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Modality in indigenous music?

Posted by Gabriela_Alv 
Modality in indigenous music?
August 18, 2017 05:23AM
Any harmony obsessed people that can help me identify the scale/mode/other parameters in indigenous songs from the south of Chile?
www.youtube.com/watch?v=YylF9LFiXFQ
So far I hear these notes in the melody of the first song: D, Eb, F, Ab, B...
I know analyzing it from an occidental point of view might not be the most relevant thing to do, but I would like to create some parallels for a thing I'm writing.

Thank you so much!!
Re: Modality in indigenous music?
August 18, 2017 02:19PM
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_of_Chile#Chilean_folk_music

This wikipedia article has information on the music of the Mapuche people. To my ear, I would say if we were trying to describe it with western theory that it is based around the D diminished scale (D, Eb, F, F#, G#, A, B, C). There are other articles that I read that say that this music is not really art as much as it is prayer, so it makes sense why the strong emphasis on the G#->D tritone is there in the melody. I would say that the tritones are being used to make a sorrowful mood, but I am but a westerner so their context could be completely different! Who knows. My idea would be that if you are trying to evoke this in songwriting definitely use the diminished scale, kind of playing around the notes of a dim7 chord. Cool music! Kind of reminds me of What Love by Charles Mingus.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/18/2017 02:20PM by GuitarGuy570. (view changes)
Re: Modality in indigenous music?
August 19, 2017 03:01AM
GuitarGuy570 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This wikipedia article has information on the
> music of the Mapuche people. To my ear, I would
> say if we were trying to describe it with western
> theory that it is based around the D diminished
> scale (D, Eb, F, F#, G#, A, B, C).

Thanks GuitarGuy570!
Yes indeed they have these tritons a lot! It kind of puts me in a trance. I am actually writing a thesis about Violeta Parra a chilean folklorist (www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_0fXR_ejW8) and her mapuche influences, I will consider the triton and diminished scale thing, I knew Violeta uses the triton a lot but I hadn't considered the diminished scale.
I love Mingus music so much, especially "meditations on integration"!
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