WHAT'S WRONG WITH WRONG NOTES? MODAL PLAYING!
I would like to hear forum members' observations on modal playing. Advantages, disadvantages. Strengths, shortcomings. Limitations, liberations.
Reasons for its popularity and place in the musical scheme of things. And anything I have missed asking about.
Ok, so no controversy, no response! So a little title edit. And I did not want my opinions to drive this thread, but...
As an old guy I look at technology from the great things it does and also the not so great. In my day it was pretty tough to make anything that sounded like real music. Today, it seems, anyone can do it. And a big part of the reason is: Modal Music. Why: No wrong notes! Modal music has an esteemed place in music making. I use it, sometimes, but in a chromatic context. As a jazz player I can lose it if I want to. But for all the benefits of modal play something great is lost. And that is risk. It is the equivalent of no pain no gain. No risk no chance of doing something truly unexpected melodically. That, IMO is the deficiency of modal playing.
Plus, a whole generation of kids will grow into adults playing modal music ( and blues and eastern scales) and maybe never grow into the chromatic scale, much less micro turnings. And they will think that instant music, instant photography, instant cinema, and instant art are simply the result of a few button presses and why shouldn't all of life be like that? Well, it wasn't when I was a kid. Everything was difficult. So art imitated life. But today Art does not imitate Life. Technology driven art tends to fake life with gadgetry. Smoke and mirrors if you must. And great fun for all! But isn't there a price?
I know I will take some hits for this. Let me preempt some. It is great for people to discover music making without years of misery to get there. Some people on this forum are masters of the modal form and their music is creative, sometimes boundary breaking and a joy to listen to. Ambient music is another category altogether, easier to make, perhaps, but difficult to make something that stands out from the crowd. And there are masters of that form here as well, I love modal music. I just want to hear how other minds perceive its place in the scheme of things.