I got this answer on one of my questions:

The Locrian mode is mostly a music theory concept in western music history, and it is very rarely used for music pieces that use western harmony, but as a mode for monophonic music it is fine.

Does that mean Locrian mode is not part of standard usage?

  • 2
    What is "standard usage," and what difference does that make? You won't find a lot of tunes in the Locrian mode, but they do exist. Isn't that enough?
    – user39614
    Mar 22, 2019 at 2:23
  • Probably used in less than 1% of 'standard' tunes. Thus not much used in 'standard usage'.
    – Tim
    Mar 22, 2019 at 10:48

1 Answer 1


There are some things in music where there are standards and standard usages. Much of standard notation is, well, standard; things like the MIDI protocol and file formats are standardised; a concert pitch of A4=440 is an agreed-on standard (albeit not the only one).

However, when it comes to what notes and tonalities to choose, There is (thankfully!) no agreed-upon "standard usage" in music. The original phrasing - that Locrian is rarely used - is more precise.

The other sense in which 'standard' could be used is to indicate that a concept is commonly understood - whether the word has a 'standard' meaning. In this sense, modern 'Locrian' probably is standard, because what the word 'Locrian' means is recognised and understood alongside the other mode names.

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