# Identifying Modes

I'm getting introduced to modes and got a small homework assignment to identify the modes of some short melodies. The problem is I'm not sure that I'm following the guideline correctly, and I can't ask my teacher because he's currently on a leave and I have to upload the solution to the school's website.

I solved it as if the last note, B flat, was the "root" of the mode and find its relations with the other notes, which would mean the first melody (I think) is in Dorian mode. Am I doing it correctly? In general does "do" represent the root/tonic of a scale or a mode?

You're doing it 100% correctly, yep!

"Do" is just a solfége term for tonic, so in this case this is a B-flat mode. Since we have `Df` and `Af`, we're looking at B-flat Dorian.

• I was taught that "Do" corresponds to the C note and it's not just a term for tonic. Nov 9, 2016 at 1:42
• There are basically two systems. In fixed systems, "do" is always C. In movable systems, "do" is always the tonic. Nov 9, 2016 at 1:47
• ok that makes sense wasnt aware of the movable system Nov 9, 2016 at 2:00
• There's Bb and Eb in there too, making the parent key Ab, (four flats) thus Bb Dorian. But I guess with Ab and Db in there, these two are a given.
– Tim
Nov 9, 2016 at 3:52

It's in Dorian correct. The G note gives it away.

here are the degrees also.

Bflat(TONIC) C(SUPERTONIC) Dflat(MEDIANT) Eflat(SUBDOMINANT) F(DOMINANT) G(SUBMEDIANT) Aflat(LEADING TONE)

• How does the G note give it away?
– Tim
Nov 9, 2016 at 3:46
• Presumably because Gf would mean it was just natural minor/Aeolian. Nov 9, 2016 at 4:39
• Only insofar as 6 rises to ♭7. ♭6 was standard ficta for Dorian mode.
– user16935
Nov 9, 2016 at 23:16