Mode

   From the Latin modus ("manner"), mode may denote, depending on the context: the classification of a chant according to its pitch range (ambitus) and final pitch (finalis); a scale for composition and improvisation, distinguished from other modes not by pitch collection (as different keys are) but by its tonic and the pattern of intervals made by the scale degrees; the distinction between Western major and minor scales, e.g., "the minor mode." Or a model for melodic improvisation (Byzantine oktoēchos, Indian rāga, Chinese tyao, Arabic {}maqam, Persian dastgah, Japanese choshi).
   The traditional classification of Gregorian chants into one of eight "church modes" is an adaptation by Carolingian musicians of the Byzantine system of eight oktoēchos transmitted to the west during the eighth century. Thus the use of Greek ordinals (proteus, etc.) to classify the modes by finalis and Greek names for individual modes deriving from melodic ambitus. The Arabic numerals in figure 3 are found in modern chant books.
   The finalis of a chant determines whether its mode is proteus, deuterius, tritus, or tetrardus. Whether it is authentic or plagal depends upon the ambitus of the whole melody. Since the oldest Gregorian chants have an ambitus of one octave or less, they usually fit quite easily into an authentic mode if the finalis is among the lowest pitches, or into a plagal mode if the finalis is in the middle range. Medieval theorists tried to classify and explain a chant repertory that already existed, and while the fit is remarkably good, inevitably there are chants that find no easy modal classification. Chants of the later Middle Ages often move through an ambitus of a twelfth or more, making the authentic/plagal classification tenuous. The common use in some modes (especially proteus and tritus) of the "soft B" or B-flat makes the pitch collection an increasingly important attribute of the mode. Much medieval modal theory concerns itself with reconciling such problems.
   Heinrich Glarean added four additional modes to the traditional eight in his Dodechachordon (1547) to account for polyphony composed on tonal centers C and A. Gioseffo Zarlino (1517–1590) offered a different synthesis based on the Guidonian hexachords in his
   
   
   Figure 3. Breves indicate the finalis. Whole notes indicate the dominant, which was taken as the tenor, or reciting pitch in the psalm tones.
   Le Istitutioni Harmoniche (1558). Preference for the Glarean versus the Zarlino numeration varied by locality.
   The most practical application of modal theory to Latin chant is in psalmody. Every psalm sung in the divine office is introduced and followed by a proper antiphon, and the mode of this antiphon determines that of the psalm. By specifying the reciting tone, range, and melodic cadence and finalis, this use of the mode concept approximates the "manner of singing" or melodic modeling that predominates in the modal concepts of other cultures.
   The Steiger in the music of Eastern European Jewry, for example, are not scales but melodic formulas for chanting associated with its function as a beginning, middle, or ending, and also with the mood of the moment. In figure 4, the names are taken from the prayers with which the Steiger are most commonly identified. In Die Tonarten des {}traditionellen Synagogen-Gesanges (Vienna, 1886), Joseph Singer (1841–1911) systematized these traditional prayer modes. Other systems of the Middle East and South Asia emphasize such melodic models of improvisation with more and less important pitches; the Persian dastghah or Arabic maqam are examples. North Indian (Hindustani) rägas tend to reflect the melodic shapes that arise from improvisations, as well as principal pitches and kinds of ornamentation, while South Indian (Karnatak) rägas are more like scales in concept. All of these systems have important semantic associations with moods, times of day, seasons, therapies, and cosmologies in varying degree.
   See also Lahan; Musica Ficta.
   
   Figure 4. Breves indicate finals. Diamond notes indicate co-finals, alternate cadence points for interior sections or phrases. Whole notes indicate principal melodic tones; black noteheads indicate ornamental melodic tones.

Historical dictionary of sacred music. . 2006.

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