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Mixolydian mode may refer to one of three things: the name applied to one of the ancient Greek harmoniai or tonoi, based on a particular octave species or scale; one of the medieval church modes; a modern musical mode or diatonic scale, related to the medieval mode.
The idea of a Mixolydian mode comes from the music theory of ancient Greece. The ancient Greek Mixolydian mode was invented by Sappho, the 7th century B.C. poet and musician. However, what the ancient Greeks thought of as Mixolydian was very different from the modern interpretation of the mode.
In Greek theory, the Mixolydian mode (or tonos) employs a scale (or 'octave species') corresponding to the Greek Hypolydian mode inverted: in its diatonic genus, this is a scale descending from paramese to hypate hypaton: in the diatonic genus, a whole tone (paramese to mese) followed by two conjunct inverted Lydian tetrachords (each being two whole tones followed by a semitone descending). This is the equivalent of playing all the 'white notes' of a piano from B to B, or B | A G F E | (E) D C B, which is also known as a modern locrian mode. (In the chromatic and enharmonic genera, each tetrachord consists of a minor third plus two semitones, and a major third plus two quarter-tones, respectively).
Medieval Mixolydian and Hypomixolydian
Medieval European music scholars understood the Greek system of modes through the Latin works of Boethius. However, his work was misinterpreted,[vague] and the name Mixolydian came to be applied to one of the eight modes of medieval church music: the seventh mode. This mode does not run from B to B on white notes, as the Greek mode, but was defined in two ways: as the diatonic octave species from G up one octave to the G above, or as a mode whose final was G and whose ambitus runs from the F below the final to the G above, with possible extensions "by licence" up to A above and even down to E below, and in which the note D (the tenor of the corresponding seventh psalm tone) had an important melodic function. This misinterpretation led to the current use of the term for the natural scale from G to G.
The seventh mode of western church music is an authentic mode based on and encompassing the natural scale from G to G, with the perfect fifth (the D in a G to G scale) as the dominant, reciting note or tenor.
The plagal eighth mode was termed Hypomixolydian (or "lower Mixolydian") and, like the Mixolydian, was defined in two ways: as the diatonic octave species from D to the D an octave higher, divided at the mode final, G (thus D–E–F–G + G–A–B–C–D); or as a mode with a final of G and an ambitus from C below the final to E above it, in which the note C (the tenor of the corresponding eighth psalm tone) had an important melodic function.
The order of tones and semitones in a Mixolydian scale is TTSTTST (T = tone; S = semitone), while the major scale is TTSTTTS. The key signature varies accordingly (it will be the same as that of the major key a fifth below).
Notable songs in Mixolydian mode
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Mixolydian mode". Allthough most Wikipedia articles provide accurate information accuracy can not be guaranteed.
Beethoven, L. van
Sonata No. 1 for Piano & Violin
Coro et Laboro
Piano Sonata No. 14 in C major
Vaughan Williams, R.
Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis
Gardner Chamber Orchestra
Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 2