The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #158878   Message #3890927
Posted By: Jack Campin
28-Nov-17 - 09:36 AM
Thread Name: folk process: tune evolution?
Subject: RE: folk process: tune evolution?
The idea that modal or gapped scales are in some way archaic is one that I was taking the piss out of a few posts back. There are no fewer tunes being created now in these scales than there ever were, and there has never been a time when they fell out of favour. For one particular genre - the pipe marches of the British Army - the vast majority of the pentatonic ones now played date from after 1850, when the pipes became fully accepted as a military instrument for marching to. In this instance. modality became military technology. If you're playing for a column of soldiers slogging along through a valley in Afghanistan in the middle of a three-day march, anything to relieve the boredom. Switch from a phrygian/dorian/minor pentatonic tune to a lydian/major/mixolydian one and the change in sonority will echo off the hills, catch everyone's attention and keep those feet moving. (The same idea survives in civilian life as used by ceilidh bands for long dance sets).

And modality survives just fine in pop, both vocal and instrumental dance music. The age of jazz-inspired chromatic heptatonicism was fad that's decades gone.