3

I have heard 2 different schools of thought when describing the Locrian mode. The first one that I heard several years ago, when I first heard about modes is that it is a minor mode, despite its diminished 5th because it's tonic is the seventh degree of the major scale and the seventh tends to have a diminished quality, especially in minor.

Now I hear more people saying that it is not a minor mode, it is its own mode, a diminished mode.

Here is the first school of thought that I heard:

Mode Quality

Lydian Major

Ionian Major

Mixolydian Major

Dorian Minor

Aeolian Minor

Phrygian Minor

Locrian Minor

This one kind of makes sense because Locrian is a modified minor scale.

And here is the more current school of thought that I keep hearing:

Mode Quality

Lydian Major

Ionian Major

Mixolydian Major

Dorian Minor

Aeolian Minor

Phrygian Minor

Locrian Diminished

This one implies that the modes are incomplete, at least to my eyes it does. To my eyes, this means there should be 3 diminished modes and 3 augmented modes just like how there are 3 major modes and in this school of thought, 3 minor modes. Also, the only connection between Locrian and the Diminished Scale is that the tonic triad is diminished in both cases. The Diminished Scale goes further than Locrian because the only triad you can make out of the Diminished scale, with each note being 2 scale degrees away is a diminished triad. To my eyes, basing the classification of the modes on the tonic alone as in the school of thought that says that Locrian is a diminished mode is not right. I would say that Locrian is a minor mode because it is based off of the minor scale.

But what do you think? Do you think Locrian is a diminished mode and not a minor mode? If so, why?

1

The locrian mode is not a minor mode. If its a mode at all it would be a diminished mode. (If I’m not wrong someone has recently posted a piece in locrian mode, was it by Skriabin? I’ll have to look up later.)

This one implies that the modes are incomplete, at least to my eyes it does.

As you say the modes are incomplete. So the Aeolian and Ionian mode have been added to complete the modes. However the locrian was only a theoretical construct derived of the doremi scale.

The following text is a translation of wiki (German)

From the sixteenth-century added modes of Ionian and Aeolian today's major and minor emerged. The ionic scale is thus identical to the major scale, the aeolian scale to the natural minor scale.

In the locrian mode there is not a characteristic difference interval to major or minor. In order to turn a minor scale into a locrian you have to lower two levels, namely the second and fifth.

There has never been a Lokrian mode in the system of Church tones. The name comes from the music theory of Greek antiquity, where she played a never quite clarified, more peripheral role. Only recently, under the old name, was a new ("locrian") mode invented to complete the system for practical purposes.

The lokrian scale differs from the others in that above the root note, a diminished fifth (tritons ), which is why it used to be considered useless.

Nevertheless, in jazz it enjoys a certain improvisation scale of some popularity.

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modale_Tonleitern

English wikipedia is identical:

The Ionian mode corresponds to the major scale. Scales in the Lydian mode are major scales with an augmented fourth. The Mixolydian mode corresponds to the major scale with a minor seventh. The Aeolian mode is identical to the natural minor scale. The Dorian mode corresponds to the natural minor scale with a major sixth. The Phrygian mode corresponds to the natural minor scale with a minor second. The Locrianis neither a major nor a minor mode because, although its third scale degree is minor, the fifth degree is diminished instead of perfect. For this reason it is sometimes called a "diminished" scale, though in jazz theory this term is also applied to the octatonic scale. This interval is enharmonically equivalent to the augmented fourth found between scale-degrees 1 and 4 in the Lydian mode and is also referred to as the tritone.)

But in this link you’ll find a lot more interesting information about the modes:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mode_(music)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.