Natural Modes

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.


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.
In order to predict which parts will fail due to vibration, engineers need to identify the failure frequency or natural modes in the design.
Prior to the completion of the machining tests, one first determined the natural modes of the cutting tool in the main directions by one of the simplest and fastest method.
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.
They will be more receptive to messages that speak to their natural modes of thought.
Since natural modes of the cylindrical muffler have no preferred orientation in direction [theta], parameter 1 is introduced, and the natural modes can be rewritten as (Lai and Soedel 1996a):
In the conditions assumed above, the natural modes of a leak AE signal can be separated with EMD method [4].
there are often low damped natural modes which can be excited at resonance.
Yet he also notes that more-complex models haven't achieved such an "elegant proof" that our natural modes of motion are also the most efficient ones.
While some advocate a return to more natural modes of farming, MVRDV pushes ahead in the opposite direction, promulgating its favorite method: stacking things on top of each other, thus making the most of the limited space available in Holland.
As the propeller moves the water, for example, it exerts forces on the back of the ship, and these forces are large enough that they can cause vibration, particularly if they excite one of the structure's natural modes of vibration.
The impact interaction between elastic links is characterized by a rich spectral content of excitation impulses capable to excite a wide range of natural modes.