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  • Holly Mead

Modal Harmony & Big Magic




​In Composing Music, Ch.1 Ex. 4-8 introduce students to the first three modes of the major scale and familiarize them with William Russo’s General Rules and Basic Note Values. If you are curious about these tenets/tools, check out the book!

For my own nerdy pleasure, I gave myself a more comprehensive modal exercise with fewer restrictions by improvising 84 modal tune-lets, i.e., a tune for every mode of the 12 major keys: Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, Locrian. If you have an hour or two to spare and enjoy noodling, I highly recommend trying this!

In my next post, I will start Chapter 2 and continue adventuring with the kids. In the meantime, here is link to Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic. If you are need of some inspiration and cheerleading in the creative living department, read this book!

When I was a youngster, it was considered cool and maybe even essential to suffer for your art. I was told that nothing I played or wrote would be any good until my heart got broken. Maybe this is true, maybe not…but I wish I could go back and tell that person that whether my art is good or bad (or whether my heart is intact or otherwise) is beside the point. I make art/music for the same reasons that most people watch Netflix or share a delicious meal with friends: for pleasure, self-soothing, and connection with others.

It felt nice to read Big Magic and have my feelings validated. This book was like a big hug from a friend. Thank you, Elizabeth Gilbert!