View Full Version : Hindu Modes...

Jan-19-2006, 22:16
Both Tournemire and Messiaen used Hindu Modes in their music - Why? Could it be the Paris Exposition that was held towards the end of the 1800's? 'Tis quite exotic fare considering the heady times Europe was going through.

Jan-20-2006, 21:47
I've looked it up in Pascal Ianco's Tournemire biography: he only says that Tournemire mentions hindu modes in his treatise "Précis d'exécution, de registration et d'improvisation à l'orgue".

So I looked that up, and I only found a list of 28 (of 72 existing) hindu modes, and a brief remark that they can be used in improvisations.

That's all the information I could get hold of, I'm afraid... https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif

Jan-21-2006, 01:46

In Tournemire's composition entitled *Sept Chorals-Poemes d'orgue pour les Sept Paroles du Christ* choral No.5 *Sitio* ( J'ai soif ) Tournemire uses the Hindu Mode *Chandrakala* as a tonal cell. His use of that mode poignantly describes the Crucified one crying out in thirst.

As a *color* device, it is a stroke of genius of Tournemire. I have this notion that when Messiaen heard Tournemire's use of Hindu Modes, he became smitten by them and the possibilities for their use in his compositions.


Giovanni https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tiphat.gif

Thomas Dressler
Jan-22-2006, 05:28
This is very intriguing. Where can one learn about Hindu modes?

Jan-22-2006, 08:50
The *mela* or parent scale that Tournemire uses as a tonal cell in Choral No.5 "Sitio" is entitled *Chalanata*, not *Chandrakala* which I erroneously stated. Robert Sutherland Lord wrote an article for the Diapason magazine where he does a musicological analysis of Tournemire's Sept Chorals-Poemes d'orgue pour les Sept Paroles du Christ. I believe it was published in November 1977 if my meory serves me.

We should keep in mind that there are 72 *melas* or parent scales in the Carnatic system. I include a link for your perusal:



Giovanni https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wave.gif

Jan-23-2006, 11:36
Dear Tom and Acc,

I found a link which you can use to look up the Carnatic *melas*:


Click on the *bar* between "C" and "Display Scale" and scroll down to *Mela*. The results will be displayed as numbered and named notes on the chromatic scale. You can choose the key in which you want the scale to be displayed.

From a *color* standpoint, this is cool stuff!!! https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Happy Musicizing,


Jan-25-2009, 00:33
Is Ianco's book available in English?

Jan-25-2009, 09:32
Is Ianco's book available in English?

Hi — and welcome to Magle's!:tiphat:

As far as I know, there is no English translation, though I can't be 100% sure.

The (original French) edition was done by Éditions Papillon (Switzerland) and is still available: go to http://www.editionspapillon.ch, then click on "Mélophiles", and then on "Tournemire". It's also available at a number of French online book sellers.