Gregorian Modes Demystified


Today's musician can have a difficult time understanding what exactly are the Gregorian Church Modes. Because one must understand how the modes were written utilizing the neumes and the four line staff and moveable DO, it is sometimes just beyond our grasp. Therefore I made this simple demonstration that lets you 'experience' the modes in a very straightforward method of a theoretical study and performance of each one.

In order to draw the parallels, I created each mode using C as the tonal center. This allows one to understand the relationship of one mode to the next, and how the different scales of the mode pass through the Tonic and Dominant and create a spiritual ethos or effect upon the listener.

I have also placed the tonal center as a pedal point in the bass as a point of reference to the other notes in the mode. By doing this you are able to hear the intervals that are created against the Tonic which truly highlights the peculiarities of each mode.

For each study the Tonic and the Dominant are given twice the value of the passing tones of each mode. This also helps one to hear the differences created by these shifting primary tones.

In the future I hope to publish common chants that are good examples of these modes.





Questions? Contact the composer : francis@romancatholicsacredmusic.com

Copyright © 1965 - 2008 Francis Koerber, All rights reserved.