Paul Certo
@paul-certo
5 years ago
293 posts

The reason it sounds off to our ears is because the drones are in D, while the melody is played in C ionian as Ken has it. You can tune to the "dorian" mode, but if you finger the ionian scale that's what you get. A point to remember is this: every mode is available in any tuning, by starting your scale on a different fret. But the drones must be tuned correctly to give you the harmony for that key.

If we start our scale on the open string, we get the mixolydian mode. Always. If that string is tuned to C, we have C mixolydian. To harmonize this, we tune the drones to C and G. If we leave that melody string tuned to C, but begin our scale on the 1st fret, we have the aeolian mode of the key of D. We must now tune our drones to D and A to harmonize this new key and mode. Leaving the melody string at C, and starting our scale at the 2nd fret, we now have the locrian mode of E, and we need to tune our drones to E and B. This continues all the way up the fret board, with each mode in a new key. Drone and chord players alike are bound by this. The mode not only gives us the notes we need for that modal melody, it also gives us the notes used by chord players to harmonize that melody. This is also true for drone players, just not as readily visible. But as we learn to hear, and to trust our ears, we recognize when the harmony is right for the key and mode of the melody. Playing alone, this is dissonant, but try adding a chord player to the mix. If you play this song tuned to DAG, what key do you tell your guitarist buddy to play it? In C or D? If he plays it in C, his chords will sound good against the melody, but will clash terribly with the key of D drones. If he plays it in D, his harmony and yours will work, but the melody will clash with both harmonies. The key of the melody string must match the key of the drones.

Paul

Ivan Bradley
@ivan-bradley
5 years ago
32 posts

OK, Ken, so you're saying that by tuning the melody string one note lower you're tuning into Dorian mode, which I understand. But playing a tune in an Ionian mode against the drones doesn't make it a Dorian sound. As you said in your first post, the Dorian scale begins on the 4th fret. Thus if a tune is to truly sound Dorian with the melody string tuned down it must (usually, there are exceptions to every rule) resolve to the 4th fret, not the third. Our western ears are accustomed to music using certain chord progressions and resolutions and, like folkfan, I find the sounds as you've given the melody weird. But if I raise everything one fret (melody string still tuned down), then it sounds Dorian.

folkfan
@folkfan
5 years ago
456 posts

Ivan, Ken previously wrote that "All Through The Night" was in Ionian. The reason I asked about his fretting was to see if he was working with a different variation of the tune than I was. If so, then how it sounded in Dorian would be different than the version I'm playing. I'd tried my version in Dorian, but I'm so used to playing and singing it in Ionian that I couldn't get it to sound right to me.

A lot of people experiment with different tunings on modal music and come up with interesting sounding tunes. Lisa just did a video of "Go Tell Aunt Roadie" or "The Old Grey Goose" in Dorian. It sounded "Medieval" and not like "The Old Grey Goose" at all. Spooky.

Ken mentions doing the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald in Dorian, my version is in Mixolydian, but I don't use a 1-5-8 tuning for it. My tuning is DGG with the G being played at the open string on the melody. This has a different sound than the more traditional GDg tuning for Mix, but it works for me.

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
5 years ago
1,460 posts

Yes, Ivan, I'm well aware that the melody line and the tune is Ionian. In both Ionian and Dorian Modes the drones are tuned to the same notes - D and A. It's the G tuned melody string which gives the effect Folkfan has noticed. I've never said that this tune is anything but Ionian. I am simply saying that - right, wrong, or indifferent - it can be played with a Dorian Modal tuning. Many Ionian tunes can be played from a Dorian modal tuning to give them a unique and different mood.

Ivan Bradley
@ivan-bradley
5 years ago
32 posts

Ken, the melody line you give above is for a tune in the Ionian mode. No matter what you tune the melody string to, any scale that begins on the third fret without using the 6+ fret is Ionian. Tuning the drone strings to something else may make for some strange harmonies and may even make the song sound Dorian, but the truth is that the melody you give denotes an Ionian tune.

folkfan
@folkfan
5 years ago
456 posts

296_forums.jpgYou play the same fretting positions that I do, but our tunings are different. Going from Ionian to Dorian really hits my ear as wrong and leaves my mind in a muddle7.gif. My ears are going "what the heck??? that's all.

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
5 years ago
1,460 posts

Here's the melody line that I worked out.

3..2..1..3 - 4..3..2..0 - 1...2...33 (repeat)

sleep my child - and peace attend thee - all through the night

Guardian angels He will send thee - all through the night

6...5.6.7.8..7..6..5

While the drowsy hours are keeping

6..5..4...3-5..4..3..2

Hill and vale to-gether sleeping

3..3..2..1-3..4..3..2..0 - 1...2...33

I my lo-ving watch am keeping - all through the night.

folkfan
@folkfan
5 years ago
456 posts

What fingering are you using for say "All Through The Night". Mine in Ionian goes All/1 Through/2 the/2 night/3. Tuning to Dorian (1-5-3) and using that sounds wrong so how are you transposing it?

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
5 years ago
1,460 posts

All Through the Night may not technically be a Dorian Mode tune, but it sounds pretty neat that way....

folkfan
@folkfan
5 years ago
456 posts

http://sniff.numachi.com/lookup.cgi?ds1=C&ds2=C&ds3=F&ti=THRUNITE&tt=THRUNITE&tab=d

Ken, What version of "All Through The Night" do you play? The one I do is basically the same as this one. Doesn't strike me as a minor song. I do "Come O'er The Stream Charlie" and "Cindy" in a major mode too.

Barbara P
@barbara-p
5 years ago
63 posts

Thank you for typing that out Ken!

I love the Dorian mode even though sometimes I get some sort of reverberation in the strings. I guess because the strings are lighter and they are slack. But I still love it.

Strumelia
@strumelia
5 years ago
1,763 posts

Ken, that's a great list of tunes that can be played in Dorian mode, especially since they include some modern tunes too.

Just to round things out, here are a couple of my noter Blog posts that walk beginner's through the Dorian mode, with simple tuning diagram and an easy-level tab for Little Sadie:

http://dulcimer-noter-drone.blogspot.com/2009/11/golly-modes-arent-so-scary-after-all.html

http://dulcimer-noter-drone.blogspot.com/2009/04/little-sadie-in-dorian-mode.html




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
5 years ago
1,460 posts

Lisa's playing of Aunt Rhody in Dorian Mode has brought up interest in one of my favorite Modes.

Dorian is a minor Mode with the 3rd and 7th notes of the scale flatted* and the 6th note of the scale sharped* -- when compared to the major Ionian Mode scale (mi-flat, la-sharp, ti-flat). Dorian is identical to the full minor Aeolian Mode except that the 6th note of the scale is sharped in Dorian but flatted in Aeolian.

Dorian is most commonly heard in Celtic music and early American folk songs derived from Irish melodies. Dorian mode sounds a little melancholy because the final note (re) doesn't quite resolve itself. The song may be over, but the singer is still unsettled.

The Dorian scale starts on the 4th fret and runs to the 11th. Traditionally it was tuned in D -- DAG, but a 1-5-7 tuning will give you Dorian mode in whatever key you choose -- CGF for example or GDC. To get to Dorian mode from Ionian, tune the melody string down -- DAA to DAG for example.

Here's a list, in no particular order,of Dorian tunes that I've compiled over the years. Some of these can also be played in other Modes, and there are tunes like Aunt Rhody which can be given a new interpretation by being played in Dorian. Give it a try!

Clinch Mountain Backstep
What Do We Do With A Drunken Sailor
Star of Munster
Star of County Down
Shady Grove
Cluck Old Hen
In the Pines
Black is the Color of My True Loves Hair
Dear Companion
Little Sadie
Pretty Polly...
Over the River, Charlie
Wedding Dress a.k.a. Little Doney Gal
Bachelor's Hall
Nottamun Town
Over the River Charlie
Drowsey Maggie
Cindy, Cindy
Cripple Creek
Sovay
Swallowtail Jig
Hughie The Graeme
My Little Welsh Home
The Mist Covered Mountains of Home
Motherless Child
All The Pretty Little Horses
All Through the Night

Modern:
Scarborough Fair (Simon & Garfunkle)
Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (Gordon Lightfoot)
City of New Orleans (Arlo Guthrie)
Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia (Vicki Lawrence/Bobby Russel)
Summertime (Gershwin)

Hymns:
Wondrous Love
Be Thou My Vision a.k.a Banks of the Bann

Rounds:
Hey Ho Nobody Home

Rock:
Moondance (Van Morrison)
Smoke on the Water (Deep Purple)
Light My Fire (The Doors)
Oye Como Va (Carlos Santana)
Eleanor Rigby (Beatles)
Along Comes Mary (Association)
Knockin' on Heaven's Door (Dylan)
This Diamond Ring (Gary Lewis & The Playboys)

** Note that flatted and sharped are not the same as flat and sharp. If the natural note is F# for example and it is flatted, it becomes an F. If F# is sharped it becomes a G.


updated by @ken-hulme: 06/11/15 07:29:43AM