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Peer Review

Medieval Church Modes

by Patricia Gray


Overall Numeric Rating:

3 stars
Content Quality: 3 stars
Effectiveness: 3 stars
Ease of Use: 4 stars
Reviewed: Jan 27, 2004 by Music
Overview: This site is a simple Macromedia Flash module that shows and plays the authentic and plagal versions of the Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian and Mixolydian Church Modes.
Type of Material: This site is an interactive Macromedia Flash demonstration.
Recommended Uses: This module would serve as a demonstration within a more developed study of the church modes for performance or study of modal counterpoint.
Technical Requirements: This site requires a standard browser with a Macromedia Flash plugin.
Identify Major Learning Goals: The major learning goals of this site are to show and identify both notated and aurally theses modes. The tenor and final pitches are also indicated.
Target Student Population: This site is appropriate for undergraduate music theory, modal counterpoint and music appreciation students. The site is also appropriate for high school music students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: A knowledge of church mode practice and the ability to read music is needed to understand this site.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 3 stars
Strengths: This information in this site is accurate.
Concerns: This site does not include any explanation of the church modes, the terms used (i.e., authentic and plagal) or their history.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 3 stars
Strengths: The strengh of this site is in reinforcing the notated modes with audio examples.
Concerns: This site requires an explanation of the Church Modes as well as their structure and history in order for a student to understand the content of the site.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: This site is easy to use.
Concerns: It is not clear at first what "buttons" are to be used to play the modes. It becomes clear with a little experimentation.

Other Issues and Comments: Only four modes are presented. It would be nice to have all of them represented or an explaination of why Ionian and Aeolian are not included.