Questions tagged [modes]

For questions concerning the musical modes. These can include historical views of mode by the Greeks or the various rotations of scale collections. Questions about historical views of mode should also include the history tag.

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3answers
33 views

Why are there no modes for minor scales?

I noticed that modes are all based on major scales. How come there are no modes for minor scales?
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1answer
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Does this progression have a name?

I discovered that if I play a major scale, i.e. Ionian mode, then move through the modes in the following order: Ionian Mixolydian Dorian Aolian Phrygian Lochrian At this point I'd next play the ...
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8answers
129 views

modes, the more I learn, the less I understand

if modes are subset of the major scale.... so the intervals are all the same, right ? so... in the first picture, Aeolian mode for isntance, why can I only play these notes while the same notes are ...
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3answers
47 views

Why do modal chants sometimes end on another chord than the tonic chord?

I see a lot of organ accompaniments to Gregorian chants, eg Attende Domine or something from a Kyriale, starting and ending on another chord than the tonic/finalis. A phrygian melody might have the ...
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7answers
663 views

A Dorian and what about it

Is A Dorian a G major scale? I’m not a theory guy at all, just looking for some help.
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7answers
762 views

Can the key of a song be only major or natural minor scale?

From what I read, the key of a song or piece of music can be either from the major scale or natural minor scale. Is this true? Can a song have a key in a different scale? I ask because there are ...
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3answers
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Can anyone confirm or discredit the term “Prime Scales” when dealing with the modern modes

http://www.tonalcentre.org/Scales.html In the linked webpage the author speaks of "prime scales" and says "Remarkably enough, out of all possible scales there are only five prime scales, in which ...
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2answers
434 views

What scale were the very first modes based on?

If all modes derive from a scale which scale were the very first modes derived from? I know the modern modes are derived from the diatonic scale but if the first modes came before the major and minor ...
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3answers
135 views

Understanding modes

For some time I've been trying to understand modes. - I've read myriad posts, debates, and explanations, and have generally been left confused. But - I think I finally have a handle on it. Can anyone ...
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2answers
89 views

Pandiatonicism in “She’s leaving home” (Beatles)?

In a documentary about the Beatles it was said She’s leaving home is in aeolian mode. I thought this would be rather dorian as we have a major 6th in the scale passage of the cello after the first ...
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0answers
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What are the modal characteristics of major modes?

This question comes out of two recent questions and answers about modal music: In what way is music considered to be in a mode when accidentals seemingly contradict the mode? What are modes in the ...
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4answers
75 views

What is the correct Roman numeral notation for use in modal pieces?

Looking at a lead sheet (Scarborough Fair), it is noted that the key signature is D major. On closer inspection the song appears to be in Dorian mode. I am guessing that the better approach when e.g....
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4answers
95 views

Term for conversion between different tonalities (C major to C minor, etc.)

(Inspired by this recent question:) If we theorists reserve "transposition" for shifting everything by specific intervals, like every note goes down by a minor 3rd, what do we say when someone ...
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1answer
112 views

Do Lydian and Locrian Pentantonic Scales Exist?

As far as I am aware, there are two ways to construct the five modes of the pentatonic scale. The first is to go to the major diatonic, remove the fourth and seventh scale degrees (as these are a ...
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1answer
59 views

How to convert from one mode to the other? [closed]

I have no idea how modes work atm, I'm pretty competent everywhere else in theory, but I struggle with modes. Is it at all possible to convert modes? like from minor to phrygian? and what would be ...
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2answers
109 views

is this song written in dorian or mixolydian mode?

i have a question about the modes hopefully someone sees this if a song follows a chord progression of verse Bb-Ab-Eb Bb-Ab-Eb then pre chorus Ab-Eb-Bb // Ab-Eb-Db-Eb and then the chorus is Bb-...
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6answers
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What does it mean to play in a mode?

So here's what I know about modes: Let's say we're in the key of C major. If you're just improvising in the key of C, you would say you're using the C Ionian mode, right? But here's where I get ...
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3answers
693 views

What other scales can be played over ii chord in ii-V-I besides Dorian?

Soloing over ii-V-I is usually associated with modes. Dorian-Myxolydian-Ionian. I'm trying to expand my soloing by playing "outside", so I wanted to find out what other scales can be played over ...
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6answers
122 views

Why does the modal system approach to jazz sometimes fail?

When I first dived into studying jazz guitar, I learnt that the modal system and harmonized scale were the ultimate key to jazz improvisation and mastery. This method worked for me in most cases but ...
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2answers
109 views

Was there a conscious decision of medieval composers to compose within a harmonic framework?

How much were medieval composers (such as Hildegard von Bingen) aware of modal approach when they composed and "engineered" their pieces? Now, this question is almost stupid. They didn't compose ...
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2answers
57 views

antecedent and consequent phrase in minor scale

MY question is what are the rules for melodic phrasing in minor scales. For example, I know that in a major scale the vii wants to go up to the I and the V can go where ever etc. what are the rules ...
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3answers
123 views

Why is Eastern Music a Mode of Western Music?

Western music (to me at least) is best captured in the major scale. And Phrygian, which is the 3rd mode of the major scale can be used to get a more Eastern sound (for example Jefferson Airplane/White ...
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1answer
55 views

Harmonic/Melodic Modes

I've always thought of harmonic/melodic modes as being modes the fall parallel to harmonic/melodic minor. I don't have any references, but I swear I've seen this corroborated in a few places. ...
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1answer
109 views

How to use “synthetic modes”

Im having trouble understanding a concept in Persichetti’s book 20th century harmony (Page 43) where he introduces new scales he calls synthetic scales. Just before that he talks about the church ...
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4answers
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What set of notes can be used as a scale?

There are many different scales. As far as I understand, a scale is defined by intervals between notes. For example, for major scale it should be: tone-tone-semitone-tone-tone-tone-semitone I know ...
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What are modes in the real world?

For months, I have been trying to understand modes. Even though I have memorized all the names, what notes they start from and so on, I do not understand their meaning in the real world of music ...
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3answers
88 views

Does same mode have different mood or emotional quality in different keys? [closed]

Maybe it's subjective thing. But when you start playing same song in same mode (natural major for example), but from another key than original was. What will happend? You have two possiblities or ...
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1answer
1k views

Are there any modern era songs that use true Locrian?

While learning more about music theory, I started diving off into the world of musical modes and Locrian mode stood out like a sore thumb with a flat 5th. This was intriguing so I am trying to find ...
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4answers
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Why do modes sound so different, although they are basically the same as a mode of another scale?

I know my question sounds a little bit confusing, hence I don't have any idea how I could google that. Soo for example: a G Major Mixolydian scale has the exact same notes as the C Major Ionian scale....
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1answer
81 views

What scales/modes are used in Just the way you are by Billy Joel? [closed]

I'm a hobbyist and I only know intermediate music theory. I am currently finding my way around with jazz. Could someone please tell me what scales or modes are/can be used in the Just the way you are?...
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5answers
956 views

Can you help me understand Modes from the aspect of chord changes?

I am 70 years old, have played (strummed) guitar all my life, with some multi-year gaps. I never wanted to know theory; was more interested in the occasional surprise of learning something new. I ...
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1answer
127 views

Modal playing on an instrument designed for just intonation in the major scale (specifically dulcimer)

Sorry if this gets long-winded; I've only recently ventured down the JI rabbit-hole and want to spell out my reasoning in a way that will expose gaps in my understanding. For those not familiar with ...
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7answers
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Must a song using the A minor scale begin or end with an Am chord? If not, how can I tell what the scale is?

Is it a must for a song using the A minor scale to begin or end with an Am chord? If not, how can I tell what the scale is? For example, how can I differentiate between the C major scale, A minor ...
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2answers
160 views

Flavor of the modes in melody

I practice modes on my guitar nowadays, but when I try to solo freely (without a backing track) in a mode (D dorian in key of C major), I usually don't find it as a "modal music", I only hear its ...
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1answer
136 views

Is there a standard set of cadences designed for the seven modes?

On Cadences for Modes and Modal Cadence Options, Dom, Richard, and I came up with a group of modal cadences. Specifically (correct order from Ionian to Locrian): Dom: ii-I, VII-i, II-i, II-I, ...
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2answers
111 views

Does the II chord in the Phrygian II-i cadence count as tritone substitution?

In Phrygian modal music, the II-i cadence is pretty common. Does the II chord here count as a tritone substitute chord that is substituting for vo?
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1answer
144 views

Are circle of fifths progressions generally practical for modes?

Earlier today I was working on mode utilizations, and as I was making a circle of fifths, here's what I got: C Ionian mode: C - F - Bdim - Em - Am - Dm - G - C (I - IV - viio - iii - vi - ii - V - I) ...
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3answers
762 views

Are modes in jazz primarily a melody thing?

I was wondering when jazz cats talk about how they'd use a Lydian scale to improvise over a major chord, or a Dorian scale to improvise over a minor chord they're mainly talking about the melody? So ...
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1answer
82 views

Is Nirvana's 'Aero Zeppelin' intro in Locrian mode?

The song 'Aero Zeppelin' by Nirvana (see here for Youtube video link) begins with a calmer introduction that has a 'creepy' feeling, due to the occurrence of the tritone. I have tried to analyse the ...
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3answers
193 views

Whole-step technique for figuring out jazz scales?

I was watching a tutorial on how this guy finds scales to play on top of jazz chords. And I was wondering if this a good method to use, and if not how do I know which scales to improvise on chords. Do ...
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3answers
224 views

Can I borrow chords from Harmonic minor?(Modal Interchange)

I know when using modal interchange I can borrow chords from any of the 7 parallel modes of the major scale. But I'm wondering if it's okay to use chords from scales other than the standard 7 modes. ...
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1answer
2k views

Jazz greats knew nothing of modes. Why are they used to improvise on standards?

My understanding is before 1970, few Jazz players thought about modes. For certain, Charlie Parker, Colman Hawkins, Bud Powell, Art Tatum, Monk, etc never thought in modes. Barry Harris shows how ...
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2answers
107 views

What are the key features to keep in mind when writing melodies in Mixolydian mode?

When writing a melody in the Mixolydian mode, you don't want it to sound as if it were in a major key. So how do you go about writing melodies in the Mixolydian mode, while maintaining the essence of ...
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3answers
373 views

Why is it called Mixolydian #11 and not Mixolydian #4?

I was watching an instructional video and the guy's talking about Mixolydian #11 being one of the modes of the melodic minor. The regular G mixolydian looks like: G A B C D E F G And the G ...
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1answer
110 views

How to analyze this melody in modal/Jazz theory? [closed]

Update: I've updated this for clarity and with some context regarding how I interpret this passage, but my fundamental question remains the same. I really hope someone could help me parse out this ...
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1answer
62 views

What Key And Scale Is This? [closed]

In relation to the final statement of the principal theme in Kodaly's Dance Of Galanta below, can anyone tell me? What key is this? The 2 naturals seem to cancel out the previous key signature of D ...
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1answer
107 views

Why weren't Ionian / Aeolian / Locrian modes considered Gregorian modes?

It is said that the Ionian (major), Aeolian (natural minor), and Locrian modes weren't really three of the ancient church (Gregorian) modes. What is the reason?
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125 views

Did Beethoven write any modes other than the Ionian / Aeolian / Lydian modes?

The Ionian and the Aeolian modes are considered major and natural minor keys, and all composers used these modes all the time, including Beethoven, who also wrote Lydian mode in one of his string ...
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1answer
90 views

confused by pitch sources/scales [closed]

I am hoping someone can unpack some ideas for me, which I have never encountered. Or, if you could point me in the direction of some background reading, that would be helpful as well. I am confused ...
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3answers
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Analysis: How to determine what scale/mode a score uses

I'm learning music theory with the hopes of being able to analyze sheet music. My question is -- What if the piece I am analyzing is in some other mode than major or minor? Or even stranger, like ...

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