Sunday, December 26, 2010

Songwriter's Toolbox - What are Modes?

The concept of "modes" perplexes many folks who love writing or listening to music. But the concept is actually very accessible. By examining a Persian mode used by Iranian-American songwriter Ali Eskandarian, I'll give you a quick and, hopefully, very understandable explanation (and demonstration) of what modes are.

Will this be useful for your own songwriting? While it might be too much to assume that a songwriter steeped in one musical tradition can quickly sound authentic in a new style, you might at the very least find elements of another form of music that could give you a new palette to work with in your songwriting. Music has a long tradition of mixing, sharing and remixing - in ports, international cities and, these days, by radio, TV and the Internet. And it's definitely a way that people from different cultures can find a common ground.

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