Is this a mode or a scale?
  • Geremia
    Posts: 111
    Does the following represent a Gregorian chant mode, or is it a scale?

    image

    (cf. "How to know if it's a mode or scale?" or these resources on the 8 modes of chant)
  • wingletwinglet
    Posts: 31
    It would seem to be the first mode scale, with B flat being Do.
    Thanked by 1Geremia
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 4,992
    It is mode one transposed down a step.

    A series of eight diatonic tones constitutes a 'scale', whether they represent a modern major or minor 'mode', or one of the eight chant modes. They are all 'scales' identified by their 'key' or their chant mode number.

    Major and minor modes predominant in modern usage are commonly transposed to a variety of keys.

    The eight modes of chant are far less often used in modern composition, but are, sometimes, transposed in chant literature.

    The major and minor modes have their 'home base' on, respectively, C and A. They are as often transposed to other tonal centres.

    The eight chant modes have their home bases on, respectively, D, D; E, E; F, F; G, G. Transposing them to other tonal centres is less common but not rare in chant literature.

    All are 'scales'.
  • wingletwinglet
    Posts: 31
    I always thought moveable Do meant that there is no home base for any chant or any mode (we start chants on flats and sharps frequently at our parish). Why would you say the example is transposed?
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,502
    It's the Dorian scale on C (usually we see Dorian on D, with no accidentals). The Dorian scale is also known, in the chant world, as Mode II I. Whether such a scale is itself a "mode" is not as clear ... it's what the ebb and flow of the music (or, in the case of Gregorian chant, the final) is what determines its true mode. Moreover, the same sequence of notes could just as well be the Hypomixolydian scale (a.k.a. Mode VIII)... same ambitus as Dorian but with final on the fourth, not first, degree. There is some tendency to interchange "scale" and "mode" ... but that is fraught with ambiguity such as this.

    Note: Although I got no comments on it when I posted it, you might wish to check out the mode of my hymn Sleepers awake! the night's long reign is past. Hint: it's not Dorian or Hypomixolydian. I'd be interested in getting some reaction to the music (if not the text).

    Thanked by 1winglet
  • Geremia
    Posts: 111
    @CHGiffen
    The Dorian scale is also known, in the chant world, as Mode II.
    I thought it was Mode I.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,502
    Oops, typo ... yes, Dorian is Mode I.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 6,762
    [Multiple copies of this were posted. I deleted the others. There's no need to post more than one, as practically everyone reads the home page of the forum and sees all the threads.--admin]
    Thanked by 1eft94530
  • noel jones, aagonoel jones, aago
    Posts: 6,283
    Note: Although I got no comments on it when I posted it, you might wish to check out the mode of my hymn Sleepers awake! the night's long reign is past.


    Ear-tingling!

    Modern while sounding old!
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen