types of scales, coupled with sets of characteristic melodic behaviors.

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33
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17answers
20k views

What is the difference between a mode and a scale?

I can't seem to find a straight definition for both.
32
votes
9answers
6k views

Key signature for writing in modes other than major and minor

I have trouble deciding what accidentals to put in the key signature for pieces in Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian or Mixolydian modes. There seem to be trade-offs associated with each choice. For example, ...
27
votes
4answers
709 views

When were the terms “Major” and “Minor” applied to keys?

In 1547, Heinrich Glarean published Dodecachordon in which he posited that in addition to the 4 existing pairs of church modes (plagal and authentic versions of modes with finals on D (Dorian), E ...
21
votes
7answers
1k views

What are modes and how are they useful?

I'm a self-taught guitarist with zero to little experience in music theory. After marrying a violinist I found that there's a lot to music theory that I know tribally but don't understand the ...
18
votes
7answers
9k views

Why does the Dorian mode on C have two flats?

I'm studying scale modes and I just found on Wikipedia that the Dorian mode on C has two flats... Why is this? Because the Dorian mode is just the major scale (Ionian) starting from the second ...
18
votes
4answers
4k views

Why is the aeolian mode the minor scale?

I've studied music theory for many years now, and one thing has always confused me about the naming methodology for the minor scale. A major scale is based off the Ionian mode and consist of only ...
18
votes
1answer
461 views

Is this piece of renaissance music really in the locrian mode?

A fifteenth-century dance manual contains this piece of music: which appears to be (uncharacteristically) in the locrian mode. Is it really, or am I mis-reading? Does anybody know of other music ...
16
votes
3answers
3k views

What are the greek modes, and how do they differ from modern modes?

This Question might be TwoFold, based on an uncertainty I have I understand the construction of traditional Ionian-Locrian modes, and I have read that various notes in the modes have traditionally ...
14
votes
7answers
880 views

How to know if it's a mode or scale?

How do I differentiate between modes? Suppose a person is playing "D Dorian". How do I know that it's "D Dorian" and not "C Major/Ionian" or "E Phrygian" and so on, and in fact "A natural minor" ...
13
votes
5answers
14k views

What is the purpose of the mixolydian scale? [duplicate]

For example: the G-Mixolydian is G-A-B-C-D-E-F (rather than G-A-B-C-D-E-F#). Why not just call it C? thanks
13
votes
1answer
233 views

Locrian Harmony

I like utilizing modes in my the pieces I write, but there is one mode I've never been able to fully grasp and utilize and that is the Locrian mode. The chords that naturally occur in the Locrian ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do we need modes?

We don't play scales, we play music. The notes we play and the order is based on sound and emotion. Then why is it that if the notes are the same for all of the derived modes, why do we need modes? ...
11
votes
7answers
7k views

What is a good solo to learn in the Dorian mode?

I understand that Dorian is a commonly used mode in rock. I am starting to play / improvise in the mode and would like to learn some guitar solos that are good examples of this scale so that I see how ...
11
votes
4answers
472 views

Do songs written in certain modes not have keys?

Up until recently I thought that if a song was written in a mode with a major 3rd, then it was in a major key, and if it was in a mode with a minor 3rd, then it was in a minor key. But I read an ...
10
votes
3answers
717 views

What mode consists of the note G A Bb C Db E F G?

I was playing random scales . I came to a strange nice sounding mode,but could not find out what it's name theoretically. (Even I could not find a tonic sounding in it) The scale/mode notes are : G ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Using the Dorian Mode

I've been composing for years but know very little about modes, just stuck to major and minor. If I took a chord progression from Cmajor, ie I - IV - V - I which would be C,F,G,C and then switched ...
10
votes
2answers
203 views

Why does Fux use F# in his counterpoint to a firmus written in G mixolydian

In the given image below, Fux writes a counterpoint to a cantus firmus given to him as part of his studies by his fictitious teacher Aloysious. A rule that is often emphasised is that one should ...
10
votes
4answers
488 views

Raised leading tones in Phrygian mode counterpoint

In most cases the penultimate note of the counterpoint will be the leading tone, which must be raised in minor to establish a sense of tonality. But why is the leading tone in the Phrygian mode ...
10
votes
2answers
363 views

Do different modes have the same cadence structure?

In major and minor keys, the perfect cadence is V to I Will this structure remain the same in a different mode? I.e. E Phrygian Mode in the key of C (E F G A B C D), the tonic chord is the iii of ...
9
votes
2answers
967 views

Different modes of pentatonic scale

Just as there are seven modes of the diatonic scale, I would expect five modes of the pentatonic scale. Have these been classified? Here they are, in the form of {semitone interval gaps} (Notes for ...
9
votes
2answers
245 views

Do Neapolitan chords exist in modes with a minor second?

In relation to a question I asked earlier—What is a Neapolitan 6th chord—I have a follow up question. A Neapolitan chord is pretty much a Major chord built on the lowered second scale ...
8
votes
4answers
961 views

Incorporating modes in solos

I have been playing and improvising quite happily for many years on a few different instruments but can't seem to get my head around incorporating modes into my day-to-day playing. I am from a blues ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Using modes and static harmony

Edit: i know what modes are and how they are related to major scale..etc. question is about modal harmony and chord progression in modal harmony. not what is a mode and name of other modes..etc What ...
8
votes
1answer
192 views

Practicing modes on the piano

This has probably been asked a lot here but I can't seem to find the question, sorry if I'm repeating it. I know the definitions of the different modes I just want to incorporate them, being able to ...
8
votes
1answer
128 views

Scales in modal versus tonal music

When tonal music replaced modal music, why were 6 of the 8 scales (modes) used in modal music abandoned in favor of only two, major and minor? Superficially this would look like a reduction in the ...
7
votes
3answers
225 views

How to establish a mode?

I would like to learn about the art of establishing a mode. For example, how to make A minor sound like A minor instead of C major.
7
votes
4answers
7k views

When to use different scales or modes over chord progressions?

I know my major/pentatonic/blues scales pretty well, and I can apply it pretty fluently when playing over 1-4-5-min6 chord progressions, but I find that when I try to improvise over more ...
7
votes
2answers
174 views

Modes: More complicated than it seems?

I've been playing guitar for almost 12 years now. I had never really gotten into what is described as 'modal playing'; I tried years ago and it seemed so hopelessly complicated that I abandoned it. ...
7
votes
2answers
333 views

How to make C lydian not sound like G ionian?

What are some concrete melodic and harmonic tools to establish the correct tonic center in a lydian melody? The reason for asking about lydian specifically is that there is no minor seventh for the ...
7
votes
2answers
156 views

How much of classical Arabic maqam music is improvised?

I am listening to a piece of music sung in maqam bayat (or bayati). It's Psalm 126, which is 7 verses long, but the piece takes about 10 minutes and sounds very improvisatory. This is similar to ...
6
votes
3answers
475 views

How is 12-bar blues harmonically possible?

How is 12-bar blues harmonically possible? Cmaj scale doesn't really have a C7 - F7 - G7. Is it done by borrowing chords from other modes? There seems to be a C7 in C mixolydian, F7 in C dorian and G7 ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What is a parallel mode?

What is a parallel mode? How are the parallel modes used in composition and/or improvisation?
6
votes
4answers
330 views

Is this progression considered to be in A mixolydian?

I have a chord progression that goes: A Bm D A G Other areas of the song also have an A, G, D, A progression. Would this song considered to be in A mixolydian vs A major or D major since the root ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Modal chord progressions for Rock music

I need some solid understanding on modal chord progressions. I would be glad if you can explain and give examples this especially from a rock or blues music perspective
5
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the difference between a dominant scale VS a mode?

I'm a beginner guitar player and I just started learning music theory. I've been going back and forth into scales and modes but I have little to zero knowledge of how they work, mainly knowing about ...
5
votes
2answers
291 views

Uses for the Prometheus scale?

I was looking up info on scales today and found this page on scales: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_musical_scales_and_modes Scrolling through the page, I found a few interesting scales, but ...
5
votes
1answer
137 views

Is this a modal song?

I just want to check, is this song, Magic Power by Triumph, an example of D Mixolydian (major, dropped 7th)? ...
5
votes
2answers
83 views

How did the plagal modes differ from their authentic counterpart in practice?

In the traditional modal system there were eight modes. Four that were authentic and four were plagal. These modes are depicted below: Based on the description of the modes the final note of the ...
5
votes
2answers
108 views

Composing a piece using the idea of Dual Modality

I've recently been studying a few early 20th century techniques and I would like to learn more about the concept of dual modality. I've read as much as I could find on the on the topic, but the only ...
4
votes
4answers
486 views

Do the different Modes have different scale degrees?

For example, C Ionian has the same notes as D Dorian. But when looking at the scale degrees, I think they have to be different. Here's what I mean: C Ionian: C Db D Eb E F F# G Ab A Bb B C ...
4
votes
2answers
136 views

How would you go about writing a a chord progression properly using the circle of fifths in the phrygian mode?

My question is: How would you go about writing a a chord progression properly using the circle of fifths in the Phrygian mode? I have seen many discuss the circle of fifths using Majors and minors but ...
4
votes
2answers
288 views

“The Simpsons” main theme

http://www.hooktheory.com/theorytab/view/danny-elfman/the-simpsons-main-title-theme how did the theme go from C lydian to B lydian to E lydian to C lydian to Db lyian? how did they (modulate) ...
4
votes
1answer
232 views

Harmony in Phrygian : What chords are tonic, subdominant, and dominant?

Phrygian is a very distinct sounding mode. I've been trying to better understand the harmony of the mode so I can use it more. Obviously the i chord is a tonic chord and iv is a subdominant chord, but ...
4
votes
1answer
213 views

What are the modes derived from the C major scale?

I'd like for someone to explain the 7 modes derived from the C major scale.
4
votes
1answer
114 views

Is Dudley Moore's Bedazzled in A Phrygian?

This song (YouTube) is one of the strangest pieces of music I've heard, with a long "A" pedal bass and a huge variety of crazy harmonies on top (my transcription), including lots of tritones. Is ...
3
votes
4answers
409 views

Composing in Phrygian mode

I tried to compose in the Phrygian mode which seems to be harder than the natural, harmonic and melodic minor. The biggest challenge was to end my piece in its tonic chord. My song was intended to be ...
3
votes
5answers
138 views

Tonality of modes?

With the basic modes like phrygian, Lydian etc, the modes with the same notes as C major ( so no flats or sharps) how do they sound different from a major or minor scale.( this is like E phrygian).
3
votes
4answers
502 views

Do the 'natural' chords to use in a key change if you use a different mode?

This question gives a great, not-too-technical explanation of modes: What are modes and how are they useful? I wondered if playing in a different mode would mean the standard chords change move also? ...
3
votes
2answers
280 views

What gives 'Winter Song' by Nico a medieval sound?

The song below seems to have a definite medieval flavour to it, but what causes this? Is it the guitar or vocal melodies? What scale/mode aspects give this feel?
3
votes
1answer
147 views

Altered Dorian scale ( Misheberak scale or Ukrainian Dorian scale)

First of all, thanks to everyone for this great web site . I have a question about Altered Dorian scale (Misheberak scale,Ukrainian Dorian scale) C Altered Dorian Scale : C D Eb F# G A Bb. A ...