The Pythagorean Musical Modes, The Four Temperaments and Their Astrological Counterparts

That is the fourth in a collection of quick articles explaining the usage of historical musical modes to assist psychological stability and internal concord. The primary article was an summary of the topic; the second handled the Phlegmatic Temperament; and the third, with the Choleric. This text will cope with balancing the Sanguine Temperament specifically.

I will even go a little bit into the traditional Greek astrological conception of the 4 Temperaments and the Eight Pythagorean modes.

Sanguine personalities are usually the “life and soul of the get together”. When in stability, the sanguine temperament offers the next qualities:-

* Good Cheer

* Sociable nature

* Heat character

* Enthusiastic nature

* Optimism

* Friendliness

* Good humour

When the Sanguine temperament is out-of-balance it produces:-

* Lack of Observe-through

* Punctuality points

* Forgetfulness

* Wears Coronary heart on his/her sleeve. (Too naive and trusting)

* Flighty

Listening to the Lydian mode will increase the great qualities of the Sanguine. So, if we want to be extra sociable, optimistic, and so on. we must always take heed to that mode. If, nonetheless, we’re affected by an excessive amount of of these qualities, (maybe we’ve got been overdoing the social life a bit, or want grounding), we may take heed to the hypolydian mode. This mode would additionally assist right an out-of-balance Sanguine if we’ve got been experiencing too lots of the destructive Sanguine tendencies.

The Temperaments and Astrology

In line with historical Greek Astrology, every Temperament is dominated by two planets: One which will increase the qualities of the temperament, and one other which decreases them.

The phlegmatic is elevated by the ability of the SUN and decreased by the MOON;

The choleric is elevated by MARS and decreased by MERCURY;

The sanguine is elevated by JUPITER and decreased by VENUS;

And the melancholic is elevated by SATURN. There isn’t a second planet related to the melancholic, however we are going to cope with this in a second.

The Modes and the Planets

There are eight modes however solely seven acknowledged planets in astrology. That is the rationale why the melancholic humour has just one planet related to it.

The dorian mode is dominated by the SUN. So, amongst different issues, it’s good for aiding wakefulness and application. The hypodorian, however, is dominated by the MOON. So it’s good for serving to us to go to sleep. That’s the reason these two modes stability the phlegmatic temperament, which can also be dominated by the Solar and Moon.

The phrygian mode is dominated by MARS. Mars, being “warlike” works within the route of the commanding, confrontational nature of the Choleric. The hypophrygian, however, is dominated by MERCURY. As Mercury is a messenger, this mode is helpful for lowering the autonomous nature of the Choleric, and changing it with a willingness to speak on equal phrases with others.

The Lydian mode is dominated by JUPITER. Jupiter is the “bringer of jollity”, therefore the significance of this mode for rising sanguine tendencies. The hypolydian, nonetheless, is dominated by VENUS. Venus is the Goddess of affection. As such, she is worried with a lot deeper feelings (maybe we may even say “sadder” feelings) than the frothy expertise of the Sanguine. So the hypolydian is sweet for grounding the sanguine in us.

The Development of the Modal Scales

The eight Pythagorean modes could be rapidly obtained by beginning with an odd main scale. Allow us to take the dimensions of C main for simplicity, as it’s made up solely of white notes on the piano keyboard.

The dimensions of C main runs like this:


The dorian mode is similar scale, beginning on the second notice (D). For therapeutic functions, the mode solely has a spread of seven notes, so it runs:


In the identical approach, the phrygian mode begins on the third notice, (E);

The lydian begins on F;

And the mixolydian begins on G.

These are the 4 “genuine modes”. The 4 “plagal modes” are the hypodorian, hypophrygian, hypolydian and hypomixolydian. These stability their genuine companions, and are to be discovered beginning a 4th under. So, for example, the hypodorian begins a 4th under the dorian, on the notice ‘A’.

For therapeutic functions, (assuming we’re utilizing C as the basis main), melodies ought to at all times begin on A (the “dynamic center”) and end on the bottom notice of the mode (the “Closing”). The notice ‘A’ is outlined as being the sixth notice within the root main scale, which, on this instance is C main. This notice (the sixth of the basis main) corresponds to the SUN. By beginning on A, and returning to it typically, then ending on the Closing, the ability of the Solar is drawn all the way down to the planet that guidelines the mode. So, within the case of the Lydian, the solar energy (notice ‘A’) is drawn all the way down to Jupiter (F, the Closing of the mode, or the 4th of the basis main).

If you’re on the ball, you’ll have observed that the dorian and the hypomixolydian are similar, as they each start on D. However the hypomixolydian is a particular mode with a barely totally different rule. Melodies ought to begin on A, as with the opposite modes, however they need to end, not on D, however on the Closing of the genuine mode (the Mixolydian), which is G.

The hypomixolydian mode just isn’t linked to a planet as such, however is taken into account to be the mode of common, cosmic bliss. It’s due to this fact good for all therapeutic functions, and is related to the entire Cosmos, (or the “fastened stars” as they had been identified in historical occasions. That is the mode that’s used to counteract the ability of SATURN.

The following article will cope with the final of the Temperaments: the Melancholic. We will even go a little bit extra deeply into composing or improvising modal melodies.

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