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OK I went and researched myself and reached some conclusions. In order to answer this question, we first have to ask whether back then there was some organized doctrine of musical theory and whether there was some sort of pedagogical tradition. The French Benedictine monk Hucbald was the first to write a theory book. At the end of the 9th century he ...


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When looking for a new, interesting harmonic colour in a piece of music, we don't go through a catalogue of 'permitted' modal interchanges. We MIGHT think 'let's try this chord shape shifted up or down a step'. Or perhaps 'let's try this chord with one (or more) notes slightly shifted'. Or even 'what's the GREATEST contrast I can find to the home chord?' ...


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A few historical tidbits on European music, since that seems to be partly what the question is after. First, there's a lot of misunderstanding about modes and how they were used in medieval music. Prior to the 16th century, the modes we call Dorian, Hypodorian, Phrygian, etc. were almost exclusively used to classify chant melodies which were monophonic, ...


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Here is my 2 cents on this topic after some research (serendipitous research in a sense). Perhaps nowhere in Western music is there such a thing as Dorian #7. However, in Carnatic music there are modes that are equivalent to the Western modes with raised 7ths (more correctly, major 7ths). To understand this better would require a deep excursion into ...


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Depends how you define a 'minor' mode. Most of the modes contain a major or minor third and a perfect fifth and so may be considered as modifications of either the major or minor scales. The perfect fifth allows a dominant-tonic interaction, very useful when writing any sort of functional harmony. It defines where 'home' is. Locrian doesn't have a ...


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