6 1/2 in ionian mode

tonyg
@tonyg
4 months ago
7 posts

Thanks Ken....I found it online and downloaded it.  And thanks to you too Dusty.

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
4 months ago
2,120 posts

Tony -- Dusty's given you the straight stuff.  If you want to know more about Modes and  Modal tunings, I can email you a booklet/essay I wrote several years ago called The Uncontrite Modal Folker, which goes into all the nitty gritty... Sendme your email addy in a PM...

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty
4 months ago
1,724 posts

@tonyg, if you are tuned Ddd (or DAd for that matter) and play a song in the ionian mode, you should be using the 6-1/2 fret.  The 6 fret would be mixolydian.

If you did not have a 6-1/2 fret, you would have to tune your melody string to A to get the ionian mode, and your base or tonic would be the 3rd fret.

The reason is simply that the songs you have chosen employ the major scale or ionian mode.  Other songs--most obviously Old Joe Clark--employ the mixolydian mode.  Some songs are actually pentatonic, and only involve a 5-note scale. Those can usually be played in either the ionian or the mixolydian modes.  But truly modal melodies can only be played in one mode.

In the key of D, the ionian mode makes use of the C# (the 6+ fret on a D string) and the mixolydian mode makes use of the C natural (the 6 fret on a D string).

To play modal music, dulcimer players get accustomed to changing tunings.  Or, they add frets.  The main reason for the popularity of the 6+ fret is that it lets dulcimer players play in both the ionian and mixolydian modes without changing tunings.

I hope that clarifies more than it muddies.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
tonyg
@tonyg
4 months ago
7 posts

I generally keep my dulcimer tuned d-d-D.  I've  noticed when I play in the ionian mode, certain hymns like Hoy, Holy, Holy, Abide With Me, and Softly and Tenderly require the use of the 6 1/2 fret.  (I've  also noticed I can't  seem to play these same hymns in the mixolydian mode.....at least not in d-d-D tuning)  Could anyone give me the reason for this, keeping in mind I'm  not the sharpest knife in the music theory drawer?  Thanks......