Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode

The Sandman 04 Aug 09 - 04:35 PM
greg stephens 04 Aug 09 - 05:11 PM
The Sandman 04 Aug 09 - 05:36 PM
ClaireBear 04 Aug 09 - 05:50 PM
Richard Bridge 04 Aug 09 - 05:53 PM
Anglo 04 Aug 09 - 06:32 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 04 Aug 09 - 06:35 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 04 Aug 09 - 06:40 PM
ClaireBear 04 Aug 09 - 09:52 PM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Aug 09 - 11:00 AM
G-Force 05 Aug 09 - 11:41 AM
Richard Bridge 05 Aug 09 - 12:43 PM
Martha Burns 05 Aug 09 - 01:08 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 05 Aug 09 - 01:38 PM
Phil Edwards 05 Aug 09 - 01:56 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 05 Aug 09 - 02:04 PM
RTim 05 Aug 09 - 02:17 PM
RTim 05 Aug 09 - 02:20 PM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Aug 09 - 03:20 PM
Richard Bridge 05 Aug 09 - 04:42 PM
Artful Codger 06 Aug 09 - 02:26 AM
Richard Bridge 06 Aug 09 - 02:36 AM
Jack Campin 06 Aug 09 - 05:53 AM
GUEST,leeneia 06 Aug 09 - 11:00 AM
Eve Goldberg 06 Aug 09 - 12:30 PM
Jack Campin 06 Aug 09 - 12:37 PM
Artful Codger 06 Aug 09 - 03:00 PM
Richard Bridge 06 Aug 09 - 04:10 PM
Jack Campin 06 Aug 09 - 06:38 PM
Old Vermin 28 Nov 09 - 01:02 PM
GUEST,john p 08 Feb 11 - 02:02 PM
maple_leaf_boy 08 Feb 11 - 02:23 PM
Brian Peters 08 Feb 11 - 02:56 PM
Gallus Moll 08 Feb 11 - 03:23 PM
Jack Campin 08 Feb 11 - 03:34 PM
Gallus Moll 08 Feb 11 - 03:47 PM
Jack Campin 08 Feb 11 - 03:56 PM
Lighter 08 Feb 11 - 04:12 PM
Artful Codger 08 Feb 11 - 09:38 PM
Jack Campin 09 Feb 11 - 07:11 AM
GUEST,john p 09 Feb 11 - 07:33 AM
G-Force 09 Feb 11 - 07:48 AM
Jack Campin 09 Feb 11 - 08:03 AM
GUEST,john p 09 Feb 11 - 08:28 AM
Artful Codger 09 Feb 11 - 04:48 PM
Artful Codger 09 Feb 11 - 04:56 PM
Jack Campin 09 Feb 11 - 06:04 PM
GUEST,leeneia 10 Feb 11 - 06:08 PM
GUEST,music 10 Feb 11 - 11:15 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: folksongsin the lydian and phrygian mode
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 04:35 PM

C Sharp reputedly only collected one English folk song in the lydian mode,does anyone know what it was?
and apparently only six English Folk songs in the phrygian mode have been collected.
I would appreciate any information as to what songs they are


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongsin the lydian and phrygian mode
From: greg stephens
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 05:11 PM

Phrygian tunes(or tunes showing a Phrygian influence) include the Northern Lass, the Beggar Boy of the North, the Cornish Evening Hymn, and a version of the Queen of Hearts. Lydian is a difficult one: there are tunes that are perhaps technically Lydian but they don't really sound it, if you know what I mean. They just sound like a major tune with an occasional sharp fourth. Which tune did Sharp classify as Lydian, I wonder|?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongsin the lydian and phrygian mode
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 05:36 PM

thanks Greg ,I am particularly interested in songs,but tunes are of interest too,thanks.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongsin the lydian and phrygian mode
From: ClaireBear
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 05:50 PM

Frankie Armstrong used to sing one in Lydian, if I remember my modes correcly. Thinking ... ah yes, it was "Maid on the Shore."

Cheers,
Claire


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongsin the lydian and phrygian mode
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 05:53 PM

I believe that Famous Flower of Serving Men is in the phrygian mode. Played at the third fret in DADGAD (or fake DADGAD) a Gm chord works for almost all of the song but in fact the notes are in a C scale.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongsin the lydian and phrygian mode
From: Anglo
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 06:32 PM

I would classify Frankie's Maid On The Shore as Dorian. I don't know which Famous Flower you have in mind, Richard, but I would classify Martin Carthy's tune as Mixolydian.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongsin the lydian and phrygian mode
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 06:35 PM

In the into to Cecil Sharp's Collection of English Folk Songs ed Karpeles, she gives the distribution of tunes with a footnote against the single Lydian saying that it refers to No.66, which is The Oxford Murder. Two versions of the tune are printed there, but neither is Lydian. The notes to the song say that there was another tune collected, so possibly that's it (or there's an error in the footnote number!).

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongsin the lydian and phrygian mode
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 06:40 PM

Incidentally, I did have a quick leaf through the short Bronson and found only one Lydian there - 73: Lord Thomas and Fair Elinor, version 95. The source was printed 1833 but from tradition. (not collected by Sharp of course!)

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongsin the lydian and phrygian mode
From: ClaireBear
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 09:52 PM

The Maid on the Shore I'm thinking of is in a major key, but with consistently sharp subdominants (4s). That's Lydian, isn't it?

Maybe others don't hear it that way...all depends on what key you think it's in when you hear it, which in the case of an acappella piece could vary with the hearer. But I definitely hear it as Lydian, starting on the 6 of the key it's in and ending on the 2.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongsin the lydian and phrygian mode
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 11:00 AM

Look up a song called 'Gallowa Hills,' which was recently discussed here. I also found a MIDI of it on the Internet and was able to download it. It's in the Phrygian mode.

I play it in the key of A. If we disregard the first measure, which I think is merely a pick-up, the first note of the song is an E, the last note is an E, and the highest notes are E's. That makes E, the third note of the scale, serve as the tonic. That's what makes it Phrygian.

It's a lovely song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: G-Force
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 11:41 AM

I don't think so, not from your description anyway. To be phrygian it would need to have E as the tonic, B as the dominant, and all the notes 'white' notes. A bit like a Spanish flamenco tune.

The only 'Gallowa Hills' I could find was firmly myxolydian, but this would seem to be different from the one you found.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 12:43 PM

Surely, G-Force, that would only be so if it was in C. All notes white notes = no sharps or flats = C or Am.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: Martha Burns
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 01:08 PM

Interesting. At Pinewoods last week, Bill Vanaver and Sandra Kerr were talking about Lydian mode and wondering why it never came to America. I didn't realize, from that conversation, that it was pretty rare in Britain, too. Anyway, the next day, Brad Leftwich played Tommy Jarrell's version of Reuben, and pointed out that it was in guess what mode? You can hear a snippet of it at
http://www.amazon.com/Old-Reuben/dp/B001IZ0SYY


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 01:38 PM

Here's an article (by Mike Yates and Steve Roud) that suggest that the song Sharp collected in the Lydian was The Murder of James Macdonald: Alice E. Gillington: dweller on the roughs (refuse the ActiveX). The relevant passage is:

...The singer was called Betsy Holland and the 'fiendishly difficult' tune was one used for the song 'The Murder of James MacDonald'. The encounter is remarkable for two separate reasons. Firstly, according to A. H. Fox Strangways, the tune used for the song was in the Lydian mode and this was the only time that Sharp was to discover any melody in this rare mode in England..."

And indeed this explains the problem I referred to in my post about Karpeles' introduction to the collected songs. James Macdonald (as it is titled there) is No.64 in the book, not 66 as given in the intro footnote. (As I was out walking the dog this afternoon I thought I might check for possible misreadings of 66 - that would have found it!).

The tune is Lydian on C with a note saying that the F# in question was sometimes rendered as E instead. I'll put up the tune in a short while.

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 01:56 PM

No.64 in the book, not 66 as given in the intro footnote. (As I was out walking the dog this afternoon I thought I might check

I got as far as "dog" before I realised that wasn't the first line!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 02:04 PM

Ah, I must remember not to be so rustic in my asides - they're too easily confused with folk songs!


Below is the tune from Sharp. There's a version of James Macdonald in the DT here with tune - but (I presume) an American version with a tune in 6/8. I haven't got time to check the tune details at the moment; I'll try and come back to that.

Anyway, here's Sharp's tune.

Mick



X:1
T:James Macdonald
M:3/4
L:1/8
S:Cecil Sharps's Collection of English Folk Songs ed Karpeles from Mrs.Betsy Holland
N:Mrs.Betsy Holland(26) at Simonsbath, Somerset, 20 August 1907
K:C Lyd
D|EF G3 D|ED C3
w:You young and old, you now make bold
D|EG AG c2|A4
w:I hope you will a-draw near
EF|G"^*Sometimes E"F/F/ GB AG|(AG)E3
w:For 'tis one of the crud-el-lest mur-der_ers
E|A3 B AB|A4
w:That e-ver you did see
(EF)|(GF) (GB) (3AAG|(AG) E3
w:'Tis_ all_ for a lov-er-lie fair_ maid
E|A>B (c<A) B2|A4
w:Her age was just_ six-teen
EF|(GF) GB AG|AG E3
w:And her beau_ty and pride was my de-light
C|E3 C ED|C4-C|]
w:When some-thing did ag-grieve_


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: RTim
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 02:17 PM

Mick Pearce (MCP) - above, beat me to the Alice Gillingham and "The Murder of James McDonald reference by a couple of hours.
It is odd that I should have been looking at that article today, after not reading it before - life is weird sometimes!
Tim Radford


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: RTim
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 02:20 PM

Ooops - of course it should be "Gillington" - fingers and brain NOT in sync!!
Tim R.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 03:20 PM

What was I thinking? In the key of A, Gallowa Hills, with its emphasis on E, would be in the Mixolydian mode, not Phrygian.

I have played a lot of tunes over the years, and few of them are actually modal throughout. Some seem to start out in a mode, but give it up and end on the tonic like most modern tunes.

Gallowa Hills may not be in the mode asked for, but it's worth learning, just to know a modal tune.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 04:42 PM

Yes, I agree (after some thinking) that the Carthy tune for Famous Flower (etc) is Mixolydian. That will reach me to trust what fidddlers tell me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: Artful Codger
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 02:26 AM

Remember that both collectors and singers not infrequently change "odd" modes to ones that are more familiar--the modern tyranny of the major/minor mindset (hmm, was that a G&S patter song?) So even if a song was sung in Lydian or Phrygian, it was apt to be notated as straight major (Ionian) or minor (Aeolian)--perhaps with accidentals, if the collector was cognizant of the distinctions and careful to preserve them--rather than in the proper key signature for the mode.

leeneia: In folk music, "modal" tunes need not begin or end on the tonic of the mode any more than major/minor tunes must. And the range has no relation whatever to mode. These indicators just happen to agree in your example.

In any case, if you play "Gallowa Hills" in A (meaning a key signature of three sharps) and you've identified the tonic as E--a fifth higher than A (or a fourth lower)--, then you're talking about Mixolydian mode (as G-Force asserted), not Phrygian (root of C#).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 02:36 AM

So if the tonic of a mode is not necessarily the start or finish note, how do you identify it?

Obviously it is not the tonic of the key, unless the mode is Ionian.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: Jack Campin
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 05:53 AM

Have a look at the modes tutorial on my website:

www.campin.me.uk/Music/Modes/

I have a few lydian and phrygian examples there.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 11:00 AM

There are so many definitions of 'modal' that debate could last forever.

However, a few years ago, I attended an early music workshop given by professional musicians with degrees in early music. Their definition of a mode was a system where you took a scale and used another note to play the usual role of 'do.'

A conventional (perhaps I should say 'hackneyed') song starts on do, ends on do, and probably has the highest note on do. (I have a friend who says that's the definition of a folk song - not that I believe her.)

A modal song takes another note and does the same thing. Gallowa Hills does it with the fifth, which makes it Mixolydian. (My first post on that was in error.) Another example is the old Christmas song 'Savior of the Nations, Come' which is Dorian, beginning and ending on the second note of the scale.

I use the professionals' definition because it makes sense and sometimes we actually find an old song where it works. I can see how it might actually have helped some hapless monk deal with the many chants needed to run a monastery or cathedral. But nowadays paper is cheap, printing is easy, and we just teach people to read music.

Or perhaps the modes existed more in people's minds than in music. Medieval thinkers were great ones for intellectual systems, whether or not they actually existed. Remember epicycles? Terra australis? The music of the spheres?

Nowadays, too, compositions are much more varied, artists are more creative, and people start them and end them wherever they want.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: Eve Goldberg
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 12:30 PM

My understanding of the tonic in a given song has to do with "tonal centre" of a song. You can think of that as the place in the melody that feels like "home." Melodies take little journeys, hang out in different places, and some places feel nice and solid, and other places feel like you are hanging off the end of a cliff. When you feel like you have come "home," it often means you are on the tonic.

In songs in the major scale, we call that note "do." A song might begin on another note-- for example "I'll Fly Away." ("Some bright morning when this life is over...") Sing through the song a little bit and you'll realize that the note that feels like "home" in that song is not "Some" in the first line, it's "bright." "Some" is "mi" and "bright" is "do." The song ends on "do," which is definitely helpful in terms of figuring out that feeling of "home."

But not all songs end on "do." Think about "Four Strong Winds," to take another example. If you sing through that song to the end of a verse or a chorus (eg, "I'll look for you if I'm ever back this way..."), you will notice that it feels like you are left "hanging" at the end. That's because you are not ending on the tonic. You are ending on "so," and in fact the last chord is the chord that's built on "so," the V chord. So the song has a kind of feeling like you are left in the air at the end. That's a good sign that a song doesn't end on the tonic. ("Four Strong Winds" also doesn't begin on the tonic - the tonic is the note that you sing on the word "Winds.")

Other modes have a different relationship between the notes in the scale. The intervals in a major scale are Whole-Whole-Half-Whole-Whole-Whole-Half. Play on a piano from C to C and those are the intervals you will see. If you play from D to D instead, you get a scale that has the following intervals: Whole-Half-Whole-Whole-Whole-Half-Whole. I think that's Dorian mode, but I'm not 100% sure -- I'm not an expert on all the modes yet!

If you were singing a song in that mode, in the key of D Dorian (or whatever that mode was that I just suggested), the melody would be centred on D, just like a song based on a major scale. But the feel of the melody would be very different, because of those different intervals in the scale. And just like with a major scale, the melody might not start or end on the D note, even though D is the "tonal centre" of the melody.

And it would be similar for whatever other mode you were singing in. The term "mode" really refers to the intervals in the scale that the melody is based on. In folk music, we often use the word "modal" to indicate songs that use intervals that aren't found in the major scale, but often we aren't specifying what mode we are talking about, which makes things a little confusing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: Jack Campin
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 12:37 PM

The starting *note* is irrelevant in pretty near any modal system - flip through any songbook and you'll find exceptions in seconds. The starting *chord* is more likely to tell you something - i.e. it's usual for folksongs to begin with a stressed note that is either the root, third or fifth.

Lots of folk tunes end on a note that is not the tonal centre (commonly the third in major-ish modes and the fifth in minor-ish ones). That didn't happen in chant, which is one of the reasons why folk music needs a different concept of "mode" from the liturgical one. (Chant also associates a fixed set of melodic formulas with each mode, as the Middle Eastern makams and Indian ragas do - folk music is less systemstic about this, though there are rudiments of it, like the three-note do-mi-do figure at the end of a lot of major-mode hornpipes).

This is an example where the final note is not on the tonal centre (lullabies usually have tonally indefinite endings like this, so as not to wake the baby up by conveying that the song's finished). It would be appropriate to use a C chord at the end, i.e. the dominant of F.

X:1
T:I Know Where I'm Going
M:2/4
L:1/8
Q:1/4=80
K:F
    F F G A|F F2
C   |A A A B|A G3 |
    c c c c|c F2
F/F/|G A B A|A G3|]


The mediaeval modal systems had extremely practical ends. For the church, they let you organize a group of melodies for a single liturgy in a common mode (or a few related ones) so the choir would be able to sing the whole service in tune (almost literally "singing from the same hymnsheet"). It didn't have anything specifically to do with the use of notation. For the secular music of the Middle East at the same time, the modal system would get a group of performers in tune for a collectively semi-improvised piece - harps were commonly used a the time and they could not be retuned on the fly, you needed to set the mode once and for all at the start of the concert (a practice still followed in concerts of classical Turkish music).

Both systems had the same antecedents, probably in the music of ancient Mesopotamia, with its earliest surviving theoretical description by the ancient Greeks and its first use in the church in the Byzantine "tonoi" (which predate the Western modes by centuries and are still in use).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: Artful Codger
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 03:00 PM

Richard: In folk music, Eve has pretty much hit it: the tonal center is the note around which the music makes the most sense. You consider all the cues--chordal and melodic progressions, melodic resting points, the frequency with which particular notes are used or stressed, etc.--and from that intuitively deduce the tonal center. It's a matter of pattern detection over a whole phrase or tune rather than hard rules. Fortunately, our intuitive musical sense is far more acute than our theoretical understanding, so usually, the tonal center becomes apparent rather quickly--you just "hear" it.

The intervalic relationships from the tonal center to the other notes determine the mode. Typically, you'll detect the tonal center and the mode at the same time, though your initial guess of mode may be mistaken until more of the tune unfolds: aha, that seventh, flatted, means the mode is Mixolydian instead of major/Ionian, as I first assumed! Tunes can also shift modes and/or tonal centers (such as a vascillating seventh, a switch from major to minor or a temporary modulation up a fourth). Gapped scales can leave mode indeterminate, although accompaniment may favor a particular modal interpretation. And I'm still talking about traditional folk music, not modern extensions into jazz chords, frequent modulation, chromaticism, polytonality and the like.

And now (we hope), back to the hunt for tunes in Lydian or Phygian...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 04:10 PM

Sorry, I'm sure. I will point out that your explanation is materially circular and depart.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: Jack Campin
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 06:38 PM

It isn't circular at all. What Artful Codger is suggesting is a variant of the scheme used by Indian and Middle Eastern tonal systems (and in a simpler way by the chant modes) - look for characteristic cadential formulas, or at the bare minimum note frequencies. Phil Taylor's BarFly ABC processor for the Mac uses a frequency-based approach for its mode-guessing utility - it ignores the order of the notes in the tune entirely. Nonetheless that's often enough to go on. Here's the frequency data it reports for "I Know Where I'm Going":


F       *************************
Gb      
G       *************************
Ab      
A       *************************
Bb      ******
B      
C       *******************
Db      
D      
Eb      
E      

Most of the notes fall into an F major triad. Sing it in a resonant acoustic and you'd hear that as the predominant vertical sonority (the other one being ambiguously Gm or C7).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: Old Vermin
Date: 28 Nov 09 - 01:02 PM

Have been very much enjoying this thread and, I hope, learning from it.
One result is discovering or re-discovering the

T:Uist Tramping Song G:march M:2/4 L:1/8 Q:1/4=100
K:D % lydian/major/mixolydian pentatonic

in Mr Campin's website, and setting about playing it. Luckily my wife likes the tune. So far, anyway.

Did Steeleye use part or all of it for a ballad setting? I have a faint fragmentary memory of 'the boy did, and it was well that he did' or similar or thereabouts...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: GUEST,john p
Date: 08 Feb 11 - 02:02 PM

Lucy Wan is the only true Lydian tune I know of.

There are, of course, quite a few tunes that have gapped scales and can be played as if they are either Lydian or Ionian.
Similarly there are pentatonic tunes that can be played as if they are Lydian/Ionian/Mixalyduan.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: maple_leaf_boy
Date: 08 Feb 11 - 02:23 PM

I'm not sure about English songs in Lydian mode, but I know a variation
of the western "O Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie" in Lydian mode.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: Brian Peters
Date: 08 Feb 11 - 02:56 PM

"Lucy Wan is the only true Lydian tune I know of."

Some of us are sceptical that Lucy Wan was ever a Lydian tune outside of the imagination of Bert Lloyd. See discussion here.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 08 Feb 11 - 03:23 PM

I have absolutely no idea what you are all discussing - or why?!

I learn everything by ear, all my songs and my (intermediate-level playing) fiddle tunes, and neither know nor care whether they are one or other of the above thingummyjigs.
If I like them I'll remember them,even years late; I know in my head where they go - - do I have any need to know what (mode?) they are in? Would it make a difference / improvement to me - or just totally confuse me!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 Feb 11 - 03:34 PM

Fiddlers don't need to know this stuff as much as players of diatonic instruments do, but it can still come in handy (not least so you can understand why the moothie players sometimes look annoyed and stop playing along with you).

Start reading through my modes tutorial and you are likely to get some ideas of what you can do with it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 08 Feb 11 - 03:47 PM

Thanks Jack - I am mainly a singer (for last 50+ years) - should I worry about this total lack of knowledge?!Don't seem to have had any problems so far- - -


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 Feb 11 - 03:56 PM

Probably not.

You may find a lot of it simply gives you words to describe things you knew anyway. Which is handy if you want to communicate about those things, so don't knock it. I think you run workshops on singing? If so, it might help in getting accompanists to fit in quicker.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: Lighter
Date: 08 Feb 11 - 04:12 PM

To me it's interesting only because if collectors can have only come up with a vanishingly small number of tunes in Lydian or Phrygian or anything else, it means that, at least over the past 125 years or so, there has simply been no significant use of those modes in tradition. Why not?

There's probably no simple answer, and it may not matter, but it's an interesting question anyway because, presumably, there could be traditional cultures that groove on the Lydian like we do on the Ionian. (And if not, why not?)

I guess it's a musical psychology thing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: Artful Codger
Date: 08 Feb 11 - 09:38 PM

FWIW, in my setting of Frank Benton's cowboy poem, "Old Buck's Ghost" I intermix Lydian and Dorian, similarly to major shifting to relative minor. Given the large percentage of cowboys who were Scottish or Irish immigrants, I'm sure that a fair number of cowboy songs originally carried modal tunes—certainly more interesting tunes than have survived after decades of homogenization and casual transmission. Consider this a nod of compensatory "reconstruction".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Feb 11 - 07:11 AM

I believe that statistically a larger proportion of cowboys in the Old West were Black or Hispanic than anything from the British Isles (why are you omitting the English, anyway?). So you might expect their music to have had an influence.

Which suggests a question. As far I can tell, the hijaz mode (D Eb F# G A Bb c d, or "major phrygian" sometimes in flamenco parlance) didn't cross the Atlantic. You don't find it in Latin American music anything like as often as in Andalusian music. Weren't there many immigrants to the Americas from the formerly-Moorish parts of Spain?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: GUEST,john p
Date: 09 Feb 11 - 07:33 AM

"To me it's interesting only because if collectors can have only come up with a vanishingly small number of tunes in Lydian or Phrygian or anything else, it means that, at least over the past 125 years or so, there has simply been no significant use of those modes in tradition. Why not?"

Maybe it's significant that Lydian is the most major and Phrygian is the most minor of the modes, would there be a tendency for the Lydian to migrate towards the Ionian(modern day Major) and the Phrygian towards the Aeolian(modern day Minor).
That is, the Lydian dropping the augmented fourth(Bronson h1) and the Phrygian dropping the minor second(Bronson h5).

From what I remember Bronson found that around 3/4 of all appalachian ballads are hexatonic or pentatonic. So even if they originated in strict modal form(???), they may have been gapped to accommodate local forms of harmony singing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: G-Force
Date: 09 Feb 11 - 07:48 AM

Some interesting speculations here.

First of all, I believe that much Spanish immigration into the Americas was from Galicia and other northern parts of Iberia. At least, the sleeve notes to the Chieftains' "Santiago" album seem to suggest as much. This may explain why the Moorish influence seems to be less over there.

Secondly, there are of course regions where the modes which are rare in the English or Celtic derived traditions are much more common. The Lydian mode is common in Eastern Europe, and there is much Phrygian-sounding music in flamenco which suggests that the Phrygian should be more common in the middle east which I believe has influenced flamenco.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Feb 11 - 08:03 AM

Gapped-scale tunes seem to predate harmony in the European folk traditions, and the great majority of them are used for songs that never got harmonized. I don't believe many gapped tunes are derived from heptatonic antecedents.

The "phrygian-sounding" flamenco music is mostly in hijaz (the third is sharpened as in the major scale). True phrygian doesn't seem quite as common, though it's more common than in the British Isles.

Lydian seems to be most common in Scandinavia - it's not all that usual in eastern Europe (if the fourth is sharpened, it's more often in a scale with a minor third, like nikriz or misheberekh). I would guess that the Scottish examples are mainly of Norse origin.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: GUEST,john p
Date: 09 Feb 11 - 08:28 AM

"I don't believe many gapped tunes are derived from heptatonic antecedents."

Thnks for that, on reflection I can see that a more natural process would be for gapped scales to be 'filled in' to become more strictly modal, rather than the other way about.
Whether the gap takes the major or minor interval may then depend on more local influences.

Perhaps it's not one or the other anyway.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: Artful Codger
Date: 09 Feb 11 - 04:48 PM

To Jack: I didn't mention English and Spanish cowboys because they weren't (as) germane to my point. And neither did I say that the largest percentages of immigrant cowboys were Irish and Scottish, simply that large percentages were. (Though from what I've read, I believe the numbers of Irish and Scottish immigrants among the cowboy population were larger than the number of English ones.) So yes, one might have expected modal contributions from both English and Scottish cultures as well—though not much in the Lydian line.

One reason for these percentages is that the Scots and Irish arriving in the East faced severe exclusionary biases that the English did not—recall the blatantly hostile "No Irish Need Apply" signs—forcing many to seek jobs in other parts, and droving talents from the old sod adapted well to cowboying. Scots and Irish also faced more severe economic oppression in their native lands (primarily at the hands of the English), so there was greater emigration from those parts during the period which encompassed the golden age of cowboying.

Proportionally, more cowboys came from the South (especially as ex-Confederate soldiers) than from the North, and the British/American modal tradition remained strong in that region—from mountain ballads to banjo tunes to shape-note singing. This also would have affected the modal balance in cowboy songs.

As for the Spanish influence, it's inseparable from cowboy life, which mostly evolved in Texas (and to a lesser extent, California). But for much of the trail-herding days, the cowboy enclaves remained fairly segregated into whites, Mexicans and blacks. As the songs were mostly exchanged around the campfires of segregated camps, well, draw your own conclusions on cross-pollination.

Who knows, maybe my mythical cowboy singer was a Rom: Slovak Joe the Wrangler...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: Artful Codger
Date: 09 Feb 11 - 04:56 PM

Oops—in the last line of first paragraph above, I meant to say "modal contributions from both English and Spanish cultures."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Feb 11 - 06:04 PM

Scots and Irish arriving in the East faced severe exclusionary biases that the English did not

In the case of the Scots, that's bollocks.


recall the blatantly hostile "No Irish Need Apply" signs

That sort of thing was obviously not enough a deterrent to stop the Irish becoming a very large proportion of the urban population of the big North-Eastern cities. It can't have been a significant motivation for them to look westwards for work. (It was a much more significant motivation for any African-American who could manage to get out there).


Scots and Irish also faced more severe economic oppression in their native lands (primarily at the hands of the English)

Primarily at the hands of their own ruling class, particularly in Scotland.

Something that tends to be forgotten in the romanticization of oppression that Irish-Americans specialize in: no matter where you are or who's doing the oppressing, it isn't the poorest who emigrate. Emigration costs money, and it costs more the further you go. So the poorest Irish stayed put because they couldn't afford to go anywhere. The not-quite-so-poor went to England or Scotland (and Irish seasonal migration to Scotland continued until after WW2). Those who could find the price of a trans-oceanic fare went to North America, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa. A fairly large minority the romanticizers prefer to forget about joined the British Army since they'd take even the most destitute (my great-grandfather was one of those).


droving talents from the old sod adapted well to cowboying

Droving was a minor occupation in Ireland, where until the Famine most people lived from arable/mixed subsistence farming. Large scale cattle rearing was a bigger deal in Scotland, but it didn't suffer any great crash until the 1880s and expanded a bit as a result of the Clearances. So there was little pressure on anybody with a job in the Scottish cattle business to emigrate. (Guys with specialized or managerial experience might well accept an offer from North America involving more money, of course).

One of the few people who ever tried to count the frequency of different modes in different parts of the British Isles was Breandan Breathnach. He concluded there was no difference in that respect between England, Ireland and Scotland.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 10 Feb 11 - 06:08 PM

"the romanticization of oppression"

Thanks, Jack. That phrase expresses well something that has bothered me for a long time - people hugging ancient wrongs to their bosoms and making up new 'ancient wrongs' to stoke the fires of their own hostility.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: folksongs in the lydian and phrygian mode
From: GUEST,music
Date: 10 Feb 11 - 11:15 PM

For more on this go to www.latest.fm/MUSIc/index.asp .

Here u can find all for free (100%).

I am using this link for most of my needs


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 14 August 9:12 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.