mode (in music)

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

mode (in music)

mode, in music. 1 A grouping or arrangement of notes in a scale with respect to a most important note (in the pretonal modes of Western music, this note is called the final or finalis), and the patterns of larger and smaller steps (in Western music, whole and half steps) which these notes form. In the Middle Ages eight modes were developed as a theoretical foundation for plainsong performance, notation, and composition. These modes, derived from church practice, and explained either in their own terms, or using terms drawn from ancient Greek music theory, were grouped in pairs, each pair containing an authentic mode and a plagal mode, which are distinguished by the difference in the position of their ranges with respect to the final. The range of each mode was an octave. The "authentic" mode has its final at the bottom (and top) of its octave, the "plagal" mode ranges from the fourth below the final to the fifth above it. Although Greek names came to be used for these modes—Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, mixolydian, hypophrygian, etc.—there is no proof of direct relation to Greek theory. These eight modes were the basis for 11 centuries of musical composition. Freely treated, they have reappeared in the works of some 20th-century composers such as Vaughan Williams. In the late Middle Ages and during the Renaissance certain other modes were adopted, and in 1547 the Swiss theorist Glareanus described 12 as useful for composition. In the late 16th cent. and early 17th cent. the series was condensed in the major and minor modes in use today. The use of medieval modes by later composers is called modality in contrast to tonality. An extension of the term mode allows its application to the tonal systems of Hindu music, Arabian music, and Byzantine music.

See G. Reese, Music in the Middle Ages (1940); E. A. Wienandt, Choral Music of the Church (1965).



2 In the 13th cent., six characteristic rhythmical patterns of long and short notes in ternary meter. Greek names—e.g., trochaic and iambic—were applied to these rhythmic patterns at a fairly late date, but there is no evidence of derivation from the meters of Greek poetry. These rhythmic modes governed composition until they were finally dissolved in the 14th cent. by Philippe de Vitry in his treatise Ars nova (see musical notation).

3 In 20th-century music, the various forms of the tone row in twelve-tone composition (see serial music). The row, an arbitrary arrangement of the 12 chromatic tones of Western music, can be used in four different forms: the original row, the original row reversed (from the last note back to the first note), the original row inverted (upside down), and the inversion reversed. Each of these is a mode.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

mode (in music)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.