Alio Modo

695 views
Skip to first unread message

Alan Bird

unread,
Feb 7, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/7/96
to
At the head of quite a lot of JSB's organ chorale preludes there is the
expression "alio modo". This phrase is in none, absolutely _none_ of the
musical encyclopaedias (including the new and the old Grove) or any of
the text books I can find except one. Williams skirts briefly over it,
but I still don't fully understand it. Can anyone tell me what it means?
Do any other composers use it?
--
Alan Bird

Tom

unread,
Feb 9, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/9/96
to
Alan Bird (alan...@jsbach.demon.co.uk) wrote:
: At the head of quite a lot of JSB's organ chorale preludes there is the

: expression "alio modo". This phrase is in none, absolutely _none_ of the
: musical encyclopaedias (including the new and the old Grove) or any of
: the text books I can find except one. Williams skirts briefly over it,
: but I still don't fully understand it. Can anyone tell me what it means?

"In another mode." I think we would say, "a different version" or
"another version."

More German Latinism.

--
--
Tom Parsons | Of course, we are all worms--but I like
D.T.L. | to think, at least, that I am a glowworm.
| --Winston Churchill

Bernard S. Greenberg

unread,
Feb 9, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/9/96
to
Alan Bird (alan...@jsbach.demon.co.uk) wrote:
: At the head of quite a lot of JSB's organ chorale preludes there is the
: expression "alio modo". This phrase is in none, absolutely _none_ of the
: musical encyclopaedias (including the new and the old Grove) or any of
: the text books I can find except one. Williams skirts briefly over it,
: but I still don't fully understand it. Can anyone tell me what it means?

Yeah, it's pretty mysterious. Of course, it means "in another way",
which says a whole lot of nothing.

Thumbing through the organ works, I find at least three different uses
immediately - the two long chorales on "An Wasserfluessen", of the
pedale doppio one and the other just like it but not pedale doppio,
one is marked "alio modo". The large Christ unser Herr is in C minor,
a little one in D minor is "alio modo." And (if I recall), the "In
dich hab' ich gehoffet" to an unusual minor-key tune (usual tune G G D
D B CB A B) is marked "alio modo".

I think this is not very different from the old-fashioned "Alt Mode"
(as it were!) keys on teletypes, meaning "someway other than the way
it is now" in such a generic an useful sense that they're not called
that any more.

I realize that this is not particularly illuminating, but we
do seem to have the head, tail and side of a not-very-integrated
looking elephant here. Others, PLEASE contribute!

Bernie
b...@basistech.com


Jim Michmerhuizen

unread,
Feb 10, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/10/96
to
Alan Bird <alan...@jsbach.demon.co.uk> writes:

>At the head of quite a lot of JSB's organ chorale preludes there is the
>expression "alio modo". This phrase is in none, absolutely _none_ of the
>musical encyclopaedias (including the new and the old Grove) or any of
>the text books I can find except one. Williams skirts briefly over it,
>but I still don't fully understand it. Can anyone tell me what it means?

>Do any other composers use it?

Personally, I think it was a fancy way of saying "here's another way to
do it."
--
--
Regards
Jim Michmerhuizen jam...@world.std.com
The Residence at http://world.std.com/~jamzen/

Frank Daykin

unread,
Feb 10, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/10/96
to

let's not forget the two mirror fugues from the art of the fugue that are
called "alio modo" fuga a 2 clavier . . .

in this case, the "here's another way of doing it" translation really fits,
since these two fugues are but amplifications, with the addition of a free
moving (non-"organic") part to the extant fugue voices that were already
written as a pair for one player . . .

just my 2 cents' worth . . .

sincerely, ravel

Bernard S. Greenberg

unread,
Feb 10, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/10/96
to
Tom (t...@panix.com) wrote:
: Alan Bird (alan...@jsbach.demon.co.uk) wrote:
: : At the head of quite a lot of JSB's organ chorale preludes there is the

: : expression "alio modo". This phrase is in none, absolutely _none_ of the
: : musical encyclopaedias (including the new and the old Grove) or any of
: : the text books I can find except one. Williams skirts briefly over it,
: : but I still don't fully understand it. Can anyone tell me what it means?

: "In another mode." I think we would say, "a different version" or
: "another version."

: More German Latinism.

Don't you mean Deutscher Latinismus?

Bernhardus

Edward K. Dunham

unread,
Feb 11, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/11/96
to
On Wed, 7 Feb 1996 23:37:21 +0000, Alan Bird
<alan...@jsbach.demon.co.uk> wrote:

>At the head of quite a lot of JSB's organ chorale preludes there is the

>expression "alio modo". Can anyone tell me what it means?


>Do any other composers use it?

It's simply "(an)other way", generally meaning another setting of the
same chorale. I'm sure other composers use it; I'll keep an eye out
for it.

Ed.
--
Edward K. Dunham, Seal Harbor, ME 04675-0005 USA +207 276-3753
"Le monde est plein de Fous, et qui n'en veut pas voir
Doit se tenir tout seul et casser son miroir."

Robert Misson

unread,
Feb 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/13/96
to
In article <DMJI0...@world.std.com>, jam...@world.std.com (Jim
Michmerhuizen) wrote:

> Alan Bird <alan...@jsbach.demon.co.uk> writes:
>
> >At the head of quite a lot of JSB's organ chorale preludes there is the

> >expression "alio modo". This phrase is in none, absolutely _none_ of the
> >musical encyclopaedias (including the new and the old Grove) or any of
> >the text books I can find except one. Williams skirts briefly over it,

> >but I still don't fully understand it. Can anyone tell me what it means?


> >Do any other composers use it?
>

> Personally, I think it was a fancy way of saying "here's another way to
> do it."
> --
> --
> Regards
> Jim Michmerhuizen jam...@world.std.com
> The Residence at http://world.std.com/~jamzen/

Didn't your mother teach you anything? It means "With gelato.." :)

--
"...the falcon cannot hear the falconer.
The centre cannot hold. Things fall apart. Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world." WBY

joseph.b...@gmail.com

unread,
Jan 1, 2017, 2:51:55 PM1/1/17
to
As Frescobaldi uses it in Fiori Musicali, essentially it means "another option," as he has a few different treatments of the Kyrie & Christe to mix things up to address the potential boredom of hearing the same music every Sunday/Saint's Day.
Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages