September 11, 1997

A Few things about MODES. Medieval church modes and their ancient Greek names; the confusion resulting in old names for "new" modes. In antiquity, the concept of mode involved:

Diatonic, chromatic and enharmonic modes (tetrachords). The enharmonic type involved intervals different/smaller then the semitone. The tuning system.

Pope Gregory the Great organized/systematized the Western liturgy and chant following the Byzantine model. That model has survived in the Eastern Orthodox liturgy and influenced to some extent the folk music of Eastern Europe. Bartok as one of the first composers to study as an ethnomusicolog the folklore of that region.

General characteristics of the East European folklore.

Most of these characteristics are going to be used by Bartok, Stravinsky and by composers of more recent music. Three Pieces for String Quartet (first piece) by Stravinsky (on reserve) used as an example. The work involves: ison, pre-pentatonic scales and an aksak type meter. Based on four ostinati of unequal length, it creates a "static", non-developmental type of music, extremely original for the year 1914 when it was composed.

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