Effect of Specific Modes
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,515
    When I look at the God of the Church, and the God of society in general, clearly they are not the same. Music has become a secular god, but it represents no divine purpose or objective. When we attempt to dialogue with congregations that embrace the current sacro-pop gods, we are talking past each other. There is no longer a common language to make the dialogue possible. Solutions anyone? And no, they don't care about musty Vatican documents, so don't waste time quoting those. There have to be new and convincing arguments for genuine sacred music.
  • @CharlesW: I cast some blame on the collapse of musical education. No one understands, recognizes anything in music, or cares anymore because we no longer see value in teaching young people how to listen, think about, or critique the music they hear. My children attend Catholic school and thankfully they still have music class, but are they taught chant? No. Are they taught anything about the Church's musical heritage? Haha hilarious...My seven year old daughter loves to sing and has a beautiful voice, and she already knows all of the Haas, Haugen, et. al. stuff she hears several times a week. She's being raised on this stuff, and will probably have some kind of sentimental attachment to it when she's grown up. But she also knows all the "good old hymns" she hears me play at the work church, so I take some small comfort in that LOL. Like any language, it must be learned early and often. We cannot create a meaningful dialogue for the future unless we cultivate one in the next generation.
    Thanked by 3CharlesW MBW CHGiffen
  • @FidemInFidebus: That is exactly the key - education of young Catholics. The best way to change the negative things about sacred music in the Church is for authentic Catholic Sacred music to be required to be taught from the beginning (i.e., beginning with elementary all the way through high school) at all Catholic schools.

    Obviously that's just a dream, at this point. That should be the best way to do it, though. We Church musicians need to all gather together and divide up equally and invade all parishes and Catholic Schools! :)
  • Ted
    Posts: 156
    Getting back to the original topic of this post, the ethos of the modes, Fr Saulnier has just uploaded his draft paper (in French) on the modes which builds on his previous book.

    https://www.academia.edu/22289656/Les_mdoes_du_plain-chant_-_Nova_et_vetera

    In his previous book, he pointed out that a lot more still remains to be said about the modes.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,515
    The a la mode is my favorite one.
  • All's I know is, Mode 3 really %#@$^&!es me off. Guess that means I'm not a mystic.
  • @ Stimson

    All's I know is, Mode 3 really %#@$^&!es me off. Guess that means I'm not a mystic.


    For me it is mode VIId. I do like the other variants of mode VII, but not the ending in "d". So I am not fully "angelic". To me when I sing the finale of that variant of mode VII, it always comes out sounding like I'm a strangled chicken.
  • The effect of the music has to do with compared to what. In 600 AD people had not yet heard Jesus Christ Superstar. In other words they had no idea of what a major key was. At one time the modes were used to evoke different meanings and emotions. Today we are left with just 2 forms of them, the major and minor keys. You will notice the serious sound of music used for feasts, and we are left with minor keys for this sort of sound. It was designed that way. Thomas Merton gave talks to his novices about this when he was their master. Today the church modes can't have the same meanings because we have been exposed to other sounds and developed our ears accordingly. But the closest we have to this is the music that is traditional for Christmas and because it is a church mode which was developed into what we now have known as a minor key we have that responce. It is sort of sad but in a happy/sad way.
    Originally there were only a few church modes, 4. But as time when on more were developed, 12, and people got used to hearing newer things and eventually it blended together. The difference had to do with the dominant note and the end note and their relationship to each other. But over the years it has boiled down to just two types of sounds and just two types of affects: major and minor.
    Therefore, unless you have lived with earplugs in your ears until you enter a monastic community, the church modes no longer have the effect they were used for and eventually designed to be used for. And even then, you will have to enter a Trappist community or more strict than that to keep away from the natural effect of music that is not solely based on music pre 1200 AD (except the Trappist abbey I entered which had a music library and with headphones you could listen to Jesus Christ Superstar). Soleme has clear publications on this.
    Today, the use of telling you what that mode is has to do mostly with the rang of notes, the dominant note and the end note. It is a short hand for going into a chant without knowing it well. If you know what your singing you don't need it. Trying to interoperate a mode or type of sound from the church modes today just doesn't work; unfortunately or fortunately we have been exposed to a rich diet of Neapolitan 5ths and Aug 6ths, not to mention Star Wars and Harry Potter film scores.
  • Wouldn't it be more appropriate, Sean, to say we've been "transfigured" by Aug 6ths?
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,382
    a rich diet of Neapolitan 5ths and Aug 6ths

    The Neapolitan chord is known as a Neapolitan 6th (not 5th) chord or, alternatively as a flat supertonic (♭II), and sometimes as a Phrygian II chord.

    The augmented 6th chord (in various flavors) has been traced back to Renaissance origins and functions as way of getting to the dominant in a piquant manner. It is typically outlined by a flatted 6th degree in the lowest voice and a sharped 4th degree in the highest voice, both resolving outward to an octave separated 5th degree.
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  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,353
    In 600 AD people had not yet heard Jesus Christ Superstar.


    [citation needed]

    Thanked by 2CHGiffen PolskaPiano
  • Sorry about that, I was slipping in my thinking, combining, wrongly, 5th of 5th, and Neapolitan, etc etc on pre-Dominant chords. The topic was something along the lines of what do the different modes produce in our "ears" today. The point I was trying to make was that like all humans we have had musical experiences which would make it impossible to have the same impression on us today as it did between 600 and 1200 AD. Polyphony didn't come about for quite some time and when it did it changed out "ears."
    The origins of written music were so that the songs, melodies, (which is what all of these notes boil down to) were to insure they did not change, especially when new religious houses where formed. Singing badly/wrong could lead to full prostration, so not changing the music was a big deal. But it did change.
    The church modes increased over the years. The additional church modes over time came about by theory of the writers. If they thought difference modes had different sounds such as happy or serious we can only speculate. But we don't hear what they did. We have had the influence of polyphony for centuries now, eventually we have been exposed to all sorts of sounds, such as counterpoint to rock-opera, as well as experimental music.
    At the beginning of today's notation there is indication of which mode.
    When I was a member of the schola, most of the time in rushing in to practice I would be tired, hungry and sleep deprived (the 1st office of our day is 3:30 am) so in refreshing my memory or in learning what was to be sung the mode was a basic hint about what we were going to deal with. Our biggest problem was keeping the pitch up. Our intonation was out the door.
    Some of the older members, who had entered while they were still teens, would like some chants over others. No one my around my age every talk about what they think of the modes, and some of us had been musically trained before we entered and others after they were solemn professed. Interestingly the music library, the one with headphones and fairly good sized record and CD collection, is only somewhat frequented (no telling what CD players the community have in their cells). But I've never heard anyone, members of the community, visiting religious (the guest house is popular among religious retreatants), or other members of the schola, that they had an opinion about this mode or that mode.
    I do notice the community does get a little more full voiced when what we sing lands more toward a major key or a minor key. Compline is the most well attended of lay retreatants and they have the most exposure to modern music, and the office of compline tends to sound major or minor.
    As an aside, I once experienced, in office, what made me think how polyphony came about. One of the brothers had dozed off and when he woke up he started singing a few notes behind. Spontaneous harmony! It was ignored.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen MBW

  • Can anyone here read in Portuguese? I did meditations on art therapy and Gregorian chant starting from what can be learned about the human soul and aesthetic experience in Christian mystics and philosophers.
  • Yes, there actually is. The various chant modes correspond to the four ancient humours/temperaments (choleric, sanguine, melancholic, and phlegmatic).
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    Sorry I can't help with the Portugese, but it sounds like a fascinating topic. I can relate that the different chant modes do definitely generate an emotional response. For example, last night we began sight-reading the Kyrie from Orlando de Lassus' Missa Octavi Toni.

    First the soprano and sang their parts together, and I could see from everyone's faces that they weren't "feeling it", and I was about to say, "If this doesn't get better when we put all the parts together, we'll just forget it," but then we added the tenor line, and the reaction was extraordinary. All of a sudden, we "got it" and with all four parts, we could see this was a sublime piece of music. Our vocal coach even gave us an impromptu lesson on how the music evoked almost unbearable mystery, reverence and joy, and it's true.

    We sang the Agnus Dei, from that Mass and, if this Mass is not a perfect representation of Mode VIII, I don't know what is. The manuscript calls for the Agnus Dei to be sung with the Agnus Dei from Mass XIV, Missa Jesu Redemptor, also in Mode VIII, and the effect is incredibly moving:

    http://www2.cpdl.org/wiki/images/b/b9/Missa_Octavi_toni_(Lassus)_orig.pdf

    Video recording of Agnus Dei here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8_9eFGM_TM
  • I put a fragment in google translator and made some corrections (excuse any errors or poor english):

    Feeling is not passion (emotion) nor affection (volition, motion of the will), is an affective impression (affectus in Saint Bernard when operated by God in the soul), a single act that
    involves the perception of beauty and its fruition, a synthesis between cognition and appetite in a single present act to reflective consciousness.

    Feeling is loving knowledge and knowing love, an integration of the threefold division memory-intelligibility-inclination that reacts beautifully to beauty.

    The feeling only occurs in the integration of the consciousness and in its degrees that are realized in the various types of memory as power of reflection:
    1- the affectio imaginaria,
    2- reminiscence, and
    3 - spiritual memory in its degrees of spiritual participation (natural self-knowledge, and
    the various degrees of supernatural self-knowledge).


    The feeling of the beautiful can respond to a present beautiful object or be the beginning of the creation of something beautiful and may be related to the apprehension of the simpliciter Good or to the Good while injured and thus joins the feeling of the ugly (sensitive, spiritual or moral ugly ). There is also the possibility of the feeling not being fruitive and this does not imply ugliness of the contemplated but otherwise implies a relative imperfection of the beholder (here is the disorder of who contemplates acting or the supreme perfection of beauty that can be terrifying and amazing).

    There are several types of feeling and it is possible that a degree of feeling by reflux
    affect another. It is possible that the feeling of the sensitive beauty with intensity leads to feeling of the spiritual beauty and to the contemplation of the truth and it is possible that the spiritual carries delight to the lower powers generating feelings.

    Disordered feelings are also possible that are dangerous because of the link of feeling with the deep impression on the soul. It is possible that feelings are contaminated by excess of passion or disordered volition and then more than access to the beauty become obscure egocentric vertigo. The beauty is reduced to the good and to the good persecuted in a disorderly way and in a very small degree that many times it is nothing more than vegetative or impression of the senses. It is in this degradation that
    appear works of "art" that are not worthy of that name and that do not go beyond satisfaction of the most basic needs related to the instincts of reproduction and
    nutrition.

    The feeling implies a knowledge by conaturality, an intimate knowledge of that who loves by union with the beloved and thus in mystical spiritual feelings there is a knowledge of God by participation in his life derived from love in a high degree. At the case of the apprehension of human and divine works of art, there is also the possibility of this knowledge fruit of love, the possibility of a feeling and an experience touching an another.


  • Liam
    Posts: 4,079
    Match a la mode:

    Vanilla
    Vanilla Chocolate Chip
    Chocolate
    Cookies and Cream
    Strawberry
    Coffee
    Butter Pecan
    Rocky Road
    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • Langlais - Huit pieces modales
    Each has a decidedly different 'effect'.
    I happen to be playing no. 3, mode de mi, as a before-mass voluntary at Walsingham for this Saturday's vigil mass.

    Langlais is like Brahms - everything he wrote is good
    (and not [like Brahms] because he was effected by a mood and destroyed everything that wasn't).

  • in the meditation I have posted (in Portuguese) I have established correspondences between the eight modes and the eight gifts of the Holy Spirit (7 plus the Spirit itself), the eight invocations of the Our Father (7 petitions plus the initial invocation) and the 8 beatitudes.

    For this I started from that table of Wikipedia with the meanings attributed by Guido and other medievals, I proceeded from the ethos attributed by the Greeks to the corresponding tetracordes (the tetracorde mi fa sol lá in Greek was called Doric and corresponds to the deuterus, ré mi fa sol protus and was called Phrygian, the lydian was in dó-ut and corresponds to a great extent to the tritus). I also started from the three main ethos of Greek musical theory, the three melos systaltic, diastaltic and hesichastic. I started from the 3 primitive pentatonic modes and then to the 4 modes (protus, deuterus, tritus, tetrardus) and then to the 8 modes. I also made correspondences between the modes and the 4 temperaments.

  • Also, I have relied on the psychological theories of the Christian mystics, especially on how the soul is affected by the Holy Spirit.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    Lincoln_Hein, the excerpt you provided has some intriguing insights, despite (or maybe because of?) the translation. These phrases are particularly memorable:

    Feeling is loving knowledge and knowing love, an integration of the threefold division memory-intelligibility-inclination that reacts beautifully to beauty.

    It is possible that feelings are contaminated by excess of passion or disordered volition and then more than access to the beauty become obscure egocentric vertigo


    What did you come up with when you matched the eight modes with the eight gifts of the Holy Spirit and the four temperaments? I think you're really onto something there.

    Liam, I've been working on your yummy ice cream test, and I'll venture a guess:

    Vanilla (Mode 1)
    Vanilla Chocolate Chip (Mode 5)
    Chocolate (Mode 8)
    Cookies and Cream (Mode 7)
    Strawberry (Mode 3)
    Coffee (Mode 6)
    Butter Pecan (Mode 2)
    Rocky Road (Mode 4)

    As a personal rule of thumb, I find the even-numbered modes have more complexity and depth, while the odd-numbered modes offer smoother sailing. In that sense, Mode 4 is the bumpiest ride, speaking for myself.
  • >> "Everything, everything!, has affect. And to the degree to which we are spiritually aware we will be sensitive to it." This is one of the central ideas that I have been trying to explain to Catholic priests and liturgy committees for many years. Unfortunately, I have not been very successful. We are sensitive to everything we sense. This should be obvious, but it is not.

    the sensibilities of those people seem to have been blunted and so there is no depth; they feel sure that everyone else receives impressions in the same blunted way and they cannot hear you.

    Gregorian chant speaks to the soul, for the soul, even (maybe especially) when the person cannot speak for himself. Some years ago, a woman working a minor job in hospital was in a patient's room when he went into crisis; she rang for the nurse's station, but they were a very long time coming. The woman put her arms around the patient and started singing something to him in chant, and when the nurses finally arrived, his vitals were returning to normal levels. Of course her entire approach was spontaneous and I am not suggesting that it's recommended per se; but wanted to point out that this woman went on to found a national network of music therapists who play harp - and chant is a basic of the repertoire they teach - in hospices, burn wards, ICU and ER waiting rooms, etc.
  • I will find someone to translate the entire meditations from portuguese to english. A brief summary of the correspondences:

    modes
    1 The Holy Spirit as a gift authentic protus
    2 Fear of the Lord protus plagal
    3 Piety authentic deuterus
    4 Knowledge deuterus plagal
    5 Fortitude authentic tritus
    6 Counsel tritus plagal
    7 Understanding authentic tetrardus
    8 Wisdom tetrardus plagal

    primitive pentatonic modes
    protus - systaltic melos depressing
    deuterus - diastaltic melos - elevating
    tritus - hesychastic melos - soothing
    The combination of this 3 modes in the modulations of the 8 allow the interpretations of the correspondences of the 8 with the gifts.

    authentic protus (1) is more Phlegmatic in the aspect of the
    control of the passions and more Melancholic in the aspect of introspection.

    protus plagal (2) is more Melancholic in the aspect of tendency to sadness.

    deuterus is more Choleric but the plagal (5) has the effect of moderating the temperament (blends more with sanguine, melancholic and phlegmatic in the
    intermediary cadences)

    tritus is more Sanguine but the plagal (6) has the effect of moderating the temperament (blends more with choleric, melancholic and phlegmatic in the
    intermediary cadences)

    authentic tetrardus (7) is more Phlegmatic in the final cadences (sol) but blends with the choleric aspects of the melancholic temperament by the influence of si and the introspective melancholic aspects by the transposition of protus in pentatonic passages.

    tetrardus plagal (8) is more Phlegmatic in the aspect of the peace of the soul

  • All the modes modulate but the authentic protus modulates a lot and pass through all the temperaments more than others.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,515
    I don't think the modes have much effect. In their own day, perhaps they did. All of us have heard music that the Gregorian originators could never have imagined. Any effect from them would be exceedingly mild if it even exists at all.
    Thanked by 1Liam
  • I agree with Charles, but with important reservations. I think that one must differentiate between the average person who is in some manner musical, and those of us who are musicians and are very sensitive (or sensitive in varying degrees) to the affect and effect of any music.

    To said average person chant in any mode will likely sound strange (not necessarily bad, but strange) because modal music does admittedly have a different sonic ethos than the tonal music which we all were born to. He may be intrigued by it or put off by it, but will not likely be impressed with the affect of distinctive modes. If he pursues an interest in chant he may very well come to 'see' or perceive the difference of mood of each mode.

    For those who love chant, it is (or may be) different. We are sensitive to the differences between major-minor tonality because we are imbued in that vocabulary and respond to its affective pallette. Ditto those who know chant well and are as or more sensitive to the 'mood' of each mode as they are to major versus minor.

    To the extent to which we are not moved by or cognizant of such differences is certainly not a plus. This would indicate that, for those persons, music is nothing more than background sound whose primary function is mere sonic entertainment which serves the sole purpose of eradicating dread silence, that the mind and spirit are not in any meaningful sense operative participants

    Charles' assertion has its weight in the fact that all of us are so bombarded (or caressed) with a wide variety of music from all periods of history and many cultures that we are not always sensitive to its emotional power. I dare say that those who are not so inundated will be as moved by the difference between mode III and mode VIII as they are by Bach's St Matthew Passion or Beethoven's Ninth.

    Whatever the situation of any persons, it is certainly no compliment or bragging point not to be able to distinguish between the modes. It is a severe cultural deficiency - and very likely one that is owing to the culturally unfriendly culture in which we all live.

    They are there - the effects - only to be perceived.

    To any who would offer the blanket assertion that affect relative to the different modes is non-existent, I would say 'speak for yourself, and don't project your insensitivities onto others'.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,515
    To any who would offer the blanket assertion that affect relative to the different modes is non-existent, I would say 'speak for yourself, and don't project your insensitivities onto others'.


    Yes, but...We are living in a culture that is decidedly not Catholic. Even the Catholics don't recognize Catholic culture any more. Much of the music and liturgy from before Vatican II is as foreign as something imported from Mars.
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  • Very true, Charles, very true. One can't quibble with that, can one?

    As for why this music 'is as foreign as something imported from Mars', I think that we can safely say that it is so precisely because certain types of prelates, priests, and musicians have seen to it that it is. It isn't foreign by nature, but because it has been banned and purposefully made strange and foolishly described as strange. We have post conciliar hierarchs, clergy, and musicians to thank for it - not 'the people', not even secular culture. We defeat ourselves when we repeat their hellish narrative. They even have no shame in speaking lies to the effect that the council abolished what it in fact vigourously commended should be preserved!

    People of the Ordinariate, and many Catholics elsewhere 'eat it up' - which illustrates that the dislike or 'foreignness' of chant is and has been wicked seed wickedly sown by musical cretins in and out of holy orders - some of these musical cretins even hold advanced degrees in music!

    All of which means that we should not accept or bow to their narrative, but resist it with all our strength, not budge, maintain our equanimity, and counter it every step of the way.

    The appropriate response to the 'chant is foreign' cant is unrestrained laughter of the sort reserved for idiocy. Don't yield them an inch of territory. Don't repeat their narrative. Don't be a party to it. It's false.
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  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,515
    Yes, but... all musicians are not employed in a place where the priest has their backs. Sometimes the priest is part of the problem. For the musician who needs the money to support a family, it is a difficult situation, to be sure.
  • Granted!

    And, I forgot to mention the role of our uprincipled and immoral publishing industry, who have a vested interest in selling tons of rubish - in lowering the standard of musical literacy.

    You're quite right -
    It is a difficult situation - very difficult!
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,908
    As for why this music 'is as foreign as something imported from Mars',


    Forgetting for a moment the back-stabbing that Chant took following VatII, Chant would still be 'foreign' to Western sensibilities because, as MJO observes, it does not fall into the major/minor parameters of Western music, utilized since about 1700 AD. (Maybe earlier than that, but I'm not a research scholar.)

    And that is a GOOD thing, when you think about it. The Mass itself is 'different,' too. While there are major/minor works that are 'sacred music,' using one-step-removed from our 21st-century sensibilities stuff like Chant reminds us that what really counts is not easily apprehended nor neatly categorized.
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  • The Mass itself is 'different'....

    I like the point that dad makes here. Not only do I like it, but it is cogent.
    There should be 'nothing ordinary' about the mass because it is fundamentally and profoundly extra-ordinary.

    A few more words, though, are appropriate about the foreignness of chant. It wasn't 'foreign' to western Catholics of the pre-conciliar era. Nor to their children who, in their millions, were taught to sing chant repertory in parochial schools and loved it - all in spite of the more modern musical culture by which they were surrounded. Further, if anyone of our times hears Gregorian chant, he or she knows immediately that it is 'Catholic' - even though Catholics, largely, have been taught to turn their backs on it. So, the points made in above comments should be reinforced at every turn that chant is not by nature foreign to modern Catholics. It is foreign because, from the top down, it was banned in disobedience to the council, vilified with lies about what the council didn't say or do, and remains exiled simply because most priests and musicians are incompetent to teach it and therefore don't like it. It isn't 'foreign' to children who by nature love to learn - until someone poisons their minds with lies. Culturally illiterate priests and musicians who are grossly incompetent are allowed to project their own limitations onto others. This needs to be countered at every step of the way.

    As for those priests and musicians who are competent and are doing the best that they are endowed to do, they deserve all the thanks, encouragement, and support that we can give them. God bless them every one.
  • >> remains exiled simply because most priests and musicians are incompetent to teach it
    I reflect, incompetent to teach it because they were not taught it... therefore how impressive that CMAA devotes part of its Colloquium to teaching the clergy who attend. Alleluia!
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,908
    It wasn't 'foreign' to western Catholics of the pre-conciliar era. Nor to their children who, in their millions, were taught to sing chant repertory in parochial schools and loved it - all in spite of the more modern musical culture by which they were surrounded.


    True. But in my experience, Chant was "it" at the school weekday Masses, but at the Sunday Cantata Masses, 4-part dominated. You will also recall that Mgr. Schuler's St Agnes' Missae Cantatae were not predominantly Chant. I suspect, but cannot prove, that Sunday Mass-goers across the US may well have heard Chant Propers (with some psalm-tone stuff) but only during Lent/Advent heard Chant Ordinaries.

  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,515
    True. But in my experience, Chant was "it" at the school weekday Masses, but at the Sunday Cantata Masses, 4-part dominated.


    That is what I remember, too.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,870
    bumping an old thread as i was reading this today... it is from a cadre of books i am reading on chant...

    "60. As regards the Characteristics of the Church Modes (the sentiment that each one expresses), Kienle remarks in his Choralschule p. 140: "We ought not to assign to one Church mode a joyful character and to another a sorrowful one; for in each there are bright and jubilant strains, and each can be grave and mournful, but each produces these results in its own way." With some justice, however, one may be allowed to say that the airs of Modes 5 and 6 are mostly spirited and joyful, those of Mode 4 sweet and attractive, almost dreamy in character, whilst the other modes may be described as solemn, ma- jestic, and often sublime.
    The peculiarities of the various modes can most readily be ascertained by a constant singing and comparison of melodies (especially antiphons) in the different modes."
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,283
    .
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,870
    MJO... OK... you made your 'point'... now expand to us your thoughts.
  • sdtalley3sdtalley3
    Posts: 76
    This subject of the modes and the spirit they invoke has always intrigued me as a musician. I generally agree with the common concept of the "feeling" of the modes. It has been my opinion also that Church music should use the modes in the employment of her music. That is not to say that there is no place for works based on major and minor scales; there is a place/time for both.

    Generally If I set a tune to something lighter and generally memorable I'll go to modes 5 and 6 for this reason. I set the Symbolum Athanasianum to mode 3 for the fact that this mode is very authoritative in its nature, perfect for declarative statements. I have seen articles that express mode 1 as "generally can be anything"; again mode 1 is not a sad, nor happy sound. Mode 2 has a little bit more of minor sound because it resembles A minor. Modes 7 & 8 generally seem lighter in their sentiment, more mystical like the Church's heavy use of mode 8 in the antiphons for the Easter Vigil services.
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  • I would agree with sdtalley3 about modes 1, 2, and 3. I think mode 5 also has a declarative aspect like mode 3, but mode 3 is better suited to solemn proclamations and mode 5 to more joyful ones. I think that the introit from this past Sunday is a good example of mode 5 for a joyful proclamation: "Behold, God is my helper, and the Lord is the upholder of my soul."

    I think Mode 6 has a more peaceful quality to it. Mode 6 has a very rich sound to me. A choir director I know has used the phrase "dark chocolate" to describe the blended tone he is looking for from his choir. I get this dark chocolate feeling from mode 6. I would agree also about modes 7 and 8, but I think that mode 7 can have a sense of pondering some deep thought. Mode 8 has this same pondering quality, but is pushing closer to enlightenment.
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  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,283
    It is a commonplace that our modern major and minor modes are not limited to 'joyful' or 'sad' moods. Of course so it should be with our more ancient ones. For instance, who could mistake Beethoven's A-minor (No. 15?) quartet, or Mozart's 40th symphony for being anything other than ecstatically joyful? It is no different with the eight ecclesiastical modes.
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  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,222
    Many of the ancient masters ascribed to the effect of various modes and their individual attributes. One could explore this all the way back to Plato.
    And as a poster said, the Dorian is THE church mode. This carries into even the high baroque, as J.S. Bach wrote the entire Art of Fugue (an hour and a half of fugues) entirely in mode I Dorian.
    BTW I (God willing and the C19 situation improves) I will be performing the entire "Kunst" in a tour around Southern U.S, and in Boston as part of the Boston Early Music festivaI. I will announce when this is planned.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,870
    @ghmus7

    I may be mistaken, but I believe Bach's Art of Fugue was composed in the Aeolian mode (also called natural minor).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mode_(music)#Aeolian_(VI)

    The Dorian mode has a raised sixth.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorian_mode
    Thanked by 1sdtalley3
  • sdtalley3sdtalley3
    Posts: 76
    @gmus7,

    do you have a tour plan? Or will you be possibly coming around the Charlotte, NC region?
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,222
    Well sdtalley, if someone invites me there, I will come.
    Thanked by 1sdtalley3
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,222
    Francis: you may be right, but the main theme of the work is clearly centered around D. although this may not technically be the dorian mode, I think that Bach was thinking of "d minor" as the 'first church mode', and that's why the whole work in in the "original" first church mode, interpreted by Bach of course.
    Thanked by 1francis
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,283
    Whether D-Dorian, or D-Minor, etc., is the mode-key of all the fugues it is notable that, still, they are not all of the same 'mood'.
  • JonathanKKJonathanKK
    Posts: 489
    Oh, do give us a run-down of moods for Art of the Fugue.