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Pandiatonicism (or Panmodalism) vs. Modal Music

Posted by KTlin 
Pandiatonicism (or Panmodalism) vs. Modal Music
August 05, 2011 06:50PM
Hi there

After reading these two posts:
http://forum.emusictheory.com/read.php?5,4686,4686
and
http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=850685
i came to the conclusion that i don't understand the difference between pandiatonic music and modal music.
From what I know, they both are based on non-functional harmony and they both use diatonic (not chromatic) melody and harmony.
So, what would be different?

Thank you
Re: Pandiatonicism (or Panmodalism) vs. Modal Music
August 06, 2011 01:25AM
Not all modal music contains non functional harmony exclusively. Admittedly, it may lack the standard dominant - tonic pull, but there's often still functionality in terms of having a tonal centre and of intentionally moving to and away from the tonal centre. As far as I know, pandiatonic music has no such notion of a centre and any attempt to create one introduces functionality - and out goes the pandiatonic label.

As Steve explained in one of those posts you linked to, pandiatonic music is major/minor music or modal music which is non functional. So major/minor music or modal music that does have functionality isn't pandiatonic.
What about progressions like...
I - V - IV - I
I-V-vi-iii
I-ii-IV-I

Weak progressions. I sort of disagree with Fretsource because I'd consider these progressions pandiatonic. Although there is a key center, it is not reinforced by traditional functional progressions. The tonic is reinforced by other means, such as being the start/end of each phrase, or being the only chord in root position. Sounds a lot like how the key center is reinforced in modal music to me.

I like to think of it as treating every possible chord movement equally, and using them for the sound/character, not because of how strongly they reinforce the tonal center. Music that features these types of progressions often also features melody notes that don't sit with the harmony, in other words they're not chord tones. In the same way each progression is equal, all notes of the scale can be used over any chord, purely for their sound.

I faintly remember saying that modal music can be a specific type of pandiatonic music, in the sense that it uses the major scale, but not in the usual functional way (tonicizing a different scale step, static progressions etc.).
*Faintly remember SOMEONE saying. as in, on this forum.
Re: Pandiatonicism (or Panmodalism) vs. Modal Music
August 16, 2011 12:27AM
eddy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What about progressions like...
> I - V - IV - I

A non-functional progression (or retrogression if you prefer)

> I-V-vi-iii

ditto

> I-ii-IV-I

ditto

>
> Weak progressions.

Yep.

I sort of disagree with
> Fretsource because I'd consider these progressions
> pandiatonic.


"pan" means "all". Pandiatonicism is music that uses "all" of the notes of the diatonic scale - let's say "more" than older "purely diatonic" music. Most often Pandiatonicism is associated with the so-called "added note harmony" (also called "wrong note harmony) of Neo-Classical composers like Piston, Stravinsky (during his neo classic period), Copland, etc.

An example might be:

G - A
E - F
D - E
C - D

A Cadd2 to a Dmadd2. The "underlying" progressions could be quasi functional, but with added notes. Also using melodies that don't "go with" the underlying harmonies, or oppose traditional ideas of non-chord tone usage are generally considered pandiatonic. Quartal harmony can produce pandiatonic textures.


Although there is a key center, it is
> not reinforced by traditional functional
> progressions.

This is called "Centric" music. "Tonality" is a specific type of Centric Music, where the "center" is established through the use of hierarchical progressions that establish, maintain, and confirm a "tonality" or key center.

The tonic is reinforced by other
> means, such as being the start/end of each phrase,
> or being the only chord in root position.

Centric music.

Sounds a
> lot like how the key center is reinforced in modal
> music to me.

Modal music can be "Centric" as well, and when modal music uses a traditional hierarchy of melodic patterns, reciting tones, and finals (etc.) it becomes "Modality" (proper).

>
> I like to think of it as treating every possible
> chord movement equally, and using them for the
> sound/character, not because of how strongly they
> reinforce the tonal center.

Basically, non-functional harmony. But when used in this context, considered "Pan Tonal". The reason for the distinction is that you can write "Pan Tonal" music that isn't exclusively Diatonic (thus not Pan Diatonic).

Music that features
> these types of progressions often also features
> melody notes that don't sit with the harmony, in
> other words they're not chord tones. In the same
> way each progression is equal, all notes of the
> scale can be used over any chord, purely for their
> sound.

That's Pandiatonicism.

>
> I faintly remember saying that modal music can be
> a specific type of pandiatonic music, in the sense
> that it uses the major scale, but not in the usual
> functional way (tonicizing a different scale step,
> static progressions etc.).

Pan Modal :-)

But to recap:

Centric Music is music in which a "pitch center" or "harmonic center" is established.

Tonality and Modality (proper) are two specific types of Centric music that use specific stylistic elements to establish pitch and/or harmonic centers.

Since "pan-" introduces elements outside of the stylistic norms, we could (or maybe, should) consider these NOT to be Tonality or Modality proper, or, extensions of Tonality or Modality.

IMHO, Pandiatonicism has more to do with how diatonic notes are "added" to harmonies that are still recognizable as "coming from" traditional triadicism (or secundal or quartal harmony - "chord based" harmony). I reserve "Pan Modal" for types where the note set is more obviously related to X mode rather than X scale, but in some cases it can be difficult to distinguish, so pandiatonic is close enough.

Here's a Stravinksy example that pretty much sums it up:

[everynote.com]

BTW, Pandiatonic does not have to be Centric.

I'll also add that Schoenberg preferred "Pantonality" to Atonality because he felt "any note could be the tonic (or center)" thus his 12 tone serial methodology "made equal" all 12 notes giving all of them the potential to be the tonic, thus the music was "pantonality".

Steve
Re: Pandiatonicism (or Panmodalism) vs. Modal Music
August 16, 2011 03:36PM
Hi Steve
Thanks a lot for your in-depth reply. I appreciate your contribution. I have to re-read it to get it properly. :)

Cheers
So the progressions above, like: I-V-IV-I
Would be pandiatonic music, because they use the notes of the diatonic scale in a non traditional (non-functional) way?

However if you had a progression like: I-ii-IV-bIII-I
That would be pantonal, because it is centric like tonal music and uses chords you would normally find in tonal music (that are NOT purely diatonic) but used in non traditional ways?

Thank you :)
Re: Pandiatonicism (or Panmodalism) vs. Modal Music
August 16, 2011 09:55PM
ehh Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So the progressions above, like: I-V-IV-I
> Would be pandiatonic music, because they use the
> notes of the diatonic scale in a non traditional
> (non-functional) way?

No. Not necessarily. It would be Pandiatonic if the melody above pretty much played through all the scale tones, or did some other non-traditional melodic moves using a lot of "wrong notes" or non-chord tones. Also it might be closer to pandiatonicism if the chords include added notes:

G - G - G - G
F - F - F - E
E - D - C - C
C - B - A - G

Cadd4 - G7/B - Fadd2/A - C/G would be "more" pandiatonic than just straight chords.

The progression I - V - IV - I DOES appear in Tonal (i.e. non pandiatonic) music. When it does, it's simply a non-functional progression.

In other words, just because a progression is non-functional, doesn't necessarily mean it's pandiatonic also. Usually some extra elements need to be present.

>
> However if you had a progression like:
> I-ii-IV-bIII-I
> That would be pantonal, because it is centric like
> tonal music and uses chords you would normally
> find in tonal music (that are NOT purely diatonic)
> but used in non traditional ways?
>
> Thank you :)


Not necessarily. It could be a non-functional progression in tonal music, though it would only happen in "extended tonality" - I - ii - IV - x - I is simply non-functional. The bIII is a borrowed chord, so completely possible. Pantonal (IMHO) should be reserved for things that elicit many or multiple key centers - so like C - E - A - Bb - Db - C would be a better example of pantonality:

It's in C: I - V/vi - V/ii - bVII - bII - I
It's in E: bVI - I - IV - ? - V/ii - bVI
It's in A: bIII - V - I - bII - V/vi - bIII

etc.

I think basically "pandiatonic" and "non-functional" are being conflated here - non-functional is simply a progression in tonal music that doesn't do what it "should". Pandiatonic music may use functional or non-functional progressions (usually focusing on non-functional though) but adds elements of added harmonic tones, or melodies that include a lot of non-chord tones used non-traditionally. But it usually is still able to be looked at as "in C" or "in a diatonic key/scale".

So a progression like I - ii - iii - IV - V - vi could be found in tonal music (would be non-functional), Modality (proper) or Pandiatonic music. It's more likely in Pandiatonic music because as a non-traditional style, it tried to avoid intentionally the trappings of tonal music. But usually some other elements are going to add to the pandiatonicism. In other words, there's more to it than just the chord progression.

Steve
Quote
Steve
"Pandiatonicism"...means it uses a major/minor scale, or a mode, but eliminates functional harmony and treats the notes of the scale more or less equally

This is the simplest and best definition for "pandiatonicism" I can imagine. WTG, Steve.

I consider progressions that lack a strong pull to the tonic, i.e. those with only/mostly plagal cadences (if any), or progressions that merely mix together different chords of some parent scale in some particular, perhaps capricious order, to be pandiatonic.

It's best to have examples. Two hit pop tunes come to mind, "Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster the People [youtu.be] and "Last Friday Night" by Katy Perry [youtu.be] Both have simple four-chord progressions that seem to circularly spin around and around, having perpetual movement and direction with no resolution.

The progression for "Pumped Up Kicks" is ii-IV-I-V, over and over and over and over, with a strictly major pentatonic melody from the "parent key," the key of the I chord.

"Last Friday Night" is very similar: IV-II-vi-V. Interestingly, it NEVER goes to the I chord, but the tune is certainly not Lydian, nor from the relative minor. Its melody is also primarily pentatonic, from the I chord "parent key" as well.

Practitioners of more complicated pandiatonicism would include Wayne Shorter -- like "El Gaucho," for instance, [youtu.be], and especially Allan Holdsworth. In this video, it couldn't be any clearer how pandiatonicism works: [youtu.be] Allan's tunes typically consist of "parent scales" moving from one to another. For example: C ascending melodic minor - Ab harmonic major - F major, etc. When he improvises, he picks the parent scale of the chord he's playing, and shreds over it. When I improvise on Shorter tunes, I try to find simple parent scales where he likely initially derived his chord progression, and the clue is invariably in the melody to the head. In "El Gaucho," the melody is in C, Bb, Db, and F major pentatonic, though the chords are all over the place. When you map out which chords go with which pentatonic, it becomes much easier to improvise over.

Hope this helps.
Re: Pandiatonicism (or Panmodalism) vs. Modal Music
August 17, 2011 12:18PM
Ty, the problem here is extending a definition invented for a particular style that share *some* similarities - the Stravinksy example I gave above is Pandiatonic.

You're saying Katy Perry is not Tonal but Pandiatonic. Why? Becuase it's not Tonal music so it's something else.

There's the problem.

People call Wayne Shorter, or Katy Perry, "Tonal" all the time. Why? Because they use a term they've heard and understand *some* of the elements and apply it to music that shares those *some* elements.

It's like calling the Fugue "Of Science" from Thus Spake Zarathustra "Dodecaphonic" because it uses all 12 notes.

Yes, Dodecaphonic music uses all 12 notes, but there's more to it than that.

In other words, people tend to use grossly oversimplified definitions of terms and then apply those terms to anything sharing the simple characteristics, while often ignoring those elements that truly define a style/technique.

So to be clear, Pandiatonicism:
*often* uses non-functional progressions in favor of functional ones, but this is NOT the defining characteristic of the style. IOW, you can't just look at a piece (as many here seem to be doing) and see it has a non-functional progression and call it Pandiatonic. Tonal music, Modality (Middle Ages through Renaissance), Minimalism, etc. all have non-functional chord progressions. That doesn't immediately make them Pandiatonic.

Unfortunately, it seems a lot of readers picked up on that part of my statement and took it to heart.

Pandiatonicism:
Uses Major or minor scales/keys as the primary melodic/harmonic resource. This is true, but, so does Tonal Music, Modality (if we assume Ionian and Aeolian), Jazz tunes, pop tunes, etc. IOW, just because a piece of music uses a Major Scale or Minor Scale exclusively, or for a section, does not make it Pandiatonic.

Panditonicism:
TREATS THE NOTES OF THE SCALE MORE OR LESS EQUALLY. This is the important part. How does it do this? Through using non-functional progressions. Through using added harmonic tones that "upset" some (or all) of the traditional functional roles of various harmonies. Through using melodic tones in an "added note" capacity where the traditional roles of chord tone and non-chord tone are effectively nullified. Through creating melodies, or using melodic tones in such a way that any note *could be* the Tonic, or that the role of the Tonic is lessened.

In this last way, Pandiatonicism shares a lot with Atonality or as Schoenberg used the term, Pantonality. That is, Pandiatonicism is a "step along the way" to Atonality and Dodecaphonic music - the main distinction is that where generally speaking, Atonality employs all 12 notes (or other non-traditional collections) and eschews functional progressions, or traditional chord structures at all, Pandiatonicism maintains some "ties to tradition" in that it uses a "diatonic scale set" (Major or natural minor usually) and "triadic-based" harmonic structures or "added-note" harmonies.

Most pop music and jazz, while having *some* elements of pandiatonicism, are really more closely related to Tonality. They're better described as being "Expanded Tonality" or "Neo-Tonality" IMHO.

Best,
Steve
thanks for the insight Steve, I'm sure I'll be reading that more than thrice :)

What about modal jazz? Uses diatonic scales, and the melody frequently emphasizes extensions (9ths, 13ths etc.) which as you said, is one of the more defining characteristics or pandiatonic music. However, it's not tonal, it's modal, so I guess this would be panmodal music? Using modal scales, but without any notion of finals or reciting tones as you mentioned before.

Or would you consider the fact that some of these tones are "functional" additions to the chord (like a 6th on top of a V chord becoming the 3rd of the I chord) and therefore do not fit the criteria of pandmodal?
Re: Pandiatonicism (or Panmodalism) vs. Modal Music
August 17, 2011 01:51PM
ehh Wrote:
> What about modal jazz? Uses diatonic scales, and
> the melody frequently emphasizes extensions (9ths,
> 13ths etc.) which as you said, is one of the more
> defining characteristics or pandiatonic music.
> However, it's not tonal, it's modal, so I guess
> this would be panmodal music? Using modal scales,
> but without any notion of finals or reciting tones
> as you mentioned before.

I don't see how there could be any difference between "pandiatonic" and "panmodal" given that modes are diatonic in the first place. Also, I think modal jazz doesn't fit the pandiatonic criteria anyway because it's still centric. If a modal piece of music had no centric qualities at all, how could we possibly tell what mode it is? It could be (for example) D dorian, E phrygian, C major, etc - there would be no way to tell.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/17/2011 02:16PM by Fretsource.
I wasn't aware pandiatonic music could not be centric. Steve said "Pandiatonic does not have to be Centric. " which made me think that it perhaps could be.

Thanks for the clarification.
Re: Pandiatonicism (or Panmodalism) vs. Modal Music
August 17, 2011 02:25PM
Sorry Ehh - I edited my post. I think the important thing is that it's not obviously centric and and definitely not tonal. I've modified my definition thanks to Steve :)
Re: Pandiatonicism (or Panmodalism) vs. Modal Music
August 17, 2011 03:16PM
I found this text quite interesting:

Nicolas Slonimsky (1894 - 1995) first coined the term pandiatonicism in 1939 in his book Music Since 1900. He asserts "all seven degrees of the diatonic scale are used freely in democratic equality." He also states the "functional importance of the primary triads remains undiminished in pandiatonic harmony." Slonimsky's explanation of pandiatonicism is not substantially different from that of traditional harmony and does not mention linear structures beyond the act of "small children promenading their little fingers over the piano keyboard." Written in 1939, Slonimsky introduced his nomenclature during a growing trend of music that used twelve-tone techniques or did not assert a specific key, mode, or tonal center.

Toward the end of his life, even Slonimsky did not think highly of the term and parameters he created for a portion of music utilizing diatonic notes. In an interview in 1990 given by Richard Kostelanetz, Slonimsky gave this definition for his term: Pandiatonicism - "pan" as in pancake, "dia" as in diarrhea, and "tonicism" as in hair tonic. One professor in Cleveland described it as "C-major that sounds like hell."
Slonimsky's own admission of the ineffectiveness of this label gives good cause for authors of texts on twentieth century music to give little attention to pandiatonicism.
Hi, Steve,

I'm open to correction and refinement of my understanding of pandiatonicism, but I frankly understand it precisely as you define it; still, I would characterize each of the examples I offered as pandiatonic.

I appreciate you defining it as musical egalitarianism, and its parallels to Schoenberg's method are not lost on me.

Listen to the Katy Perry tune and tell me where the tonic is. It is arguable that even without the tonic triad, the melody tends to emphasize its pitches, and I'm open to that, but I hear it as a swirling of diatonic triads with none having precedence over another.

While I would never suggest Katy Perry's method is anywhere near or on par with any Stravinsky may have used, I would argue that non-functional progressions such as the one in "Last Friday Night" are non-functional precisely because no precedence is given to any chord from the parent scale over another. Where modal music ends and pandiatonicism begins is not as clear-cut as you are suggesting -- though "Last Friday Night" never happens upon a tonic chord, it is certainly not in any mode to speak of. BTW, modal music still is "tonal" in the sense that one pitch is higher in a particular hierarchy than others, namely the first note of the mode.

Regarding calling Shorter's music tonal, I think you are stretching the definition of tonal beyond its limits. While I would agree that *most* Jazz is essentially tonal, Shorter's certainly is not (60's Blue Note records, Miles Quintet compositions). Listen to Juju: [youtu.be] Just a bunch of (mostly) whole tone scales moving around. Good luck finding a tonic, key, etc. One good test for whether a tune is pandiatonic is to prolong a particular chord in a tune and see if it needs to go to another, or if it sounds fine staying where it is -- if a chord is not urging our ears toward another, i.e. if there is no tonal gravity, there is no tonality. That said -- and this is another discussion altogether -- I believe w/ Schenker, Bernstein, et. al, that tonal gravity is always present (even in 12-tone music!), but what changes is the level of ambiguity, i.e. that our ears and minds are determined to hear pitches hierarchically whether we try not to or not.

Shorter once described his compositions as consisting of "islands of harmony," and I think this is an apt way to think of pandiatonicism -- namely, that we visit one island of melodic and harmonic implications, then visit another, and so on, with no precedence given to one island over another; we just hop from one to the next, and at no point does the harmony "resolve."
Re: Pandiatonicism (or Panmodalism) vs. Modal Music
August 17, 2011 09:06PM
>
> What about modal jazz? Uses diatonic scales, and
> the melody frequently emphasizes extensions (9ths,
> 13ths etc.) which as you said, is one of the more
> defining characteristics or pandiatonic music.

Yes, but usually in "pan-" styles the additions aren't simply "extensions" - so an "add9" is more typically found than a Dominant 9th for example.

But modal jazz is certainly "more towards" pandiatonicism (or panmodalism) than other styles of jazz.



> However, it's not tonal, it's modal, so I guess
> this would be panmodal music? Using modal scales,
> but without any notion of finals or reciting tones
> as you mentioned before.

Right. Or, closer depending on how strict you want the definition to be.

FWIW, I would consider those Pandiatonic pieces that use Major/minor as a resource to be Pandiatonic, but those that use "the diatonic notes of a mode" would be "Panmodal" - or you might see Panmodalism as a specific type of Pandiatonicism.

>
> Or would you consider the fact that some of these
> tones are "functional" additions to the chord
> (like a 6th on top of a V chord becoming the 3rd
> of the I chord) and therefore do not fit the
> criteria of pandmodal?

Right - Though not necessarily that specific example. A ii-V-I progression is basically functional, and making it ii7 - V7b9 - I6 doesn't really change the basic function of those chords. And one of the features of "pan-" music is to be "different" than the tradition. No doubt, there are pop and jazz tunes that are "pan-" something, but again, I wouldn't necessarily consider all Modal Jazz panmodal (though by it's very nature, it's closer).

Steve
Re: Pandiatonicism (or Panmodalism) vs. Modal Music
August 17, 2011 09:11PM
> I don't see how there could be any difference
> between "pandiatonic" and "panmodal" given that
> modes are diatonic in the first place.

Depends on how loosely one defines "diatonic" - in some contexts it simply means "of or pertaining to the scale" (which could include mode), in other contexts it means "not chromatic", and in some contexts it means "of the Major or minor (natural minor usually) scale".

I think "Panmodal" came about as a way to describe Pandiatonic music that specifically uses modal resources as opposed to Major/minor - so a Pandiatonic piece using the Lydian mode would be "Panmodal" in that context.

Also, I
> think modal jazz doesn't fit the pandiatonic
> criteria anyway because it's still centric. If a
> modal piece of music had no centric qualities at
> all, how could we possibly tell what mode it is?
> It could be (for example) D dorian, E phrygian, C
> major, etc - there would be no way to tell.

Pandiatonic pieces must be, by definition, "centric enough" to tell the scale or the mode. For example, the Stravinksy 5 fingers piece I posted before isn't exactly "C Major" or obviously centric to C, but the 5 notes are laid out for you at the beginning from C-D-E-F-G - so the assumption is C is the reference point, thus making it "C Major-ish"

Steve
Re: Pandiatonicism (or Panmodalism) vs. Modal Music
August 17, 2011 09:18PM
Fretsource Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I found this text quite interesting:
>
> Nicolas Slonimsky (1894 - 1995) first coined the
> term pandiatonicism in 1939 in his book Music
> Since 1900. He asserts "all seven degrees of the
> diatonic scale are used freely in democratic
> equality." He also states the "functional
> importance of the primary triads remains
> undiminished in pandiatonic harmony." Slonimsky's
> explanation of pandiatonicism is not substantially
> different from that of traditional harmony and
> does not mention linear structures beyond the act
> of "small children promenading their little
> fingers over the piano keyboard." Written in 1939,
> Slonimsky introduced his nomenclature during a
> growing trend of music that used twelve-tone
> techniques or did not assert a specific key, mode,
> or tonal center.

One professor in Cleveland described it as
> "C-major that sounds like hell."
> Slonimsky's own admission of the ineffectiveness
> of this label gives good cause for authors of
> texts on twentieth century music to give little
> attention to pandiatonicism.


Very interesting indeed. It goes to reinforce what I've been trying to imply - don't place so much emphasis on it :-) It's really just a description of music that doesn't fit any other traditional descriptions.

Slonimsky's definition seems to imply that it's the MELODY that's more important - not the harmony, as I've been trying to reinforce - though his definition really states that "functional harmony" is still present. Personally though, my experience has been that the examples usually quoted s being pandiatonic also have "less-functional" harmony than traditional music.

"C Major that sound like hell" LOL.

Oversimplifcation.

Little kids promenading their fingers over the keyboard - ROTFL.

Pretty accurate.

I think Slonmimsky did not like modern music very much ;-)
Re: Pandiatonicism (or Panmodalism) vs. Modal Music
August 17, 2011 09:52PM
Ty Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Hi, Steve,
>
> I'm open to correction and refinement of my
> understanding of pandiatonicism, but I frankly
> understand it precisely as you define it; still, I
> would characterize each of the examples I offered
> as pandiatonic.

Well, what I meant Ty is that theorists typically reserve terms like Pandiatonic, or Atonality, etc. to be closely associated with the styles in vogue (or being described) when the term was coined - so any time we apply them to more recent innovations we potentially tread on grey areas.

This basically means your application of the term is a little more liberal than mine.


>
> Listen to the Katy Perry tune and tell me where
> the tonic is. It is arguable that even without the
> tonic triad, the melody tends to emphasize its
> pitches, and I'm open to that, but I hear it as a
> swirling of diatonic triads with none having
> precedence over another.

OK, I see what you mean - by taking the "egalitarianism" viewpoint this certainly does treat the "chord loop" and "static melodic gestures" as equal. But I kind of hear them as being equal because of their obvious simplicity - the whole looping and "monotone melody" method of song construction we have in pop music today. From that standpoint, it's much closer to Minimalism if we want to pick a specific style.

So I wouldn't call it Pandiatonic per se, but I would say it definitely features elements also common in pandiatonic music, with a minimalistic twist.

BTW, modal music still is
> "tonal" in the sense that one pitch is higher in a
> particular hierarchy than others, namely the first
> note of the mode.

This is not true, unless you are really using a broad definition of Tonal, and talking about modern "modo-tonal" music - where modes are *treated as if* they were scales. Again, I'm being more conservative with the definitions here - I know not everyone is.

Tonal music and Modal music are both Centric, but they achieve that centricity through different methods which is why we distinguish them.

>
> Regarding calling Shorter's music tonal, I think
> you are stretching the definition of tonal beyond
> its limits. While I would agree that *most* Jazz
> is essentially tonal, Shorter's certainly is not
> (60's Blue Note records, Miles Quintet
> compositions). Listen to Juju:
> [youtu.be] Just a bunch of
> (mostly) whole tone scales moving around. Good
> luck finding a tonic, key, etc.

Which makes it Atonal - but I don't think you'd hear anyone applying that label to it. Whole tone scales moving around though - that's Atonal - for lack of a better term :-)


One good test for
> whether a tune is pandiatonic is to prolong a
> particular chord in a tune and see if it needs to
> go to another, or if it sounds fine staying where
> it is -- if a chord is not urging our ears toward
> another, i.e. if there is no tonal gravity, there
> is no tonality.

I'd disagree with this. Or I guess what I should be asking is, you seem to be saying that Pandiatonic music *must be* non-tonal (or use non-functional harmonies). As you can see from Slonimsky's comment (and he coined the term), for him the harmony was still pretty much standard functional progressions. My experience has been that the term is used for pieces of music where the harmony may or may not be functional, but still pretty much relies on "largely identifiable" structures albeit non-traditional.

IOW, the Katy Perry is not Pandiatonic just because the chord progression is non-functional (though the egalitarianism is to be considered), and the Shorter is not Pandiatonic just becuase it has "no tonic in sight".

Basically, "no tonic" (or other centric element such as a final) means "Atonal". Between Tonal and Atonal lies Pantonal.




That said -- and this is another
> discussion altogether -- I believe w/ Schenker,
> Bernstein, et. al, that tonal gravity is always
> present (even in 12-tone music!), but what changes
> is the level of ambiguity, i.e. that our ears and
> minds are determined to hear pitches
> hierarchically whether we try not to or not.

Yeah, another thread. But I think the problem here becomes whether one sees the determination to be innate, or learned (I am of the latter inclination).

>
> Shorter once described his compositions as
> consisting of "islands of harmony," and I think
> this is an apt way to think of pandiatonicism --


Ahh - see, that's what I'd consider Pantonality - "islands of "keys" " or key centers - where areas are referencing one key for a bit, then moving on - or, the keys "overlap" and are ambiguous.

> namely, that we visit one island of melodic and
> harmonic implications, then visit another, and so
> on, with no precedence given to one island over
> another; we just hop from one to the next, and at
> no point does the harmony "resolve."

I think you seem to be stuck on the harmony "resolving" - A main characteristic of Pandiatonic music is that it usually features non-functional progressions, which don't need to resolve (in the traditional sense) but Pandiatonic music *may* use functional harmony (and Slonimsky implies it does). Modal music (Middle Ages and Renaissance) doesn't "need to resolve" in the same way Tonal music (of the CPP era) but calling it Pandiatonic (or Panmodal) based on this one element would be erroneous IMHO.

To point out what I think some of the earlier posters latched on to - Pandiatonicism is not about harmonic progression. It's about pitch elements "diatonic" to the scale being used more or less in equal fashion - that implies a "less functional" harmony as a result. Last Friday Night certainly meets this criteria, though it does it, IMHO, unintentionally - so using the pandiatonic descriptor might be less informative than talking about the "looping" (or cyclical as you said) harmonic element(s) or the "melodic riffing" - in other words, I could certainly say that the end of Stairway to Heaven is "pandiatonic" because it uses a non-functional progression and the solos are catching all the notes of the scale at some point or another. But that doesn't really tell us all that much about the construction of the song nor does it help us classify the music as being related to things like the Stravinksy - which may be counter to the whole point of coming up with such terms in the first place :-)

Having studied as a composer, I tend to look for concepts that help identify not only what it is, but how it was created - Stravinsky was certainly thinking "diatonically with notes added to chords" but non-traditiionally in any other way. Katy Perry (or whoever the songwriter, now very rich, is) was thinking "here are four chords I'm going to loop and here's the melody". Different construction principles which, IMHO, deserve different terminology in order for us to get the most out of them.

Best,
Steve
Hey, Steve,

When I listen to and analyze music, it is a descriptive process. As a composer, I use prescriptive methods, or hear music according to prior prescriptive training, and compose according to what I hear. I think this is where you and I go different ways with our usage of "pandiatonicism" -- I use the term liberally to describe music that is both non-tonal and diatonic; you are concerned with pandiatoncism as a method or procedure for composition, as practiced by Slonimsky, Stravinsky, et. al.

I would never argue that Katy Perry, or even a composer as gifted as Wayne Shorter, are composing with the same toolbox Stravinsky had. I would argue though that the tunes I mentioned above, and many others, are not best described as tonal music nor as modal music; I think the naive sandbox mentality of picking a parent scale and capriciously assembling chords and melodies from it is a lot closer to what Slonimsky meant with "pandiatonicism" than you are acknowledging ("small children promenading their little fingers over the piano keyboard." -- his words). Does the aforementioned quote sound more like Stravinsky's or Perry's/Foster the People's approach?

Allan Holdsworth, in many interviews I've read or listened to over the years, adopts a defiant posture regarding harmony and scales. He insists over and over that no one is gonna tell him what to play or how to play it, and that he'll assemble any chord from a parent scale he so chooses, and that he won't concern himself with whether one tone is more important than another. This is the spirit if not the letter of what Slonimsky meant by "pandiatonicism," imho; it is no small coincidence that Holdsworth made ready use of the Thesaurus.

Regarding modality as thinly-veiled tonality, I follow Schenker in recognizing that an overwhelming amount of "modal" music uses Dorian, Mixolydian and Aeolian, and that these modes are easily conceived as major scales with altered 3rds, 6ths and/or 7ths, i.e. that all we're really doing when we compose with a "mode" is adding colors, in varying degrees, from the parallel minor to the major. I also challenge you to find a modal piece that does not have tonal gravity, i.e. an hierarchy of pitches where the tonic has the greatest precedence. I use "tonic" to refer to the first tone of a mode, and I also use the the term to refer to a pitch that has precedence over all others, to our ear, in a mode or scale. Listen to "Sweet Home Alabama," a classic D Mixolydian tune, and notice how our ear gravitates to D; listen to the guitar solos, and their emphasis of D. These musicians, at the very least, heard this tune hierarchically.

Stimulating discussion.

Best,

Ty

I follow Bernstein, and Schenker for that matter, in believing that nature determines the phonological content of music, that we can try all we want but will never escape the overtone series. There is no escaping the sea of major chords we all swim in every day, and try as we might
Re: Pandiatonicism (or Panmodalism) vs. Modal Music
August 18, 2011 01:34AM
Ty Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>I would
> argue though that the tunes I mentioned above, and
> many others, are not best described as tonal music
> nor as modal music;

Agreed.

I think the naive sandbox
> mentality of picking a parent scale and
> capriciously assembling chords and melodies from
> it is a lot closer to what Slonimsky meant with
> "pandiatonicism" than you are acknowledging
> ("small children promenading their little fingers
> over the piano keyboard." -- his words). Does the
> aforementioned quote sound more like Stravinsky's
> or Perry's/Foster the People's approach?

Sounds like Stravinksy's approach - which is why I'm a little confused - you were saying the Katy Perry and Shorter tunes are Pandiatonic too, right? I mean, they all sound "deliberate" in their own way, and none of them are necessarily capricious - so maybe that was Slonimsky's take on what Stravinksy et al were doing, but obviously they were doing more than just fiddling around on the white keys :-)

>
> Allan Holdsworth, in many interviews I've read or
> listened to over the years, adopts a defiant
> posture regarding harmony and scales. He insists
> over and over that no one is gonna tell him what
> to play or how to play it, and that he'll assemble
> any chord from a parent scale he so chooses, and
> that he won't concern himself with whether one
> tone is more important than another. This is the
> spirit if not the letter of what Slonimsky meant
> by "pandiatonicism," imho; it is no small
> coincidence that Holdsworth made ready use of the
> Thesaurus.

That may be so. I'm not real familiar with much Holdsworth but what I've heard has been relatively "out". From what I've heard his approach seems to be more "anti-tradition" which his defiance will of course foster - but I wouldn't immediately say it (what I've heard) is Pandiatonic. I mean, that philosophy can be applied to all kinds of styles.

>
> Regarding modality as thinly-veiled tonality, I
> follow Schenker in recognizing that an
> overwhelming amount of "modal" music uses Dorian,
> Mixolydian and Aeolian, and that these modes are
> easily conceived as major scales with altered
> 3rds, 6ths and/or 7ths, i.e. that all we're really
> doing when we compose with a "mode" is adding
> colors, in varying degrees, from the parallel
> minor to the major.

Hmm, not familiar with this. He's wrong that Modal (not "modal") music is overwhelmingly in favor of any one mode. I couldn't tell you numbers but as far as I know, the 8 Ecclesiastical modes were used in fairly even distribution (there are even Locrian examples despite commonly held belief).

It seems he's kind of reverse engineering this. There is certainly Tonal music that is basically Modal (many Bach Chorales for example) and it's pretty evident that a modal melody has been "tonalicized" by "majorising" or "minorising" it. He might be talking about "modal" in the context of something like Beethoven's string quartet movement "in the Lydian mode" where it's really a very tonal piece basically using V/V to act like Lydian - so I wouldn't consider it to be very modal at all, but I could see where Schenker would pick up on the use of #4 as a modal coloration. The same could be said about any Neapolitans and Phrygian references for example.

Certainly I'd say that modern popular music, and much British Isles and Appalachian folk music with which I'm familiar does in fact use Dorian and Mixolydian overwhelmingly (Lydian and Phrygian being comparatively rare) and "minor" tunes tend to NOT use #7 for "harmonic minor" and thus are basically Aeolian. So maybe he's talking about folk musics that composers started incorporating in the Nationalism movement.



I also challenge you to find a
> modal piece that does not have tonal gravity, i.e.
> an hierarchy of pitches where the tonic has the
> greatest precedence. I use "tonic" to refer to the
> first tone of a mode, and I also use the the term
> to refer to a pitch that has precedence over all
> others, to our ear, in a mode or scale.

Have you listened to much Palestrina?

One of the things music students often do when hearing Renaissance modal works for the first time say "it ended on the wrong chord" - Because they are listening with "tonal ears" and the progressions they hear do set up a "tonal gravity" for them - but it's the wrong one for the piece. These modal pieces don't have "tonal gravity" - that's something our tonally prejudiced ears imbue on them, often with no correlation to the actual "center" (final) of the work.

TRUE Modality has the Final, and the Dominant or Reciting Tone as their "most important" tones, but these are set up through melodic patterns and repetition, not through functional harmony.

Now, MODERN modal music - music that uses the principles of tonality but a mode as the pitch set do often have the same kind of tonal gravity as a tonal work, but with "color" alterations - such as a IV-i or v-I cadence (Dorian and Mixolydian respectively) instead of V-I or V-i. In a sense, this style of composition simply "substitutes" the modal note for the diatonic one, thus changing the intervallic structure of melodies and the qualities of some of the harmonies. Often progressions are still what they would have been in functional pieces, although other choices are often made to point out the modal changes.




Listen to
> "Sweet Home Alabama," a classic D Mixolydian tune,
> and notice how our ear gravitates to D;

Actually, this is a major source of debate on another forum. Many, many people hear G as the tonal center, and make some valid arguments (one being that LS themselves end the song on the G).



listen to
> the guitar solos, and their emphasis of D.

Actually, they emphasize G Major. Much of the solo is G pentatonic major. The first solo begins with A-G then a D major arp, but then in moves to G(m) or a C blues scale, continuing A-C-Bb-A-G-A-E-G--G--G-Bb - then it concludes with largely GM pentatonic (with Bb blue notes) and then GM (with the C note in that final run). The 2nd solo is no different - GM pentatonic with Bb blue notes thrown in until the fast riff, which includes a C note, then back to GM pentatonic with some Bb blue notes.

It's even more apparent in the 2nd half of the 2nd solo where he gets to the high G and hangs on it, moving then to the F blue note (which could be b7 in G, or b3 in D, but given what's going on so far, he's obviously thinking G).

These
> musicians, at the very least, heard this tune
> hierarchically.

Since you're pretty off on this one, I'd say maybe you should re-think it.

FWIW, I "hear" the song as D Mixolydian, despite all the evidence to the contrary. But they certainly seemed to "think" the song is in G. So who's right - the people who wrote it, or how we perceive it?

Steve
The way I think of it is like this.

Pandiatonic music appears to have a tonal center but does not follow diatonic functions. So it lacks the tension and release/resolution portraied in diatonic music. So you may be using a scale, but you're not focused on tonality. Basically allowing you to never resolve or never build tension. At least harmonically.

Modal music is based around the chord being played. Like someone else said jazz players think chord-by-chord often times, so thats exactly what you're doing. Modal music consists of creating an Atonal harmony, then arppegiating the chord tones and non-chord tones of the chord being played. So basically if the harmony is on C Major at the moment you're free to the C Major scale over that chord, because essentially the C Major scale is just all the chord tones and nonchord tones of the C Major chord. With this in mind you can still apply gravitation through melody.

What the 2 have in common is that the Harmony is still non-functional, however melody can still be functional. In atonal, neither are functional, or at least not intended to be. Difference is Modal has no key center, unless you look at it as though the key center changes with the harmony, but it essentially has no key center, just arppegiations of the tones(and non tones) of the chord being played, whereas pandiatonic has a key center just no functional harmony.

Does that make sense?
Re: Pandiatonicism (or Panmodalism) vs. Modal Music
February 05, 2012 02:17PM
Pandiatonic music doesn't need to have a tonal centre, though. In fact, some theorists define pandiatonicism as the use of a diatonic pitch collection without a tonal centre. (Some are broader than that.)

I had thought that modal music always does have a pitch centre (final). Bryan Simms defines "modality" in a 20th century context as "the occurrence of a set of pitches of which one is asserted as central or 'tonic'." Persichetti wrote: "A central tone to which other tones are related can establish tonality, and the manner in which these other tones are placed around the central tone produces modality."

However, I just went to the Oxford Companion and they give this as one meaning of "mode":
Quote

a wide range of definition, from simple scales—arrangements of tones and semitones sometimes without any implication of a ‘tonic’ or main note—to a particular and typical melodic style or collection of motifs, perhaps with a definite ‘tonic’ and other notes in a hierarchy of importance—a meaning often found in discussions of non-European music, where melody types are widely used in non-written musical traditions

Still, in Western music, modal music usually has a centre, doesn't it? That's how I've always understood it.

Man, that Katy Perry song is doing my head in now. I'll have to actually sit down and analyse it to see if I could classify it as pandiatonic but the harmony and melody-harmony relationship are pretty nuts.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/05/2012 02:25PM by angryowl.
Ty
Re: Pandiatonicism (or Panmodalism) vs. Modal Music
February 05, 2012 02:59PM
Owl, Dude, you are seeing it just like I do. Thanks for your post. Are you familiar with Allan Holdsworth's music? He stresses repeatedly in interviews how he uses tonicless parent scales, shifting from parent scale to parent scale grabbing whatever pitch collections he wants for "chords" or melodic passages, etc. To me, this is the essence of Pan-Diatonicism, i.e. the use of a parent scale in which all of its tones are equal to one another.

"Proto Cosmos"

Allan on how he conceives of "chords."
Re: Pandiatonicism (or Panmodalism) vs. Modal Music
February 09, 2012 11:31AM
angryowl Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Pandiatonic music doesn't need to have a tonal
> centre, though. In fact, some theorists define
> pandiatonicism as the use of a diatonic pitch
> collection without a tonal centre. (Some are
> broader than that.)
>
> I had thought that modal music always does have a
> pitch centre (final). Bryan Simms defines
> "modality" in a 20th century context as "the
> occurrence of a set of pitches of which one is
> asserted as central or 'tonic'." Persichetti
> wrote: "A central tone to which other tones are
> related can establish tonality, and the manner in
> which these other tones are placed around the
> central tone produces modality."
>
> However, I just went to the Oxford Companion and
> they give this as one meaning of "mode":
> a wide range of definition, from simple
> scales—arrangements of tones and semitones
> sometimes without any implication of a ‘tonic’
> or main note—to a particular and typical melodic
> style or collection of motifs, perhaps with a
> definite ‘tonic’ and other notes in a
> hierarchy of importance—a meaning often found in
> discussions of non-European music, where melody
> types are widely used in non-written musical
> traditions
>
> Still, in Western music, modal music usually has a
> centre, doesn't it? That's how I've always
> understood it.
>
> Man, that Katy Perry song is doing my head in now.
> I'll have to actually sit down and analyse it to
> see if I could classify it as pandiatonic but the
> harmony and melody-harmony relationship are pretty
> nuts.

No, Pandiatonic music doesn't have a tonic or key center. What is your tonic? Your first diatonic function that you resolve to. Pandiatonic means its without(or at least more so than diatonic) diatonic functions. So theoretically you don't have a key center.


Its funny you mentioned this, when I was first learning to compose I found what was called the Bebop scale. It didn't have a tonic, and for a long time this confused me. Now I realize scales don't really have a tonic, but most people think in terms of Tonal music, so you'll often find scale degrees of scales which kind of just imply Tonality.

Modal doesn't have a key center either, the way I see it is Modal is more based around movement melodically. The Harmony doesn't every HAVE to resolve, though some artists may. The western ear is most definitely trained towards diatonic compositions.

Its kind of funny how many artists today accidentally compose Pandiatonically. Like you said with Katy Perry, the composer or DJ rather, probably only knew the correlation of chords and scales, and not Diatonic functions. Alot of people learn the rest by ear. This is why a lot of modern music lacks modern movement, which is my theory on why modern day dancing consists of humping eachother to no specific rhythm.
Ty
Re: Pandiatonicism (or Panmodalism) vs. Modal Music
March 05, 2012 09:37PM
Yes, I'm resurrecting this thread, lol!

Previously I spoke about the strangeness of Katy Perry's "TGIF" and Foster the People's "Pumped up Kicks," given they have chords diatonically related, but lacking progressions and resolutions that establish a key -- they kind of swirl around. Anyway, I learned this tune for a student today, and noticed it has a similar quality.

| B | E | A | F#m |

Thoughts about the key?
Re: Pandiatonicism (or Panmodalism) vs. Modal Music
March 05, 2012 09:49PM
Ty Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Yes, I'm resurrecting this thread, lol!
>
> Previously I spoke about the strangeness of Katy
> Perry's "TGIF" and Foster the People's "Pumped up
> Kicks," given they have chords diatonically
> related, but lacking progressions and resolutions
> that establish a key -- they kind of swirl around.
> Anyway, I learned
> this tune
> for a student today, and noticed it has a similar
> quality.
>
> | B | E | A | F#m |
>
> Thoughts about the key?

It's not in a key by the strictest definition.

It's in a mode.

B Mixolydian.

I - IV - bVII - v

Steve
What would you call the use of non-diatonic notes or briefly superimposed key centers in the improvisations and composed contrafact melodies of Warne Marsh and Lee Konitz? Or Rich Perry's or Chris Potter's improvisations? Is that considered pandiatonic? Or is it polytonal?
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