Category:Chinese style

Chinese Folk Music Modes:
1.Pentatonic(Five-tone) Mode. Each degree in a pentatonic scale can be a tonic note, creating the following 5 modes:
1) Gong Mode: Begins with a Major Scale Tonic Note(called “宫 Gong” in Chinese). Example: C D E G A (C)-- C Gong Mode.
2) Shang Mode: Begins with a Major Scale Supertonic Note(called“商 Shang” in Chinese). Example: D E G A C (D)-- D Shang Mode.
3) Jue Mode: Begins with a Major Scale Mediant Note(called“角 Jue” in Chinese). Example: E G A C D (E)-- E Jue Mode.
4) Zhi Mode: Begins with a Major Scale Dominant Note(called“徵 Zhi” in Chinese). Example: G A C D E (G)-- G Zhi Mode.
5) Yu Mode: Begins with a Major Scale Submediant Note/a Minor Scale Tonic Note(called“羽 Yu” in Chinese). Example: A C D E G (A)-- A Yu Mode.

2.Six-tone Mode: Six-tone mode refers to a mode which adds one particular note to the five-tone mode. There are generally 2 kinds of six-tone modes(each kind has also 5 modes) in Chinese Folk Music:
1)The first kind: Six-tone mode with "变宫 Bian Gong[Altered Gong,"Bian" means "Altered, Changed"]": means pentatonic mode plus a major-mode leading tone(It is called altered Gong because it's half step down from Gong). Each degree(except "Bian Gong") can be a tonic note, creating the following 5 modes:
a)Six-tone Gong Mode(with Bian Gong). Example: C D E G A B (C)-- C Gong Six-tone mode(with Bian Gong).
b)Six-tone Shang Mode(with Bian Gong). Example: D E G A B C (D)-- D Shang Six-tone mode(with Bian Gong).
c)Six-tone Jue Mode(with Bian Gong). Example: E G A B C D (E)-- E Jue Six-tone mode(with Bian Gong).
d)Six-tone Zhi Mode(with Bian Gong). Example: G A B C D E (G)-- G Zhi Six-tone mode(with Bian Gong).
e)Six-tone Yu Mode(with Bian Gong). Example: A B C D E G (A)-- A Yu Six-tone mode(with Bian Gong).

2)The second kind: Six-tone mode with "清角 Qing Jue[Altered Jue, "Qing" means"Clean, Cleaned or Clear]": means pentataonic mode plus a major-mode subdominant note(It is called altered Jue because it's half step up from Jue). Each degree (except"Qing Jue") can be a tonic note, creating the following 5 modes:
a)Six-tone Gong Mode(with Qing Jue). Example: C D E F G A (C)--C Gong Six-tone mode(with Qing Jue).
b)Six-tone Shang Mode(with Qing Jue). Example: D E F G A C (D)--D Shang Six-tone mode(with Qing Jue).
c)Six-tone Jue Mode(with Qing Jue). Example: E F G A C D (E)--E Jue Six-tone mode(with Qing Jue).
d)Six-tone Zhi Mode(with Qing Jue). Example: G A C D E F (G)--G Zhi Six-tone mode(with Qing Jue).
e)Six-tone Yu Mode(with Qing Jue). Example: A C D E F G (A)--A Yu Six-tone mode(with Qing Jue).
[Notice; The two altered notes"Bian Gong" and "Qing Jue" can not exist simultaneously in any six-tone mode, otherwise it becomes a seven-tone mode(see below)].

3. Seven-tone Mode: Seven-tone mode refers to a mode which adds two particular notes to the five-tone mode. There are generally 3 kinds of seven-tone modes(each kind has also 5 modes) in Chinese Folk Music:
1) The first kind: "清乐 Qing Yue" mode(Clean Music Mode. Qing means clean, comfortable and leisure.In ancient China, this mode is often used in folk songs)-pentatonic mode plus Qing Jue and Bian Gong.Each degree can be a tonic note(except Qing Jue and Bian Gong), creating the following 5 modes:
a)Qing Yue Seven-tone Gong Mode. Example: C D E F G A B (C)--C Gong Qing Yue Seven-tone mode.
b)Qing Yue Seven-tone Shang Mode. Example: D E F G A B C (D)-- D Shang Qing Yue Seven-tone mode.
c)Qing Yue Seven-tone Jue Mode. Example: E F G A B C D (E)-- E Jue Qing Yue Seven-tone mode.
d)Qing Yue Seven-tone Zhi Mode. Example: G A B C D E F (G)--G Zhi Qing Yue Seven-tone mode.
e)Qing Yue Seven-tone Yu Mode. Example: A B C D E F G (A)--A Yu Qing Yue Seven-tone mode.

2) The second kind:"雅乐 Ya Yue" mode(Elegant Music Mode. Ya means elegant and noble. In ancient China, this mode is often used in Royal Palace for religious purposes such as memorizing the ancestors and offering sacrifices to the gods.)-pentatonic mode plus "变徵 Bian Zhi"(Altered Zhi, half step down from "Zhi", which means a sharped IV in a major mode) and Bian Gong.Each degree(except Bian Zhi and Bian Gong) can be a tonic note, creating the following 5 modes.
a)Ya Yue Seven-tone Gong mode. Example: C D E #F G A B (C)--C Gong Ya Yue Seven-tone mode.
b)Ya Yue Seven-tone Shang mode. Example: D E #F G A B C (D)--D Shang Ya Yue Seven-tone mode.
c)Ya Yue Seven-tone Jue mode. Example: E #F G A B C D (E)--E Jue Ya Yue Seven-tone mode.
d)Ya Yue Seven-tone Zhi mode. Example: G A B C D E #F (G)--G Zhi Ya Yue Seven-tone mode.
e)Ya Yue Seven-tone Yu mode. Example: A B C D E #F G (A)--A Yu Ya Yue Seven-tone mode.

3) The third kind:"燕乐 Yan Yue" mode(“燕”is the same in pronunciation with“宴”,which means "feast". In ancient China, this mode is often used in Royal Palace as table music)-pentatonic mode plus Qing Jue and "闰 Run"(Notice: different from English Verb:Run. This should be pronounced like: [ruən])."Run" means "the remaing number. This term is often used in Chinese lunar Calendar such as "闰月", which means the remaining month(just like February in solar calendar.When it has 29 days, it is called a "Run" month. And the year is called a "Run" year-闰年). Here in music, "Run" equals with "Qing Yu", which means"Cleaned Yu"-half step up from Yu. So "Run" is just a flat VII in a major mode. Each degree(except Qing Jue and Run) can be a tonic note, creating the following 5 modes:
a)Yan Yue Seven-tone Gong mode. Example: C D E F G A bB (C)--C Gong Yan Yue Seven-tone mode.
b)Yan Yue Seven-tone Shang mode. Example: D E F G A bB C (D)--D Shang Yan Yue Seven-tone mode.
c)Yan Yue Seven-tone Jue mode. Example: E F G A bB C D (E)--E Jue Yan Yue Seven-tone mode.
d)Yan Yue Seven-tone Zhi mode. Example: G A bB C D E (G)--G Zhi Yan Yue Seven-tone mode.
e)Yan Yue Seven-tone Yu mode. Example: A bB C D E F G (A)--A Yu Yan Yue Seven-tone mode.
[Notice: The Altered notes in different kinds of seven-tone modes cannot be mixed together. For example, there exists no seven-tone mode like: five-tone plus Bian Zhi and Run, nor five-tone plus Qing Jue and Bian Zhi, nor five-tone plus Run and Bian Gong. These don't exist in ancient Chinese music theory. They may occasionally appear but are not given a certain name]

Further Explanation:
1. If a Chinese melody has a degree like "Run" or "Bian Zhi", it is absolutely in seven-tone mode, whether the whole seven notes appear or not.
2. If a Chinese melody has only one altered note like" Qing Jue" or " Bian Gong", it is absolutely in six-tone mode.
3. Some seven-tone modes are in the same form with major, minor, Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian and Aeolian modes,but the sequence of notes in the melody and the importance of each notes are different.
4. Why are altered notes not used as tonic notes in Chinese modes?
1)In ancient China, everything has its own position and status which can never be overstep(just like: An ordinary person cannot have bigger power than the king), so do musical degrees. In Chinese music, the pentatonic mode is the nucleus, in which each degree is called"正音级"-Main degrees. The altered notes are called"偏音级"-subsidiary(or assistant, unimportant) degrees.
2)The main degrees are concerned to be consonant and stable while the altered notes are seen as dissonant and unstable. That's why they are often used as passing tones, neighboring tones and so on.

5. With each degree of a pentatonic mode being a tonic note(in its own status),they create a"同宫系统,Tong Gong Xi Tong-A System with the same Gong".
For example, C Gong, D Shang, E Jue, G Zhi, A Yu are in a system with the same Gong. They share the same Gong as C.
Another example, C Gong, D Gong are not in a system with the same Gong, because the note D is not in the status as it is in C Gong mode( D is supposed to be Shang in C Gong mode.)
6.Modulation and key relationship:
1)Modulation: With each degree in a mode(including main notes, altered notes and other non-mode notes, totally 12 notes, just like 12-tone notes, but not in well-tempered tuning)as a Gong, the modulation can be realized. For example. In D Shang mode, C is the Gong.If I take D as a new Gong, it will modulate to D Gong System(any 5 mode in this system can be a new mode but D Gong is the most direct key to modulate from D Shang, or any other D mode.) This is called"旋宫转调"-Xuan Gong Zhuan Diao-Modulation by Rolling the Gong note. Here, "roll" just means to take any note in 12-tone scales as a Gong.
2)Key relationships:
a)Close-relationship keys: keys in the same Gong system and a Gong system that is a perfect fourth(fifth) interval up or down is in close relationships. For example, keys in F Gong system, C Gong system and G Gong system are all in close relationships. This means: F Gong, G Shang, A Jue, C Zhi, D Yu, C Gong, D Shang, E Jue, G Zhi, A Yu, G Gong, A Shang, B Jue, D Zhi, E Yu are all in close relationships. So, in Chinese folk music, one key has totally 14 close-relationship keys. b)distant-relationship keys: keys that are not in close-relationships.

7.How to identify a Chinese mode?
1)First,Look at the key signature. The tonic note of this major or minor key may be the Gong or Yu for the Chinese mode(or a close-relationship key).
2)Second, find the main notes(notes in a pentatonic scale).
3)Third, find the altered notes(to see if it is six-tone or seven-tone).
4)Last, look at the ending note in the music piece and confirm its status in this pentatonic mode. This is the tonic note for the whole piece.
For example: If a piece is in 2-sharp key signature, has pentatonic notes(random in sequence) like: D #F E B A with altered notes like #G, and ends in A, then it should be A Zhi Ya Yue Seven-tone Mode. Because in D #F E B A is just D E #F A B (D)-this is D Gong system. So A is its Zhi. #G is the sharp IV in this system, which is Bian Zhi, the symbol of Ya Yue mode. And it finally ends on A. So it is definitely A Zhi Ya Yue Seven-tone Mode[always Key first, and mode in the following, but the name of the mode and tone numbers could be switched. It could also be: A Zhi Seven-tone Ya Yue. Acually it really doesn't matter what comes first as long as this three elements are all here-the tonic note, the name of the mode and tone numbers.

Musical Examples:
F Yu Mode: Chinese Suite in Baroque Form - Zhang, Shuwen
A Yu Mode: Chinese Rhapsody No.1 - Zhang,Shuwen