For example, is V the dominant in all modes?

  • 2
    V is a chord, not a scale degree. Mar 15 '18 at 20:35

'Dominant' is a concept that includes being a perfect 5th above the tonic, and being the base of a triad that includes a major 3rd, the leading note of the key. It's a concept in functional harmony. Some modes suit functional harmony better than others!

  • If it has to be a perfect 5th above the tonic, that means only one mode in all of the scales we commonly use, correct?
    – Stinkfoot
    Mar 15 '18 at 23:19
  • @Stinkfoot - you allude to the Ionian, I guess, as none of the other modes has a dominant which is P5 above the root, also containing a M3, which is the leading note? Lydian?
    – Tim
    Mar 16 '18 at 12:43
  • @Tim - I'm reading LP's language: being a perfect 5th above the tonic, and being the base of a triad that includes a major 3rd - if the root has be a P5th, that can only be one note from any scale/mode. Maybe I am misunderstanding something. Lydian and has M3 and P5th, but P5th is not the root. Exactly how to define a dominant has always been elusive to me - it must be on here someplace.
    – Stinkfoot
    Mar 16 '18 at 15:32
  • @Stinkfoot- Interesting comments, as I understand it, the dominant can only be built on the perfect fifth of a scale and include the flatted 7th and remain diatonic to the scale. Other degrees of the scale that might use a flatted seventh would not be diatonic to the scale. The name dominant for the V chord is descriptive of the sound of this scale degree which has the strongest pull to resolve back to the tonic of the scale, causing it to be dominant over the other degrees in the scale. That's how it was explained to me. Mar 17 '18 at 1:45
  • @Stinkfoot - Lydian mode itself has its own dominant because its 5th is a P5 and the note a third away from that is a M3. As in F Lydian. It's 5th is C and the 3rd from that is E. The dominant chord is the one based on the 5th degree and doesn't need b7 to be called the dominant.
    – Tim
    Mar 17 '18 at 9:30

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