Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 19 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This essay traces the development of “mode” in Western music from the early Greeks, through the transmission of Greek theory by Roman writers, the adaptation in the Middle Ages of aspects of this system for purposes of organizing liturgical chant, the changes made by Renaissance theorists to accommodate polyphonic composition, and the seventeenth-century transformation of modal practices into tonal procedures, to various uses of church modes in Bach, Beethoven, Grieg, Debussy, Vaughan Williams, the folk revival, jazz, and heavy metal. The author distinguishes modes from scales and psalm tones, explains differences between pairs such as Dorian and Aeolian, and argues for a practice-based approach to the concept.

Keywords: diapente, leading tones, liturgical chant, mode, mode-bearing voice, musica ficta, psalm tones, Romanesca, scale, species

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.