Right, this was the basic purpose of melody construction because in the early music the melodies were sung.The best melodies are ones that are easily sung, or that make you want to sing them (even if you can't!).
The problem in my example was that they were sounding simultaneously.In classic phrygian mode, the b2 would be used in the same way as the leading tone (maj7) is used in key-based music: to lead to the keynote by half-step. So a typical cadence in D# phrygian would be E-D#m.
By writing that I was trying to describe my example: I V IV I progression constructed from the BMaj scale together with a D# Phrygian based melody. It would be easier to post a staff but I haven't here.BTW, that's the name for the mode you're working with: D# phrygian. I understand what you mean by "B major scale, phrygian mode" - it's not exactly incorrect, but it's potentially confusing. (Does it mean B phrygian or D# phrygian?) IOW, it's important to forget about a B tonic, but the term "B major" reminds you of that. It's not "in the key of B major".
Well, I could find a better way to describe the piece. But I understand what you mean. The chords were named functionally based on the Bmaj scale while the key is D#.You're still thinking "B major", which is why you've labelled the chords wrongly. The IV of D# phrygian is G#m. E major is the bII.
And in any case, in modern modal music, there are no chord functions.
The E/D# chord is meaningless in functional terms.
That's a whole new way to look at things. But I like it, specially because I already know something of traditional harmony.Remember a slash chord with a non-chord-tone bass note is heard as a single entity, with the bass as the root, so should be labelled as such if you want a functional number. But in this case, of course, every chord has the tonic as root! So - in an important sense - they are all "I" chords, just voiced differently, with different extensions. (It's very important to think this way if you're composing contemporary modal music, at least the kind developed in jazz. Forget the idea of chord "progression". You can have different chords, but they don't lead anywhere, so don't need numbers.)
There's nothing wrong with your E/D# chord: if you like the sound of it, use it. But don't waste time numbering any of the chords.
And after you can find what kind of strange chords you've used.There's not really any theory about which notes to avoid in modal harmonies; just go by ear, and if you like a particular interval, keep it; if you don't like it, leave one of the notes out.
Right!(Eg, if you find A# and B in the same chord too dissonant, you could leave out either A# or B. The notes in the rest of the chord - and what the root is - don't matter too much. Breaking away from triadic harmony is kind of the point. OK, you're using triads as upper structures, but the root note turns them into various kinds of sus chords, with 4ths and 2nds appearing - which is good.)
This presuposes a good knowledge of progressions, their functions and tendencies, and a lot of examples and practice.Of course the pre-classical modal system didn't actually use chords of any description, but it's quite common in rock or folk modal music to use standard triadic chords (not slash chords), but just resolve them in unusual directions - specifically in phrygian the bII-i cadence mentioned.
Once in a while I study medieval music, its historic background mainly. That's my way to find relationships between the rules that were used and the reasons behind them.(If you were going to attempt proper medieval modal music, you'd need a whole load more arcane rules to learn and follow...)