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.
In music, any of a variety of concepts used to classify scales and melodies. In Western music, the term is particularly used for the medieval church modes. Keys in tonal music are normally said to be in either major or minor mode, depending particularly on the third degree of the scale. The concept of mode may involve much more than simply a classification of scales, extending to embrace an entire vocabulary of melodic formulas and perhaps other aspects of music that traditionally occur in tandem with a given set of formulas. The term mode has also been used for purely rhythmic patterns such as those of the Ars Antiqua, which were based on ancient Greek poetic metres.
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In music, any one of eight scalar modes employed for medieval liturgical melodies. The modal system was conceived for the purpose of codifying plainchant (see Gregorian chant); the names of the modes were borrowed from the system used by the ancient Greeks, though the Greek system was inadequately understood and the connection between the two is illusory. The modes are distinguished according to the note used as the final (last note) and the emphasis placed on another note, called the dominant. The Dorian mode's final is D, the Phrygian mode's is E, the Lydian mode's is F, and the Mixolydian's is G. Each of these four original modes had a parallel mode (Hypodorian, Hypophrygian, Hypolydian, and Hypomixolydian) with a lower range. Though they principally employ the tones A-B-C-D-E-F-G, some replace B with B-flat. In the 16th century, further modes were identified—the Aeolian, on A, and the Ionian, on C (corresponding to modern minor and major). The mode on B was ignored because of B's problematic tonal relationship within the scale.
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