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mode, in music
See G. Reese, Music in the Middle Ages (1940); E. A. Wienandt, Choral Music of the Church (1965).
2 In the 13th cent., six characteristic rhythmical patterns of long and short notes in ternary meter. Greek names—e.g., trochaic and iambic—were applied to these rhythmic patterns at a fairly late date, but there is no evidence of derivation from the meters of Greek poetry. These rhythmic modes governed composition until they were finally dissolved in the 14th cent. by Philippe de Vitry in his treatise Ars nova (see musical notation).
3 In 20th-century music, the various forms of the tone row in twelve-tone composition (see serial music). The row, an arbitrary arrangement of the 12 chromatic tones of Western music, can be used in four different forms: the original row, the original row reversed (from the last note back to the first note), the original row inverted (upside down), and the inversion reversed. Each of these is a mode.
mode, in statistics
modesee MEASURES OF CENTRAL TENDENCY.
a system of interrelated tones expressed in the tone range; the sequence of steps in a mode forms its scale. The necessary condition for the existence of a mode is the qualitative difference of its steps. Each step performs a special modal function, determined by the gravitation of the unstable tones toward the stable ones (support tones, or points of rest).
The chief stable note is the tonic, which determines a mode’s tonality. Folk music, particularly music for one voice, is founded on the tonal interrelation of a second, although the fourth-fifth interrelation is also important, forming the diatonic basis of modes and shaping the secondary modal tones of support: on the fifth step (authentic modes with a framework of a fifth) and on the fourth (plagal modes with a framework of a fourth). The modal supports are the embryonic form of the harmonic functions of the steps of modes—the dominant and subdominant. Additional supports on the third step lead to the formation of the harmonic tonic of a mode, or to the major or minor triads.
Harmonic functions are of great importance in music composition. They manifest themselves primarily in the movement of the fifth step (the dominant) to the tonic, as well as in the more complex relation between the tonic and subdominant. The reason for such trend, which leads to the formation of the authentic cadence, is rooted in the nature of sound. The gravitation of unstable tones toward stable ones must be understood only as a tendency that manifests itself in music mostly indirectly and that usually is realized in the concluding cadences. The mode, in essence, represents an abstracted system of musical thought and its necessary logical foundation. A mode possesses only potential expressive characteristics, which manifest themselves above all in its mood, or flavor (major or minor coloring).
The diatonic scales are based on the authentic modes, of which the Ionian, as the mode corresponding completely to the functional relations of chords, became the basic mode of the major. An analogous position was occupied by the pure minor, based on the Aeolian mode, but which incorporates a seventh step that is raised a half-tone (harmonic minor) and a sixth that is raised an augmented second (melodic minor) to smooth over the interval. The complex major-minor system, which includes the indications of the remaining natural modes, grew on this foundation.
In relatively complex musical works, there are modulations to other tonalities, or keys; the tonal make-up of a mode is changed; one mode is replaced by another (minor by major); a mode is made complicated by an alteration of its steps, which introduces all twelve semitones into the tone range as a superstructure over the diatonic.
The structure of modes reflects the national and historical features of musical art and is subordinate to the general laws of acoustics and musical perception. While the modes of various peoples reflect unique national characteristics, they also contain much that is shared, which contributes to the mutual understanding and interaction among various musical cultures.
The traditional modal systems have been significantly altered by 20th-century composers, creating new aspects of study for musicologists and theorists. The study of modes is particularly intense in the USSR.
IU. N. TIULIN
the brief domination of a particular taste in some sphere of life or culture. The word “mode” is distinguished from the term “style,” in that the former is used in reference to less stable and more superficial changes in the external forms of everyday objects and works of art. In a narrower sense, the word “mode” designates the changes in the style of dress, which occur in the course of relatively short intervals of time. This usage (to be dressed à la mode) goes back to the 17th century, when French court fashion became the model for all the countries of Europe.
The word “mode” is also used to designate uncertain, brief popularity.
in probability theory and mathematical statistics, one of the characteristics of a distribution of a random variable. For a random variable having probability density p(x), any point at which p(x) has a maximum is said to be a mode. Distributions with a single mode (called unimodal distributions) are the most important type of probability distribution. The mode is a less frequently used characteristic of a distribution than the mathematical expectation and the median.
the type of oscillations excited in complex oscillatory systems. A mode is characterized by the spatial configuration of the oscillating system, which is determined by the position of its nodal points (lines or surfaces) and by its natural frequency. A definite natural frequency usually corresponds to each mode. If the natural frequencies of two or more modes coincide, the modes are said to be degenerate.
ii. Any of the selectable methods of operation of a device or a system.
["The Programming Language Mode: Language Definition and User Guide", J. Vihavainen, C-1987-50, U Helsinki, 1987].
In its jargon sense, "mode" is most often attributed to people, though it is sometimes applied to programs and inanimate objects. In particular, see hack mode, day mode, night mode, demo mode, fireworks mode, and yoyo mode; also chat.
mode(1) An operational state that a system has been switched to. It implies at least two possible conditions. There are countless modes for hardware and software. With regard to modes on a hard drive (Mode 2, Mode 3, etc.), see IDE. See Real Mode, Protected Mode, burst mode, insert mode, supervisor state and program state.
(2) In fiber optics, the reflective path taken by light in a fiber. Each mode has its own pattern of electromagnetic fields as it propagates through the fiber. From a cross section of the fiber, these modes can be viewed as multiple headlights beaming at you. In multimode fiber, multiple modes are generated, causing pulse dispersion at the receiving end. See multimode fiber, dispersion and fiber optics glossary.