It is currently Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:26 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 21 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 
 Post subject: What is a mode
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:29 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 12:44 pm
Posts: 573
Location: Washington State
I have a woodwind design book that keeps mentioning mode 1 and 2. The book is filled with technical jargon, but, as is typical, it leaves out some important details. Like what exactly a mode is.

I'm guessing mode 1 is the first register and the 2nd mode is the overblown 2nd octave. Am I right?


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is a mode
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 3:03 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:15 pm
Posts: 359
awildman wrote:
I have a woodwind design book that keeps mentioning mode 1 and 2. The book is filled with technical jargon, but, as is typical, it leaves out some important details. Like what exactly a mode is.

I'm guessing mode 1 is the first register and the 2nd mode is the overblown 2nd octave. Am I right?


I'll hazard a wild guess...is this a book on making Native American flutes?

If so, the mode 1 and mode 2 info relates to playing a different version of the scale on the flute, not to first and second octave. If the book is NOT about NA flutes, then I have no idea what they mean :-)

_________________
Geoffrey Ellis Flutes


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is a mode
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 3:33 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 12:44 pm
Posts: 573
Location: Washington State
It is called Air Columns and Toneholes by Bart Hopkin. It is supposed to be about general principles, but the author may have a bias towards NA flutes or Shakuhachi. This may explain some of the specific omissions.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is a mode
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 3:56 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:15 pm
Posts: 359
awildman wrote:
It is called Air Columns and Toneholes by Bart Hopkin. It is supposed to be about general principles, but the author may have a bias towards NA flutes or Shakuhachi. This may explain some of the specific omissions.


In that case you can disregard my remarks. There was an author of some books on NA flute making many years ago who used the Mode terms and I thought it might be him. But on reflection, he referenced Mode 1&4 not 1&2.

_________________
Geoffrey Ellis Flutes


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is a mode
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:55 pm 
Online

Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:40 am
Posts: 622
The modes are basically the Major scale, but starting on a different note.

Imagine a C major scale, C D E F G A B C

Now imagine playing the same notes, but starting on D: D E F G A B C D.

That's the "Dorian mode." It sort of sounds the same, but sort of doesn't, because your likely 1st chord, built from the D, is going to be a minor, wheareas if you start on C, you first chord will be a major chord. Starting on the D will give you a "minor" feel. A famous example in jazz is the MIles Davis' tune "So What" from Kind of Blue. I you listen to Davis's trumpet solo, all the notes are in D Dorian or Eb Dorian, which is an Eb major scale started on the second tone, F.

If you started on G and played the notes of the C major scale, you'd be in Mixolydian mode. In the jazz world, the song "all Blues" from Kind of Blue again could be said to be in G mixolydian, and again Davis play a solo that ignores the conventional blues scale and plays only G Mix. It has what you might describe as a "floating" feel, not quite doing the usual blues I IV V thing. I'm giving jazz examples because I know that tradition pretty well

The modes are ways of organizing pitches, or specifying relationships between pitches. They're a constrained set of choices, and they establish "feel." If you take a song like "Do Re Mi" from "the Sound of Music" and move it from the Key of C to the key of D, it will sound pretty much the same, because all the pitch relationships will be the same. But if you tried to play it in the Dorian mode it would all go crazy.

I've always found music theory difficult--it took me decades to be able to explain it this badly!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is a mode
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:20 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:59 pm
Posts: 956
Location: Southwestern Ontario
In a discussion of acoustics, "mode" is almost certainly not used in the music theory sense, especially if he says "mode 1" and "mode 2". Simplest guess is that, yes, he's talking about harmonics (registers). I can think of two other possible meanings: one involves longtitudinal or transverse waves; in the other, all the normal flute action happens in the zeroth mode (higher modes being little whistly sounds, IIRC)... both meanings are less likely what's intended.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is a mode
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:21 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2012 7:12 pm
Posts: 209
Location: Pacific Northwest USA
It's probably not about musical modes. I'm no expert but it rang a bell in these dusty old cobwebs, so I looked at a saved bookmark for this page on flute acoustics. I think I found it on Terry's site:

http://newt.phys.unsw.edu.au/music/flute/

Follow the linked page from there, and this one mentions modes as another name for the sequential vibration patterns under the "Harmonics and the different instrument bores" heading:

http://newt.phys.unsw.edu.au/jw/woodwind.html

That's all I got, until someone more knowledgeable jumps in here.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is a mode
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:26 pm 
Offline
Moderatorer
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 34503
Location: Minneapolis
awildman wrote:
I have a woodwind design book that keeps mentioning mode 1 and 2. The book is filled with technical jargon, but, as is typical, it leaves out some important details. Like what exactly a mode is.

I'm guessing mode 1 is the first register and the 2nd mode is the overblown 2nd octave. Am I right?

Close, I would say. Since the book is about design, I should think "mode 1 or 2" has nothing to do with scales. After all, our musical modes have proper names, and I have never heard them referred to by numbers; in any case, why refer to only two when there are seven? I had to do some looking because this isn't my field, but I do believe the author indeed means the physics of producing the 1st and 2nd registers. In acoustics, "mode" refers to a standing wave. As far as I can tell, the term "harmonic" tends to be used more often, but seems to be interchangeable with "mode" in this application, e.g.: 1st harmonic = 1st mode. And I don't mean "node", either. Gotta mind yer Ms and Ns on this one, because there are nodes in the modes, as well. The possibility for error might account for the apparently more frequent use of "harmonic" over "mode".

To the physics boffins: If I'm wrong about the terminological interchangeability of "mode" and "harmonic", please weigh in. I'm just going by what I see.

EDIT: Cross-posted with Tunborough and Conical bore. :)

_________________
"Time is the wisest counselor of all." - Pericles

"I remain not entirely convinced of it." - Nano


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is a mode
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:48 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:59 pm
Posts: 956
Location: Southwestern Ontario
He means "ways of vibrating": http://barthopkin.com/fundamental-harmonics-overtones-partials-modes/.

For flutes, this means harmonics. For other things, especially percussion, it gets much more complicated.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is a mode
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:07 pm 
Online

Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:40 am
Posts: 622
Really? "Modes" and not "nodes?" I would think in terms of points in a vibrating string of column of air where different notes could be produced in a harmonic sequence: eg. the F# hole is a Node. Interesting


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is a mode
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:09 pm 
Offline
Moderatorer
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 34503
Location: Minneapolis
Tunborough wrote:

Whoah. Check out this guy's "Instrumentarium". He's a mad scientist. :lol:

_________________
"Time is the wisest counselor of all." - Pericles

"I remain not entirely convinced of it." - Nano


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is a mode
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:12 pm 
Offline
Moderatorer
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 34503
Location: Minneapolis
PB+J wrote:
Really? "Modes" and not "nodes?" I would think in terms of points in a vibrating string of column of air where different notes could be produced in a harmonic sequence: eg. the F# hole is a Node. Interesting

The mode, or harmonic, is the entirety of the standing wave, which is composed of nodes and antinodes. That's why I said you have to mind your Ms and Ns.

To reiterate, in acoustical matters I see "harmonic" used almost exclusively, but I have seen "mode" used in apparently the same way a couple of times or so. I wouldn't venture to guess why.

From Wiki:

Quote:
A physical object, such as a building, bridge, or molecule, has a set of normal modes and their natural frequencies that depend on its structure, materials and boundary conditions. When relating to music, normal modes of vibrating instruments (strings, air pipes, drums, etc.) are called "harmonics" or "overtones".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normal_mode

As an example of physical objects having modes, my dining room rings when you play an F#.

_________________
"Time is the wisest counselor of all." - Pericles

"I remain not entirely convinced of it." - Nano


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is a mode
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:32 pm 
Online

Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:40 am
Posts: 622
As I understand it the greeks drew their harmonic series from the physics of a vibrating string: tune it to a pitch and touch it lightly at the halfway point and you get an octave, a third of the way gives you an E, a fifth of the way gives you a G, etc. The nodes form the basis of the modes, as it were. Probaly that's more the Renaissance reinterpretation of the greeks.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is a mode
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:15 am 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:21 pm
Posts: 12453
Location: Unimportant island off the great mainland of Europe
PB+J wrote:
As I understand it the greeks drew their harmonic series from the physics of a vibrating string: tune it to a pitch and touch it lightly at the halfway point and you get an octave, a third of the way gives you an E, a fifth of the way gives you a G, etc. The nodes form the basis of the modes, as it were. Probaly that's more the Renaissance reinterpretation of the greeks.

The Greeks were into their harmonic series, alright. But their modes (in the sense of scales as opposed to modes of vibration) were not really formed from them. They were a strange, philosophical concept that is really hard to come to terms with from the point of view of the present day. I could go on, on that one, but I won't. For anyone interested, check out the Wikipedia article and use it as a stepping stone (only) for further research, and prepare to have your mind blown, once you understand what's going on.

In the context of this thread, Bart Hopkin is clearly using the word "mode" to mean a pattern of vibration, rather than a scale. He says as much (somewhere in the link given by Tunborough). It's a shame that the word "mode" can be used for two such different things. It just adds to the general confusion, IMO.

By the way, PB+J, I couldn't get your E being a third of the (string length?) and G being a fifth of the length. Were you just picking notes haphazardly (being a pedant, I won't use the term "at random" in this context :wink: )? If not, you've lost me ... :-?

_________________
"Only connect!"

https://youtu.be/ezbWVysJAOY
https://tapm.bandcamp.com/


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is a mode
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 4:02 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 10:06 pm
Posts: 1479
Location: just outside Xanadu
You might consult an article or two about Ernst Chladni and Chladni Patterns as expressions of standing acoustic waves in various 'modes' of vibration on flat plates. The University of New South Wales has a paper discussing Chladni Patterns and various 'modes' of vibration found on violin plates.

Bob

_________________
Not everything you can count, counts. And not everything that counts, can be counted

The Expert's Mind has few possibilities.
The Beginner's mind has endless possibilities.
Shunryu Suzuki, Roshi


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 21 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
[ Time : 0.128s | 13 Queries | GZIP : On ]
(dh)