Natural Modes

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Natural Modes


in music, a group of seven-tone strictly diatonic modes that do not include changes (chromatics, alterations) of the fundamental steps. They have been widespread in European and non-European folk and professional music since ancient times. They include the following (complete and incomplete) modes: Aeolian (natural minor), Ionian (natural major), Dorian, Mixolydian, Phrygian, Lydian, and the rarely encountered Locrian mode, as well as variable diatonic modes and all types of the tonal pentatonic scale.

The names of the basic diatonic natural modes were taken from ancient Greek music theory; however, these modes do not correspond in structure to the ancient Greek diatonic modes having the same names.

The natural modes possess a diverse coloring of sound; for example, the Mixolydian mode is distinguished by a bright minor coloring, while the Lydian is known for its intensified major quality. In the 19th and 20th centuries, various composers, including Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Stravinsky, Grieg, Bartók, and Debussy, often employed the natural modes and the natural harmony built on them in order to solve special problems of expression and tonal color.

The concept of natural modes is conventional. The word “natural” signifies “existing in or produced by nature.” However, if diatonicism is natural in European music and constitutes the European modal system, then modes that incorporate nondiatonic intervals—for example, an augmented second—are no less natural in Oriental music.


Tiulin, Iu. Natural’nye i al’teratsionnye lady. Moscow, 1971.
Kotliarevs’kyi, I. Diatonika i khromatyka iak katehorii muzychnoho myslennia. Kiev, 1971.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Their marvellous whiteness of the teeth is to be ascribed to the pure vegetable diet of these people, and the uninterrupted healthfulness of their natural mode of life.
Smith, "Acoustoelasticity: General theory, acoustic natural modes and forced response to sinusoidal excitation, including comparisons with experiment," Journal of Sound and Vibration, vol.
On the other hand, it is noted that if system friction coefficient increases to a relatively high level, the vibration system has the likelihood to have two close natural modes be coupled to form an identical one in-between the original two leading to instability vibrations [27].
The most commonly used mathematical methods for researching external resonant modes are the singularity expansion method (SEM) [13-20] and characteristic mode theory (CMT) [21-30], and the modes constructed by SEM and CMT are, respectively, called natural modes and characteristic modes (CMs).
where K is the global stiffness matrix of the structure ([n x n]), M is the global mass matrix ([n x n]), {[[phi].sup.(i)]} is the i-th natural mode vector of the structure ([n x 1]) corresponding to the [[omega].sub.(i)] natural frequency, and m is the total number of natural modes to be obtained (m [less than or equal to] n).
In order to predict which parts will fail due to vibration, engineers need to identify the failure frequency or natural modes in the design.
6 the tool's natural modes are clearly shown around 2000 Hz, between 4100 and 4800 Hz.
In addition to the train passages, each system has been characterized by impulse measurements (hammer impacts), the rigid and flexible modes of the railway vehicle [35], the natural modes of the bridge, the receptance of the three tracks, and the transfer mobility of the soil.
The natural modes, the resonant frequencies, and the characteristics of the induced acoustic noise influence or restrict the use of machines, with direct consequences for human well-being and health [30].
Analytical and experimental results show an excellent identification of the natural modes even when the signal is embedded in high-level noise, and, more importantly, the results demonstrate that the methodology provides a suitable alternative approach to natural frequencies identification from free and ambient data by using artificial and natural excitations.
of British Columbia-Vancouver) update again their introductory text for practicing professionals, pre-professional students, and others interested in learning more about communication options for people who are unable to meet their daily communication needs through natural modes such as speech, gestures, or handwriting.