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Thread: Chord progressions in Lydian Mode

  1. #31
    Registered User jimc8p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisJ
    Try a minor pentatonic scale down a half step from the chord, Ex: B minor pentatonic over a C major type chord.
    Easier to catch the sound if you include the root or fifth in there too. A great Lydian pentatonic is C E F# G B, really gives over the Lydian feel.

  2. #32
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    With an modal piece of music the notes you don't play are almost more important than the notes you do use. When I hear great Modal players, or modal songs, is seems they find smaller chunk or groups of notes to use more than saying "here's the Lydian scale, play all of the notes you can in it", when handled this way many times it takes the compositional aspect out of the piece and stagnates the sound to a scale as opposed to the song.

  3. #33
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    Exactly! I like to use the "Dorian pentatonic" (A,C,E,F#,G) and also the "Lydian pentatonic" (C, E, F#, G, B) that jimc8p mentioned. Emphasizing the triad or the seventh arpeggio, plus the characteristic note seems to be the key.

  4. #34
    JazzNerd gersdal's Avatar
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    I have never really accepted that chord progressions can not be made in purely lydian mode, so after a bit of testing I've finally have arrived at a possibility that I think "feels" like it belongs in the I of the lydian mode. I'm not sure you all do agree, though Ah, and in the end I broke the rule (only lydian progression), but that was more a thing to do to create a natural ending and had nothing to do with the lydian chord progression.

    Appologies for the really bad instrumentation and the borrowed drum track that just barely fitted . I'm trying to learn how to use Cubase, and things do not turn out the way I want yet. I may look further into instrumentation and drumming later if I find I want to develop the tune.
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  5. #35
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    to the OP. Lydian is not a tonic mode. it is subdominant. 1 is 1 and 4 is 4. to make lydian sound tonic, you must come from a melodic minor mode which is less tonic than a non-tonic diatonic mode (lydian). Really, any one will do. a mode or melody containing a leading tone would help create a feelng of "home".
    Last edited by timscarey; 10-10-2009 at 09:36 AM.

  6. #36
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timscarey View Post
    to the OP. Lydian is not a tonic mode. it is subdominant.
    That's a little misleading, IMO.
    In true lydian mode, lydian is (by definition) I.
    You can of course derive lydian mode from the subdominant of Ionian (major key). But it makes little sense to describe the subdominant of major - in that context - as "lydian". An F (or Fmaj7#11) chord in key of C is simply IV of C ionian - not I of F lydian. The keynote is C, not F.
    Quote Originally Posted by timscarey View Post
    to make lydian sound tonic, you must come from a melodic minor mode which is less tonic than a non-tonic diatonic mode (lydian). Really, any one will do. a mode or melody containing a leading tone would help create a feelng of "home".
    That's an interesting idea. Could you give an example (a chord sequence)?

    Generally, it's quite easy to make a "lydian tonic", by working from a major key (Ionian) sequence, and just adding a #11 to the I(maj7) chord.
    That's not true lydian mode, of course, it's just creating a major tonic chord with a stable 11th extension.

    Otherwise, a more "true" lydian mode can be achieved with a focus on a single maj or maj7 chord, alternating with a major II, or minor vii - as long as the latter is brief, played for much less time than the I chord. And more secure if the bass is a pedal on the tonic:
    eg
    |C - - - |C - C/D -| (repeat)

    The C can be Cmaj7#11, but the D is better as a D7sus than a straight D7, because the latter encourages the perception of a F#-G resolution as a G major cadence (with C becoming the IV chord, a deceptive cadence). Use D7sus, and G can resolve down to F#, weakening the "G major" sound.

    I haven't come across the idea of working from a melodic minor mode, so that's intriguing... Tel me more!

  7. #37
    Registered User ragasaraswati's Avatar
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    "One more time" by Daft Punk is a strange song in that melodically, or what the singer is doing, is clearly a minor blues r'n'b thing, but harmonically you could say that it is being harmonised with a lydian chord progression.

    Staying most of the time at a I(lydian)maj7 chord and taking brief times on VIIm7 and II. Had it been as a backing track and one adding a melody emphasizing more the I lydian note and the V respective note, rather than the emphasised III and VII notes (by the vocals) in respect to the I note as lydian, if you want to see it like that, that of course are of the minor pentatonic rooted at the III note in perspective of I as lydian tonic, this song would be completely another song.

  8. #38
    Registered User jimc8p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gersdal View Post
    I have never really accepted that chord progressions can not be made in purely lydian mode, so after a bit of testing I've finally have arrived at a possibility that I think "feels" like it belongs in the I of the lydian mode.
    To me this sounds very firmly rooted in the key of E major with no Lydian Bb notes around until the very end I think..?
    Quote Originally Posted by ragasaraswati View Post
    "One more time" by Daft Punk is a strange song in that melodically, or what the singer is doing, is clearly a minor blues r'n'b thing, but harmonically you could say that it is being harmonised with a lydian chord progression.
    Again, plain D major with no sign of G#?

    Quite a while back I tried to create a generic I IV V I sequence and melodic run over the top in order to apply lots of different scales to see how well they functioned (without knowing better at the time). To me, Lydian actually sounds quite straight forward this way..what u think?
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  9. #39
    chewing bubble gum Chim_Chim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimc8p View Post
    Easier to catch the sound if you include the root or fifth in there too. A great Lydian pentatonic is C E F# G B, really gives over the Lydian feel.
    I hear what you're saying, but the root and fifth were already in there in ChrisJ's example. B minor pentatonic gives you the 7th,9th,3rd,#11th,13th over the root,third and fifth of C. That's why he said what he said:

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisJ
    Try a minor pentatonic scale down a half step from the chord, Ex: B minor pentatonic over a C major type chord.
    So that gives you the root(or 1),2nd or 9th,3rd,#4th or # 11th,5th,6th or 13th,and 7th. IOW the entire Lydian mode. Which is pretty good if you want Lydian.
    Some days I seem to do OK. Other days I feel like just shoving an M-80 right up my guitar's butt.

  10. #40
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    IMO, to create a chord progrssion of substantial length with a lydian mode functining as tonic, the chord implying a lydian scale (a Maj7#11) must be the strongest point of resolution in the chord progession, it might help the feeling if the chord was returned too, the most constanant chord in the progression, and/or in a favorable root position in the bassline.

    CMaj#11---Fmin6/C--Fmin6(maj7)/C--E7b9----Ebdim7 add Maj7--Baug with E and F in the melody--C maj7 #11

    The last 3 on guitar

    E-(5)------0--1---2
    B-3--------0------0
    G-5--------0------0
    D-4--------1------2
    A-6--------2 ------3

    The (5) could be played with your right hand if you strum with your thumb (just to hear it)

    notice the progession is mostly diminished and augmented chords with some melodic minor, nothing diatonic, except the C chord. the smooth voiceleading bewteen the last two chords makes it sound like home, it also helps that the other chords are less stable and all contain tritones. the second to last chord could easily be called G7#5, but I like it with B in the bass. the one before that is just D7b9 with Eb in the bass.

    Or, it doesn't sound at all like what you are looking for.

    I guess the idea is that chords from melodic minor are, in most cases "less tonic" than even the 2 and 4 chords in a diatonic system. the problem is that you never really resolve until you arrive at a chord with no tritone. for a lydian or dorian chord to be obvious, the tritone (#11 for lydian, 6/13 for dorian) must be present in the voicing. so you must rely on other factors to give a subdominant the feeling of tonic.
    Last edited by timscarey; 10-11-2009 at 08:33 AM.

  11. #41
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timscarey View Post
    IMO, to create a chord progrssion of substantial length with a lydian mode functining as tonic, the chord implying a lydian scale (a Maj7#11) must be the strongest point of resolution in the chord progession, it might help the feeling if the chord was returned too, the most constanant chord in the progression, and/or in a favorable root position in the bassline.

    CMaj#11---Fmin6/C--Fmin6(maj7)/C--E7b9----Ebdim7 add Maj7--Baug with E and F in the melody--C maj7 #11

    The last 3 on guitar

    E-(5)------0--1---2
    B-3--------0------0
    G-5--------0------0
    D-4--------1------2
    A-6--------2 ------3

    The (5) could be played with your right hand if you strum with your thumb (just to hear it)

    notice the progession is mostly diminished and augmented chords with some melodic minor, nothing diatonic, except the C chord. the smooth voiceleading bewteen the last two chords makes it sound like home, it also helps that the other chords are less stable and all contain tritones. the second to last chord could easily be called G7#5, but I like it with B in the bass. the one before that is just D7b9 with Eb in the bass.

    Or, it doesn't sound at all like what you are looking for.

    I guess the idea is that chords from melodic minor are, in most cases "less tonic" than even the 2 and 4 chords in a diatonic system. the problem is that you never really resolve until you arrive at a chord with no tritone. for a lydian or dorian chord to be obvious, the tritone (#11 for lydian, 6/13 for dorian) must be present in the voicing. so you must rely on other factors to give a subdominant the feeling of tonic.
    Interesting stuff.
    The issue of the tritone is an important one, but I don't agree about the necessity of its presence in a dorian "tonic".
    With dorian mode we can get a clear sense of the root home note (final), just from the preceding scale/melody, we don't need the 6/13 in the final chord.
    Things are a little different for lydian. Firstly, the theory is that a lydian chord (complete with #11) is an optimum stable consonance. The tritone (or octave + tritone) between root and #11 seems to work against this, but the consonance of #11 is relative to other chord tones (mainly maj7 and 9), not directly to the root itself.
    OTOH, I've always felt that lydian mode is a much harder tonality to establish than dorian, just from the use of the mode alone (IOW, without using the kind of non-diatonic dissonances you're demonstrating above). I don't know why this should be - why that #4/#11 (outside of the tonic chord at least) seems to fight the mode in away the 6/13 of dorian doesn't. (Maybe it does come down to the dissonance with the root after all?)

    Of course in a major key (Ionian) we are used to the P4 contributing to the pull towards I, by the "gravity" of its resolution down to M3. Always hearing the #4 instead removes that "comforting" certainty. And we will be hearing the #4 forming a tritone with the root instead, suggesting a different kind of resolution - to the V of lydian, IOW the tonic of the relative major key.

    Somehow in dorian that tritone (between b3 and 6) doesn't have such a distracting effect. Maybe because b3 and 6 - separately - both make fairly smooth consonances with the root.

  12. #42
    Registered User jimc8p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chim_Chim View Post
    I hear what you're saying, but the root and fifth were already in there in ChrisJ's example. B minor pentatonic gives you the 7th,9th,3rd,#11th,13th over the root,third and fifth of C. That's why he said what he said
    I think what I was addressing was that you'd struggle to come up with nice melodic lines without a root or fifth to resolve to. A chord scale that goes 2 3 A4 6 7 is going to sound pretty weak. Basically, there is a better lydian pentatonic (1 3 A4 5 7).

  13. #43
    JazzNerd gersdal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimc8p View Post
    To me this sounds very firmly rooted in the key of E major with no Lydian Bb notes around until the very end I think..?
    Thanks for listening. I was intending for a Lydian feel in A, but you're probably right...

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    Interesting stuff.
    Somehow in dorian that tritone (between b3 and 6) doesn't have such a distracting effect. Maybe because b3 and 6 - separately - both make fairly smooth consonances with the root.
    I think it is becuse the in the lydian mode, the root is part of the tritone, making leading tones resolve to another tritone, in a dorian chord, a leading tone can resolve a bit better due to the perfect 4th between the root and 4th scale degree.
    I would still say though that the 6 or 13 must be present either in the chord or melody for a minor chord to be Dorian, especially when seeking to resolve to it, as our ear would naturally hear a tonic minor sound if coming from a dominant chord. just my opinion.

    the above theories are drawn from Jim Knapp's "theory of modal resolution" and from Paul Hindemith"s "the craft of musical composition" both great books exploring non-diatonic reslolution.
    Last edited by timscarey; 10-11-2009 at 07:35 PM.

  15. #45
    IbreatheMusic Author ChrisJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimc8p View Post
    I think what I was addressing was that you'd struggle to come up with nice melodic lines without a root or fifth to resolve to. A chord scale that goes 2 3 A4 6 7 is going to sound pretty weak. Basically, there is a better lydian pentatonic (1 3 A4 5 7).
    Hmm.. not sure about that but of course, music is a matter of taste. In my opinion, the root and 5th have way to much gravity to be of much interest. I mean your bass player is playing roots and fifths anyways so 7ths, 9ths and 3rds are way more interesting.

    Here is a completely lydian song from a fusion CD I released in 2002 with very little emphasis on roots and 5ths:

    http://chrisjuergensen.com/prospects_short.mp3

    The solo is almost exclusively the minor pentatonic based on the 7th of each lydian chord (A-C-E maj9)

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