What do we call it?
General mountain dulcimer or music discussions
A troupe, a heap, a batch, a fleet, or maybe just y'all if I am speaking to them rather than about them.
Do your pets (such as a sophisticated Vizsla -- which is a good title for a song) care about the mode you're in? Seriously!
I had a small, loyal and intense tabby cat who would lie next to me in perfect contentment when I played dulcimer. As long as it was Ionian or Mixolydian. If I re-tuned to Aeolian or Dorian she would stiffen up, lay her ears back in fighting position, crouch there stubbornly for a few minutes waiting for me to reconsider the error of my ways, and eventually give up on me and leave the room in a snit. No minor modes for her!
That is a very good question! I am kind of a slacker when it comes to tuning, so I stay in mixolydian (or as close as I can get to it) all the time. I may have to do the experiment though. If I were a gambling man, I'd wager a dime to a doughnut that she would be wigged out by phrygian and locrian modes. Probably just because those are the strangest sounding names to me though. I don't have the empirical evidence, yet.
Sophisticated Vizsla is a indeed great song name, and I am kicking myself for not calling dibs on that! According to my admittedly lame understanding of copyright law you might now have the rights to it, in perpetuity, and that's a mighty long time! I call dibs on 'The Synchopated Vizsla,' and 'The Exonerated Vizsla.' I think the former could be nice a jazz tune, and the latter a ballad about how her brother (black dog in the previous photo) was stone-cold busted after years of framing her for chewing up raw sweet potatoes while we were out of the house.
That is so funny about your tabby cat! She sounds like she was a real character!