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Unit 6: Mode Mixture

Prerequisite: A thorough understanding of chords belonging to each key,

both major and minor, is critical to succeeding in this unit. Particularly of
interest is the relationship between the parallel major and minor. Mode
mixture is the technique of using chords from either scale in a very fluid
manner. Chromaticism allows for modulation and tonicizing new keys, so a
review of those concepts would be beneficial.

Objectives: At the conclusion of this unit students will:

• Name and notate diatonic and chromatic chords in all keys,

including key signatures
• Label diatonic and chromatic chords in musical examples
including inversion symbols
• Analyze melodies and harmonies for use of modal mixture
through accidentals using roman numerals and written
• Analyze and label borrowed chords in musical examples
• Analyze scores for voice leading, transposition, doubling, or other
musical concepts such as resolution of leading tones and tritons
• Analyze musical examples for modulations incorporating
borrowed chords
• Complete part-writing examples using specific borrowed chords
• Realize figured bass containing borrowed chords
• Compose a short piece using a modulation and modal mixture

In all of tonal music, the pattern of key relationships, as well as emphasis of
each, is an important aspect of the tonal design of a work. We’ve discussed
the importance of key throughout this sequence in chapter 10 with a
discussion of cadence, phrase, and period structures, and then the larger
scale discussion in chapter 20. By combining the relative major and minor
scales along with their parallels, the chord choices become far greater for
modulations, development sections, and variations. If the concept of mode
mixture is simple, its application to composition is not. Mode mixtures need
to be set up, resolved and explained, often in context of a modulation to a
foreign key. These chords do not arrive unescorted, unresolved, and
unexplained. There are three main types of mode mixtures: primary,
secondary, and double. Primary mode mixtures use borrowed scale degrees
from minor in major keys (IV-iv). Secondary mode mixtures contain diatonic
triads changed to major (vi-VI). Double mixture changes a borrowed chord
to minor (bVI-bvi).

Students should plan to spend approximately 2 to 3 hours plus class

time per session. Additional time may be necessary.

Session 1:
• Borrowed Chords and Modulations with Mode Mixture
Session 2:
• Practice with Borrowed Chords
Session 3:
• Application of concepts through composition

Learning Materials:
Due Date Timeline
Text p. 365-380
Workbook p. 203-214
Instructor PowerPoint
Links to the Internet

Voice Thread: Session 2

Points available in this unit: 149 ( 25 ex. cr)

Session 1: 69
Session 2: 20 group work
Session 3: 50
Workbook/Session points: 139
Checkpoint quizzes: 10
Online quiz: 50
Extra credit available: 25 pts.

Note: All preparation is the responsibility of the student, according to the

directions below. Nothing will be collected or graded unless it is in italics
and underlined. You should plan on reading the textbook and completing the
self tests as part of every session preparation. All other preparation
activities are optional and should be completed only as needed. Many
opportunities to practice and review the concepts are provided, but you may
not need all of the extra activities. Post questions that you encounter on
the discussion forum. Check it frequently to see if you can help someone
else in the class.
Discussion Forum Activity: None required this unit

Unit Performance Assessment

No unit performance this unit. It is combined with the next unit on the
Neapolitan chord.

Session 1: (Mode Mixture)

Read Text p. 365-380
View instructor preview lecture
Practice with self-tests A-D

Session Performance Assessment:

Take checkpoint quiz
Workbook ch. 21-1 A, B and C #1,2

Session 2: (Practice with Mode Mixture)

Review Text p. 365-380

Session Performance Assessment:

Workbook ch. 21-1 C #3-4 in Voice Thread

Session 3: (Applications)
Review Text p. 344-354
Watch class archives

Assignment: (50 total pts)

Compose using workbook 21-1 G or H as described.

Complete your journal entries daily and submit on Monday mornings

for 10 points.
Extra credit available this unit: analyze the workbook example 21-C #5
in the unit for extra credit (25 points)