We heard last week how Mussorgsky used the Lydian mode to ‘flavour’ the Polish dance in Boris Godunov. Chopin, particularly in the mazurkas, is full of such modal flavourings.
Here (at a slowish tempo) are two versions of the central section of his mazurka Op. 68 No. 3. The first example is what Chopin actually wrote: its Lydian inflection shown by the naturalised fourth degree of the scale of B-flat, E-natural (marked by the big black arrow).
And here – if he was being a good diatonic composer – is what he should have written. Those pesky, ‘unnatural’ E-naturals have now been flattened (marked by the big black arrow) so that they conform to the key of B-flat major.
Which do you prefer, the modal or diatonic version?
Interested in the idea of modes? If you want to brush up a little on your knowledge, visit the More on modes page listed below.
plus those (useful!) hardy perennials:
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