The And Dual Modality : Concepts And Definitions Essays

817 Words Jan 5th, 2016 4 Pages
Polymodality and Dual Modality
Concepts and Definitions According to Vincent Persichetti, “polymodality involves two or more different modes on the same or different tonal centers. The modal strands may be melodic or harmonic.” In the most traditional conception a melodic line in order to be considered modal, apart from being diatonic to a mode (traditional or synthetic), needs to contain no alterations. This also applies to modal harmonic content. Persichetti states that “a pure modal passage is one in which a modal melody is harmonized with chords from the same mode and on the same tonal center.” In reference to modal jazz, this concept is what Ron Miller has described as modal simple. This notion of harmonic modality is somehow reminiscent to the theory of “pandiatonicism”.
The term pandiatonic was coined by Nicolas Slonimsky in his 1938 book, Music Since 1900. This terminology is used to describe a passage, section, or composition, which uses all seven degrees diatonic to some heptatonic scale (melodically, harmonically, or contrapuntally). Pandiatonic music must not rely on traditional harmonic progressions and conventional treatment of dissonance. Wide intervallic leaps are employed, and voice leading enjoys complete independence and freedom. The sense of tonality (or modality) is very strong, due to the complete absence of chromaticisms and alterations. It can be stated that pandiatonic music is always modal, however, modal music is not necessarily…

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