of a scale so that the focal point of the scale changes. In a single key, every mode contains the exact same pitches. However, by changing the focal point, we can access new and interesting sounds. Like most of Western music, the modes have their roots in Church music.

Why do composers use modes?

Each mode, even though you’re playing the exact same notes, derives it’s unique sound from the different whole-step, half-step patterns associated with that mode. In this sense, each mode has a specific set of intervals that give it its character.



Where did musical modes come from?

The word ‘mode’ comes from the Latin for ‘manner, or method’ but musical modes all originated in ancient Greece, so they have Greek names.

How do you identify the modes in music theory?

Identifying modes

  1. Identify the quality of tonic. Listen for the tonic pitch. …
  2. Listen and look for ^7 . Compare the ^7 to the leading tone a half-step below tonic that we typically hear in minor and major songs. …
  3. Listen and look for other raised color notes—^4 in major, and ^6 in minor.


How do you use modal scales?

Also known as C major if. I play in the key of C from D to D. I'm playing a D Dorian mode. If I play from to E I'm playing a Phrygian. If I play from F to F it's an F Lydian mode.



What are modes in jazz?

The modes of the major scale

Mode Name Scale (in C)
I Ionian C–D–E–F–G–A–B–C
II Dorian C–D–E♭–F–G–A–B♭–C
III Phrygian C–D♭–E♭–F–G–A♭–B♭–C
IV Lydian C–D–E–F♯–G–A–B–C

Do all scales have modes?

Modes are named after the ancient Greek modes, although they do not share an actual similarity. For every key signature, there are exactly seven modes of the major scale: Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, and Locrian.