In the theory of Western music, mode (from Latin modus, "measure, standard, manner, way, size, limit of quantity, method") (Powers 2001, Introduction; OED) generally refers to a type of scale, coupled with a set of characteristic melodic behaviours. This usage, still the most common in recent years, reflects a tradition dating to the Middle Ages, itself inspired by the theory of ancient Greek music. The word encompasses several additional meanings, however. Authors from the ninth century until the early eighteenth century sometimes employed the Latin modus for interval. In the theory of late-medieval mensural polyphony, modus is a rhythmic relationship between long and short values or a pattern made from them (Powers 2001, Introduction). Since the end of the eighteenth century, the term "mode" has also applied—in ethnomusicological contexts—to pitch structures in non-European musical cultures, sometimes with doubtful compatibility (Powers 2001, §V,1). Regarding the concept of mode as applied to pitch relationships generally, Harold S. Powers describes a continuum between abstract scale and specific tune, with "most of the area between ... being in the domain of mode" (Powers 2001, §I,3).
Famous quotes containing the word mode:
“Young children learn in a different manner from that of older children and adults, yet we can teach them many things if we adapt our materials and mode of instruction to their level of ability. But we miseducate young children when we assume that their learning abilities are comparable to those of older children and that they can be taught with materials and with the same instructional procedures appropriate to school-age children.”
—David Elkind (20th century)