Utilizing a modal style found in Hungarian folk music for more than 250 years, Bartok incorporates aspects of the phrygian mode
in this calming piece.
It uses the E Phrygian mode
. An E pedal spans the entire segment, mm.
The use of flamenco style here is particularly notable since certain types of flamenco music are based tonally on the Phrygian mode
, regarded by classical musicologists as "exciting and emotional" (West, "Music in antiquity" 58), and often, according to the theory of modal effects on temperament, believed to counter melancholy, which corresponds to the bodily humor of black bile (Porras, "Musica como terapia" 277).
Written etudes are only the beginning though--with more aurally or rote based modal exercises (Mary Had a Little Lamb in Phrygian mode
, for example), the sky is the limit!
But his use of the Phrygian mode
(common to Turkish melodies) in the final movement of the quintet wove a striking East-West tapestry of sound.
ranging from the bucolic strains depicting children playing on the lawn of a summer home in "Dacha" to the sinister Phrygian mode
antics of the witch luring Hansel and Cretel to her gingerbread house in "Sweets." In regards to "Stars," which depicts learned men explaining the movement of the stars to a group of nobles.
Walser (1993) shows in his study of heavy metal how certain modes prominent in various types of metal express certain social values; for example, in Thrash metal the use of the Phrygian mode
On Plato's approval of the Phrygian mode
see Anderson (1966) 107-9; Barker (1984), 168; and West (1992) 180-1.
For those who are not musically oriented, this text might seem intimidating at first given its expansive musical vocabulary, from the Phrygian mode
to phase transition, and the range of musical references, from Anthony Braxton to Arnold Schoenberg.
This listener found much to niggle about as Berlioz unfolded this climax to his life's work: clumsy technique; his apparent refusal to research any authentic musical source-material (unlike Wagner, Verdi and Puccini), so that, for example, a song by a sailor from Phrygia was in anything but the Phrygian mode
These modes had tonal centers that correlated to the ancient Greek modes: The Dorian mode was used with inspirational texts, the Phrygian mode
for texts with sentiment and the Lydian mode for confessional, lamenting texts.
In `The Lydian mode: Gregor Meyer reads Glarean', Harold Powers characterized the two motets in the Phrygian mode
Meyer had composed for the Dodecachordon at Glarean's request (since he could not find suitable existing compositions) as exemplifying `a theoretical myth in a practical way', thereby introducing an additional angle to the questions raised by Judd; for it seems that Meyer's `made-to-order' Lydian motet illustrations are but a poignant example of Glarean's decision to introduce a complete theoretical modal system regardless of whether it reflected contemporary music as actually practised, i.e.