• Dear Friends, Can mode 1 with a lowered 6th be considered Dorian? Thanks music, jayne
  • Jayne,

    Welcome to the comment side of the forum.

    Inadvertently or not, you ask two questions. The first is "What are the characteristics of the Dorian mode?" The second is, "Yes, but if I start on a different pitch, and follow the same pattern of half and whole steps, is it still Dorian mode, or is the starting pitch essential?"

    I can't speak with authority on this point, but it seems logical that if doh is a moveable pitch for the singing of the chants,that is, doh is not always middle c or any other c, then the mode must be transportable to a pattern of whole and half steps starting on any pitch. Nevertheless, the reservation remains: is there something in the pitches themselves, and not merely in the scala (the ladder, or means of ascent) which is essential to Dorian expression?

    I look forward to reading the scholars around here, and thank you for raising this point.
  • Herein lies the flaw of using the Greek mode names to refer to the Gregorian modes.

    The essential characteristic of the Dorian mode is its raised 6th vs. the natural minor scale. More often than not, one will find B-flat rather than B in mode I because its modality is based on range and areas of tonal emphasis rather than certain scale degrees. One runs into the same issue with mode V/VI where the B-flat is extremely common even though B-natural is the only defining feature of the Lydian mode. This continued into the Renaissance where one sees B-flats in Lydian, C-sharps in Dorian, and F-sharps in Mixolydian.

    The names describe two completely different ways of looking at modality, and this is why using one set of names to describe them will only incite confusion.
    Thanked by 2Liam CHGiffen
  • Schoenbergian,

    Are you saying that starting pitch and final are unmoveable without doing damage to the mode?