Considering: that finding the Ionian Mode's Phrygian location, suggests counting back 3 degrees from C'- Bb, Ab, 'G', starting from 'G'- play the 'Eb' Scale. The Answer', I have been serching for the last 18 months is: IF' I am playing the Eb' Scale from G;, and others, are playing the Ionian 3rd, E'Phrygian, is the Tonality between the 2 compatible?

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    The phrase “the Ionian mode’s Phrygian location” doesn’t make any sense. Ionian is one mode, Phrygian is a different mode. You can have C Ionian, D Ionian, F# Ionian, etc. you can have C Phrygian, D Phrygian, F# Phrygian. Every Ionian scale shares pitches with some Phrygian (and Dorian, and Lydian, etc) scale, but you can’t have the “Phrygian of the Ionian”. E Phrygian has the same notes as C Ionian, D Ionian has the same notes as F# Phrygian. The tonic note of any Phrygian scale will always have an Ionian scale with a tonic a major third lower that uses the same pitches. Dec 7, 2018 at 20:05

1 Answer 1


No. G Phrygian uses all the notes from the parent scale of Eb. E Phrygian uses the notes from the parent scale C. They are not the same set of notes. I suspect you meant:

'If I play the Eb scale, and start on G (the 3rd, therefore G Phrygian), if others are playing the Ionian of Eb, are we all using the same notes?' Then, since Eb is the parent, then - yes!

Eb Ionian = F Dorian = G Phrygian = Ab Lydian = Bb Mixolydian = C Aeolian = D Locrian. As far as notes contained therein are concerned.

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    @DonnGoodside The thing to remember about modes is that not only are the notes you're playing important but the tonal center. so while you are playing the same notes in Eb Ionian and G Phrygian, "home" feels different. If we were just concerned about what notes we were playing and not the tonal center, there would be no real need for modes.
    – b3ko
    Dec 7, 2018 at 21:21

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