Show off your music theory chops with my weekly challenge! You’ll find a new question here every Monday. Please comment to post your reply.
This week’s challenge:
Music Theory a la mode! Here are two of Bartok’s Romanian Folk Dances. Which mode is each piece written in?
Check back on Friday, May 28th for the answer!
ANSWER for 5/24/21
Romanian Folk Dance #2 uses the Dorian Mode. Dorian is identical to natural minor, except that the 6th note of the scale is raised a half-step. So in the key of D minor, the B natural is what gives it away:
This is what the Romanian Folk Dance No. 2 would sound like in Natural Minor, rather than Dorian:
Romanian Folk Dance #6 is in the Lydian Mode. Lydian is the same as a major scale, but with its 4th note raised a half-step. So in the key of D major, the G sharp gives it away:
This is what the Romanian Folk Dance would sound like in Major, rather than Lydian.
Brush up on your scales with a whole series of lessons in my Scales Module! Sign up for a monthly subscription for full access to all video lessons, worksheets, and answer keys. Also, this year I’ll be adding new lessons on modes. I created Breaking Barlines with one thing in mind: making music theory effective and FUN!
Steve Cohen says