Gregorian Chant: The Eternal Song

The Mi Mode

Now that we’re back to Tempus per Annum (Ordinary Time), we’ll be able to look in more depth at the Gregorian Modes.  Modes are scales that begin on various notes of the scale other than DO.  We’ll take a look and listen to the MI scale.  The root or home tone of this scale is MI.  The unique “sound” of the MI scale comes from the fact that the scale begins and ends with a half -step. (MI -FA, and FA-MI).  Listen as the cantors sing up and down this scale.  

Modes 3 and 4 are known as the MI modes, because they share the same home tone.  The example below shows us that home tone and the reciting tone of Mode 3, which is TI.  Listen to the example to hear how this particular melody snippet fluctuates between the reciting tone and home tone.  The characteristic ending, FA MI, has a mysterious quality to it.  
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About Sr. Fidelis

I am 46 years old, and have been a Sister at the Community of Jesus for 26 years. Having grown up here, I have been singing Gregorian chant since I was 10! I was very blessed to study Gregorian chant with Dr. Mary Berry in Cambridge, England and here at home. Recently, I have been able to do some radio and tv interviews, sharing about the blessings of Gregorian chant. I love leading chant workshops, and have been able to do that in the US and abroad.

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