Wicked Game - Is it really dorian?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by Guran, Sep 24, 2009.

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  1. jbmando

    jbmando Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Yes! Don't you hate it when people play Louie Louie with a standard I, IV, V?
    What key is the "B" part of Killer Joe in?

    Em7b5 A7b9 Ebm7 Ab7 Ab7b9 A7 Gb Ab Em7 A7 :lol:
     
  2. warmingtone

    warmingtone Tele-Holic

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    Well...hmmm..."dopey"

    Anyway...having the song on my mind lately, you could rearrange it for the vocal melody with some extensions derived from the mode whose name apparently can't be mentioned...

    --7---9---7-----------
    --9---7---7-----------
    --7---9---6-----------
    --7---7---6-----------
    --9---0---7-----------
    --7-------0----------

    Adding the 6ths brings out a bit more of the "d****n" flavour...also demonstrates that G# against the Bm...to others of course this is an impossible note I suppose. To me it brings out even more of that 'plaintiff' sound and the ambiguity of the Bm and E...

    But, maybe that isn't to everyone's taste...fair enough.

    ...

    No way is modal analysis the preferred approach in most cases, however all the notes and harmony derive from it in this particular case.

    'Scarborough Fair' (that slow pinky astutely mentioned) is a good example...that distinct 6th degree and IV falling on the word "rosemary"...as to how the modal influence persists in many folk forms...it's certainly appropriate to look at such a tune with the "modal hat" on; similar chords as this song i-IIV-IV (and v), same plaintiff feel, same 'drifting' harmony, melodically 'driven', same tone set. Why not look at a simple strong song like this in the same tradition?

    I think most who have commented have more to offer than a 'recent discovery of modes'...personally, I 'recently discovered' modal stuff along with chord theory and the rest 30 years ago, it's only applicable where it fits.

    It's not a matter of right or wrong, alternative ideas have merits too, chord by chord analysis is fine provides valuable insights as well...but for describing the overall characteristics; the tone set, the lack of harmonic drive, the chord vocabulary, the feel of the melody...one tonality does seem to describe it pretty well in this case.

    Some people may even get a better insight into the nature of modes from such discussions if they are in fact new to the ideas and sounds. Medieval music and 'kind of blue' are not the only musics in which a modal approach is applicable. It does a disservice to people who may wish to learn something and anyone who puts an effort in to help elucidate things with a different perspective than others.
     
  3. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

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    so who is the judge, and who is the defendant?

    did you maybe mean plaintive ?
     
  4. warmingtone

    warmingtone Tele-Holic

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    hahaha....my american spelling checker doesn't understand my australian accent it seems...quite right!
     
  5. slowpinky

    slowpinky Tele-Afflicted

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    Well yes - the only thing one can be dogmatic about in perception is one's own perception.
    If someone says to me that they can taste vanilla, strawberries, oak , barnyard, tea or cherries when they taste wine - who am I to disagree.
    I've had similar if not quite as detailed experiences in drinking wine - but I know some people are really well disposed to the subtleties of the grape - I'd love to work on that one some more.........

    From my readings and listening (and I do teach theory) modality is an ancient concept - perhaps 3000 years old although Pythagorean modes weren't really established until 600 BC or so) that has continued to permeate modern tonal music even with the onset of well tempered tuning and modulating harmony.
    But its not a 'pure' concept in any contemporary respect - particularly when there are chords around, and with a couple of hundred years of piano tuning behind us -our sensitivity to true modality is pretty blunt to say the least.

    In Jazz - Kind of Blue gets mentioned a lot - but a band like Shakti , in a tune such as 'Joy' eliminated modulation and focused on the tonal centre of a scale built off the 5th of the harmonic minor for the entire piece.
    This has some modal integrity - but its loosely based on an Indian tradition of form as well which is unhurried in terms of its duration, and much more 'tuned' to the character of a mode as it unfolds. The same is also true of Gregorian Chant. The melodies often gently reveal their character over time.
    Each mode is used to create a melodic 'mind game' - which sounds totally different to us now - because we have become major or harmonic minor scale oriented.

    In Western Music, homophonic and polyphonic textures often conceal that type of transparent modality thanks to the development of a Newtonian sense of a tonal centre - which took the simple principle of monophonic tonal gravity to eventually include functional chords as well - in other words , we now after several hundred years hear a chord in place or on top of what was originally just a single tone craftily placed in context with other tones to assert its prominence - like at the end of a phrase for instance. V- I now plays such a pivotal role in our perceptions.

    Nevertheless - modes are detected all over the place. There's still something in our make -up that still recognizes the essence of modes in music even when functional harmony is at work.

    So, in a nutshell, if someone says to me that they can hear something modal going on in a melody which just happens to contain tones diatonic with that mode then I'm inclined to accept that..if someone defines a note as having some special character - as does the b7 in a mixolydian melody, #4 in the lydian mode ,the b2 in phrygian or the natural 6th in dorian - then that's old modality at work. If the notes are there then there's a good chance that there is a modal character emerging for someone who has the disposition to hear it -hell -why are so many people haranguing over this song? Its got some mystery to it.

    But I'll support the guy who says he doesn't hear it as modal - because he's hearing the progression and the melody as one entity or intrinsically connected. You cant successfully be a jazz player for instance, if you don't have that ability - let alone the ability to hear harmonic gravity on its own.
    But our melodic roots are modal - the harmonic roots came later - much later.

    This isnt like-- is that a perfect 5th or a min13 chord ?- these are elements of composition that are very old - and regardless of who says what - I can still play, hear and feel modally because its fundamentally in my DNA to do so..
     
  6. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    All of "Killer Joe" is in "C". There's no key change. If you're asking if the tone center changes, it doesn't. The motif is III, VI (b VI) VI III VI, so a repeating III, VI with a flatted passing chord that implies bIII, bVI, but omits the bIII.
    At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

    What about Evil Ways? There's that pesky major 3rd in the IV chord. Or Elizabeth Reed? Seems like a Dorian takeover. Not.
     
  7. ibobunot

    ibobunot Poster Extraordinaire

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    warmintone your calm and reasonable replies in the face of condensation and mockery is admirable.

    I always give more wight to someone that can make his case without personal attacks.... :cool:
     
  8. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

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    say what?? is dew dripping from his face? ... or did you mean condesencion?

    man, you guys can talk theory all day, but spelling/vocabulary seems to be a problem here!

    (I would insert a smiley face here to indicate that I'm just joking, but I have never yet figured out how to do that. They must be around here somewhere...)

    and "wight" ? are you condescending to his Aussie accent?
     
  9. jbmando

    jbmando Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Why don't we use lower case Roman numerals for a minor chord? Even in theory class in high school we did it that way and it eliminates such confusion. iii-VI in C would be Em to A. By the way, I was kidding, but I think I disagree with your assessment. I think it's based on ii-V's, the staple of jazz, starting with D, going to Db, then the A Gb Ab Em A is kind of around the ii V of D again, with IV-V of Db thrown in for the Gb-Ab, back to C for the main riff. My story.:D
     
  10. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

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    Em7b5 A7b9 Ebm Ab7 A7 Ab7 Em7 A7 (I'd play 13th's on all the straight dom. chords) ... you can 'fake it' with D minor (or Cmaj) and some '1/2 step' motion. Not optimum but workable if you play confidently. You notice how many performances and recordings leave out the bridge for solos?
     
  11. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

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    And, speaking of the Dorian takeover ...
    I play the 'A' section of KJ (C7 - Bb7) as G-7/C to F-7/Bb and use G dorian and F dorian.
    It's referred to as minor (or dorian conversion). Take a generally non-functioning dominant chord and play off it's V minor (C7 = G dorian or G-7). Yeah, it's all the same notes as C7 and Bb7 but I find, as do many, that it helps to create a lot nice flow when playing linearly. A lot of guys think of those two chords as individual ii-V's i.e., G-7 to C7 and F-7 to Bb7.

    *for what it's worth I don't think of 'Wicked Game' as modal either.
     
  12. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    This is the first funny thing that's happened all day, thanks for the laugh ... but I'm not laughing at ibobunot, just wondering now, what his screen name really is supposed to be if we correct for spelling. And I'm not picking on Warmingtone, he's a big boy. If he thinks that substitute chords establish modality, he can defend his claim with honor. I haven't directed any insults to him. He's not the only Dorianist around here. I think condensation is the word of the day.

    That's actually a good question. I never use lower case letters for chords because when you're playing Jazz, nearly any chord can at least switch from minor7 to 7#9, 7b5, 7#11, 9#11, etc., etc., and vice versa. I won't go into lots of examples, since they include nearly every non-modal Jazz tune and Standard, but its common practice, and I mean every tune at every gig "common", to sub III7 VI7 II7 V7 for iii, vi, ii, V.
    Directing a player through a turnaround, or even trying to establish chord choice in a tune's structure by declaring what chords are minor7 vs 7 or 7#9, is way too confusing. What's important is the scalar position of the chord, not the disposition of it's minor vs Major 3rd. This is a nearly standard on 90% of the head charts and quickly jotted fake charts I've seen all over the country, albeit not academically accepted. Welcome to the trenches.

    Welcome to the dark side.

    That is pretty regularly seen with 7th chords, gives an "11th" flavor to the chords, but "Killer Joe" is so rooted in the "13th" sound, that I generally play C13, Bb13.

    And generally regarding the bridge of "Killer Joe", here's what bugs me more than upper case minor chords bugs jbmando ... it's when II V is used to describe any movement from minor 7th (or 7th) up a 4th to a 7th chord. E min is the VI of "C". Emin to A7 is not a II V change, it's a III VI change in "C". If one believes Golson was changing tone centers to "D", I'll grant the usage, though I think it's erroneous. But the use of II V for nearly every movement up a 4th or down a 5th is irritatingly pervasive.
     
  13. jbmando

    jbmando Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Sorry, didn't mean to pervade irritatingly. It's just that you usually see III-VI followed by II-V so you might see Em - A7 - Dm - G7 and this one went down a half step after the Em-A, to Ebm - Ab. I have not really made a life study of this stuff like some of you guys; I'm strictly self-taught after one year of Theory & Harmony as a high school senior in 1969, so don't pay any attention to me, I'm probably full of beans. It's just that you can't tell by the melody, and it ends on a dominant 7th, but not of the tonic. Those mischievous jazz cats - they just want to confuse us! :lol:
     
  14. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's why 'I' think dorian - it gives me the the A and G respectively. (That's probably a personal thing though as I define dorian with the 2nd and the 6th.)

    I wish I knew what BG was thinking here. The melody is so chromatic (and the feel changes dramatically) that I 'assume' that's what came first(?). This is a great example of how playing experience really 'rules the day'. I do think of those bridge chords as a series of ii-V's but I also know that most of them are 'jazz' diatonic to C maj. so I play it with a sense of movement while always knowing/hearing that "C" is home.
     
  15. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    I may be wrong regarding the harmonic intent of Golson's bridge in that tune. I see the half step change as III VI down a half step, not II V up a half step.
    One great organist I used to play with, may he rest in peace, termed the E min7#11 at the start of the bridge as a C9/E ... does that change our analysis?
    I still think Golson was working from the minor III ... iii VI, if you will.
    See how confusing that is? VI is minor in the Harmonized Chord Scale, and someone who thinks every tune has to comply with Harmony 101 will get flustered here, when Golson (I claim) was using a VI degree 7th chord.
     
  16. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

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    You beat me to it. I always 'can see' a m7b5 as a Dom.9th down a M3. And, I think that way when I improvise a lot of the time. But in this case when we get to that A7b9 I definitely want to shift to 'something' with a C# in it.
     
  17. warmingtone

    warmingtone Tele-Holic

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    hahaha...sorry spelling police didn't pick out my actual name spelled incorrectly...hehehehe...

    Thanks...I'm not sure that it is a minority view anyway. Modes have come up a bit, and discussing them might open new doors to those that are prepared to open up their ears and minds a little.

    Well...I did use Santana as an example. I suspect if you go and read that santana himself acknowledges his like of the dorian mode sound and uses it extensively, especially on tunes like this with that characteristic santana vamp i-IV, that all of a sudden it will be "OK" to see it in that way. Again, non-functional harmony, exclusive dorian tone set, melodic and rhythmic drive...absolutely, why not!

    Modal influences, especially in minor keys are very common. SlowPinky has also brought up some interesting further depth into things like tuning and what we perceive to be "in tune", the 'microtonal' musicality in such things as blues notes.

    I'm not sure what the "perception" of what a modal approach is, but it is not limited conceptually to these "greek" or "church" modes.

    The general idea can be extended to serial 12-tone composition in the characteristic order of intervallic steps, or to ethniomusicolgical understandings in the same way...music like the blues and jazz, folk and traditional streams.

    I am not familiar with the tune that was mentioned and so to little to say, but it was mentioned a tune that was harmonized Bb7-C7, the question posed by SaV...

    Well...yes, maybe, without hearing the tune or an improvisers approach to it...however...

    If the melodic material were to consistently use the note set...

    C,D,E,F,G,Ab,Bb,C

    This could reasonably, and pretty commonly referred to as "modal"...

    Of course, this tone set doesn't have a "church" name...it does have a name (it's the #5 mode of the melodic minor dominant, for what it's worth) but the name doesn't matter and a modal analysis may well be the best fit either of the tune or how one might approach it regardless of what the "note set" is.

    I'm not sure why this is foreign in anyway to common practice. As I say, if a player approaches a blues regardless of changes solely with the "minor pentatonic" scale...one could definitely regard that as a modal approach.

    But there are other ways to see these kinds of things as well...

    We might consider a chord by chord approach...could lead to some confusion or "unusual" outcomes if we were to treat each of these particular chords (Bb7-C7) as "mixolydian" because simply because they are dom7 chords.

    Specifically, when the Bb7 is there, the scale tone Eb is present, when C, E natural...don't know this tunes, but conceivably this is true, or one of those chords is simply in passing...maybe that is the effect the artist intends, and if so and that is what is played, the chord by chord approach would be a better "fit" to approach the tune.

    Another approach would be to treat such material with a poly-tonal ear...perhaps combine the notes to "make a mode"...

    Bb7= Bb,D,F,Ab / C= C,E,G,Bb

    Put it together if C is perceived to be the key centre, you get...

    C,D,E,F,G,Ab,Bb,C = #5 melodic minor dominant mode as above.

    ...

    ...

    Ok...so the counter view seems to be expressed thus...

    Maybe such listeners honestly cant hear an overarching modal environment...it's hard to tell.

    However, that does not invalidate it as a legitimate, cognizant and useful tool to approach some music in order to play it.

    I know a lot of people will be rolling their eyes at all this "verbosity" and analysis, but that is only in defence of a very simple and common approach that we all tend to naturally hear and utilize.
    ...

    There is a predominance of applying terms like bVII-I to explain things. In minor modes (and modes like mixolydian), and not just "greek" modes but in functional harmony too, the VII chord is typically a major triad a tone below, not a bVII. Again, this points towards a bias to hear everything as it relates to the major scale.

    One might reasonably get the idea from this discussion that, in say "evil ways" it's not "dorian" but a minor with a "pesky major 3rd in the IV chord"...but it is reasonable in informed discussion that this be given a name and the conventional terminology is "dorian" to describe this kind of modal sound and harmonization. This "sound", this characteristic 6th is very common in the blues for instance...it's not really that "out there"...and the term "dorian" is a bit more precise than "pesky, etc" to describe it.

    ...

    We could be having an interesting discussion with the people here, maybe even learn a thing or two (my motivation for being here is to learn) about why we often find, accept and like the bVII-I cadance even when it appears to be and "exception" in functional tonal music. It is after all very common.

    Why is that...well, one might put forward the concept of "modal mixture" that another person brought forth...indicating the influence of the modal sensibility within functional tonal music.

    ...

    Now...before someone suggest that I think purely in terms of "modality", this is not the case...it's horse's for courses, if there is a "best fit" explanation to an overarching musical sound, or even a part or influence it is a worthwhile and useful observation at least. You are not going to look at a string of ii-V-I's in the same way I'd suggest.

    But...music and music theory is a very broad area. We could get all "shenkarian" about it and reduce things right down to one prolonged cadence I suppose...has it's uses, but ultimately not quite as practical an endeavour for the player.

    Why there seems to be so much animosity towards a relatively simple and common concept, I really don't know. I do feel however, that such views do cloud things for people that are being exposed as players to these things that would otherwise be quite simple...and offer much in practical use!

    ...

     
  18. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    A player who effortlessly could play over I7, bVII7 was Vince Guaraldi. He didn't always have to play Mixolydian scale, (just Major scale with a flatted 7th) over each chord ... he composed improvised melodies that played with the bluesiness of the change (hence his nickname, Dr, Funk) and didn't drive the scales into your skull, but rather offered hip alternatives to scale over chord "soloing".

    I had a record of Carlos Santana playing fusion with John McLaughlin ... was it "Love, Devotion, and Surrender"? He's a cool soulful guy, but I'm not looking to him for theory advice or Jazz inspiration.
     
  19. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I'm interested in the 12-tone connection you mention. How does it relate to modes?

    I also want to make it clear that I was saying "mode mixture," not "modal mixture." I am not referring to the Greek modes, but simply between major and parallel minor. When you are in a major key and see iv or v, then the traditional way of handling that, analytically, is as mode mixture. The word "mode" refers to the major mode and the minor mode, where "mode" is a state of being major or minor.

    How are you thinking of something as a prolonged cadence in Schenkerian terms?
     
  20. warmingtone

    warmingtone Tele-Holic

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    Yes...well after proof reading my post a little, I hope I didn't suggest that people who contributed or have a different approach were "wrong" if they were to improvise using the mixolydian for each chord, or much the same thing, the v dorian (same note set) or to thing that way to good effect was 'wrong" in any way.

    Whatever works is "right".

    It still feel it is a valid conjecture and useful to look at a consistent tone set and other factors after the fact to understand ho a music works in as simple and straightforward manner as possible on a case by case basis.

    I admit in looking at some vids of "killer joe" the versions I heard were not the most "adventurous" and the material could be approached in very many ways and not seen as modal...but in the examples I heard, this seemed to be very much the case and even "sounded" modal in the broad "key centre, non functional" definitions of that term...and a useful tool in those incidences where it is found.

    As for wicked game, i still don't hear the G# as "out" or impermissible over the Bm and A chords myself, the more I play it in various ways, the more I hear the G natural as "out" or at least avoided altogether.

    Again, it might be instructive to me to read what is considered "modal" by differing views, it may all be a matter of differing terminology or conceptual ideas...and of course "why" some things are considered modal as opposed to others...as in the parallels suggested by 'Scarborough fair' and 'wicked game' in feel and note choice. Is one modal and the other not, are neither modal, what defines a modal approach, if not, why not?

    These kinds of things were put forward as an invitation to explain further so that I could understand more.

    ...

    Yes, there are lots of examples of jazz that may have a "modal" or otherwise "feel" to them if analyzed, or maybe something more interesting would be revealed.

    As for "love, devotion, surrender", never could "enjoy" that album...maybe not for "jazz advice" but not everything is "jazz" such as the tune of this thread, it doesn't invalidate the "dorian" approach to "evil ways" which seemed to be suggesting isn't "modal". If the suggestion that it "isn't jazz" means that it can't be looked at...well, Miles would never have had the courage to make 'kind of blue' without a lot of "theoretical" or "conceptual" re-evaluation of what "jazz is" in order to explicitly set out to use modal sensibilities and forgo a lot of the contemporary "jazz idiom" of the time.
     
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