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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53 views

What are historical and structural reasons for the prevalence of Major and Minor?

Not knowing the historical reasons, I can at least think of structural reasons for having a diatonic scale, equal temperament or other circulating temperaments, and a distinction in major/minor in ...
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theory question: Key of D, the 2, 3, and 6 chords are shifting to major chords?

I am playing a song in the key of D (or B minor actually, which is D), but inside of the song, the 2,3 and 6 chords are changing to major chords instead of minor chords. Bm becomes B. E minor becomes ...
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1answer
384 views

What is the origin and original meaning of “tonic”, “supertonic”, “mediant”, etc.?

Each of the pitches in the diatonic scale has a "name": tonic supertonic mediant subdominant dominant submediant subtonic I was first introduced to tonic, dominant, and subdominant in the ...
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Does this song have a key, and if so, what is it? [closed]

I'm writing a song where the notes do not align to any particular key. The way it works is this Chord 1 leads to Chord 2. Chord 2 leads to chord 3 but Chord 3 does not have to relate to Chord 1. Chord ...
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1answer
50 views

Question about George Russell Lydian Chromatic Concept

The wiki page says: Russell builds a prototype chromatic scale starting on the Lydian Tonic by stacking fifths, skipping the interval between the seventh and eighth tones. Using C as the Lydian Tonic ...
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2answers
138 views

What harmonic resources underlie on Pink Floyd's “Brain Damage” song which make it so beautiful?

Pink Floyd's "Brain Damage" is in the key of DMaj (I) , but the second arpegio chord (and perhaps the one that gives to the song his special sound) is G7 (IV7), whose 7th is a note that ...
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Are the notes in Blues scale in Am I Evil solo? [duplicate]

e|-11-12-11---11-12-14-14-14-12-11-12-11----|-----------------7---| B|---------12----------------------------12-|-10---------/7-------| I am analyzing the Guitar Solo of Metallica's cover version of ...
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Is there a reason why “Scale Inversions” don't get discussed?

It only dawned on me recently, but it's quite a fundamental and important feature of scales that they are not mirrored under their own inversion. The intervalic formula for major is: W W H W W W H If ...
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5answers
113 views

Is it right to call this music 'modal'? Or multi-modal?

There is a bluegrass song archetype that mixes the minor/major 3rd and raised/lowered 7th making almost an extended scale. How can I describe what's going on here using music theory? Modal mixture ...
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363 views

Why can't you use the same backing track for all modes of a scale?

I am seeing lots of statements online to guitarists that they should be careful to use the specific backing track for a mode. It seems to me that you should be able to use one backing track for all ...
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How should you apply the Nashville numbering system when a song is in a non-Ionian mode?

Ordinarily, Nashville numbering is simply used to denote the chords to be played according to the degrees of the scale, and where the chords vary, the custom is to use accidentals or additional ...
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Difference between Akebono and the diatonic scale?

It is written in this Wikipedia page that The Akebono scale is a musical scale commonly used in traditional Japanese music. Akebono and the Diatonic scale use the same intervals, but Akebono has no ...
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505 views

What scale is used with this descending bassline progression?

I am trying to find which scale this chord progression (Cmin - G\B - B♭ - Fmin\A♭ - A♭ - E♭\B♭ - Bdim) is borrowed from. I think it doesn’t fit on any scale because this progression uses modal ...
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What mode does this guitar solo use? [closed]

I'm trying to learn this amazing guitar solo from W.C. Fields played by Gabor Szabo. It starts at 02:00. I learned this first section which is in the key of G major. At 02:20–02:32 it switches to ...
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1answer
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What key is this in? [closed]

I'm new in the forum. I have lots of unasked questions about music theory because I'm a self taught musician with no formal training, so I have a lot of confusion between concepts like, for example, ...
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5answers
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Mode of Another Brick In The Wall by Pink Floyd? [closed]

The melody of this Pink Floyd song seems to be in the Dorian mode, but there is a G chord in the second half of the verse. How can it be determined whether the song is in Dorian or Aeolian?
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272 views

Aeolian mode harmony

I have been having trouble writing progressions in other modes, and I think this question might get me one step closer to understanding the modes (in this case just Aeolian) from a different ...
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3answers
352 views

What mode/scale is a minor scale with an added flat root note?

I've heard a lot of music that is in a minor key but also has a flattened root note. I'm not sure if this is considered a flattened root, or a sharp 7th. For instance, in the key of Em, an E♭ (E flat) ...
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110 views

In Medieval music theory was the symmetry of dorian mode considered a kind of tonal fundamental?

This existing answer and comment (https://music.stackexchange.com/a/17818/23919) sort of addresses my question. I don't know anything beyond mode I was dorian, lots of music was dorian, and Fux starts ...
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154 views

Why is it a convention to number modes by their tonic scale degree relative to ionian (major)?

In modern western modes, Ionian seems to be arbitrarily assigned as 'mode I', while the remaining modes are numbered according to the scale degree their tonic is relative to Ionian of same key. For ...
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How come modern modes are based on the same set of intervals?

I couldn't find any answer regarding this specifically, so I assume there's some basic concept behind this that I missed. So, as far as I know: Modern modes are based on the same set of intervals, ...
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Why does A minor scale sound the “best” over Dm and C chord progression?

I created a little loop with the following two intervals: D A and C G Listen here: https://tinyurl.com/ybsukagd In looking at what scale to use to solo over that simple progression, I thought D ...
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334 views

Should mode names be capitalized?

I'm seeking opinions about whether to capitalize mode names in educational materials I'm preparing. In ordinary references (not in titles) should I use Dorian or dorian, Locrian or locrian? Here's a ...
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1answer
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How to negatively harmonize a major key into different modes other than Aeolian (minor) mode? (T7i inversion)

The T7i inversion transforms a major key into its parallel minor (Aeolian mode). How do I transform a major key into other modes? Are there inversions other than T7i?
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Modes over a simple chord progression

Suppose that we have the following chord progression with one measure for each chord: C Dm Em F G Am B° and that I always play the C major scale in each measure. Would it be correct to say ...
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2answers
161 views

Are there modes beyond Lydian?

I am learning music theory for fun and I am trying to understand different modes. I saw this video by David Bennett where he talked about how you can flatten an additional note in the Locrian mode to ...
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A Dorian scale/chord progressions

So I'm currently jamming a song in G Major with focus on the A Minor. The chord progression goes Am C D. I know that the A Minor Blues Scale sounds pretty sleek, but I just have the feeling that A ...
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1answer
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Is B♭ chord in C major related to Neapolitan chord?

I know what a Neapolitan chord is and know how to use it in some usual ways. But I want to talk about the B♭ chord in C major. I think B♭ here is very "Subordinate". And we can see it always ...
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1answer
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Celtic modes, what modes are these?

I know the ancient Greek modes and the Gregorian modes of the medieval era. Reading in a comment the term Celtic modes I wonder is there something different or special that I have missed until today?
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Dorian mode cadences

From this question I read that modal cadences are different from tonic cadences. I'm trying to learn Dorian mode and I noted that in the answer they offer the suggestion of the second chord, first ...
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Why are there just 7 modes?

Let's take a look at Ionian mode. Its pattern is "WWHWWWH". Which there are 7 steps. If we consider this mode building problem as a permutation problem then we can arrenge them into 7!/(2!*5!)=21 ...
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Are parent scales always major?

As a classical musician, the notion of "parent scales" isn't something I encountered until I started visiting this website. From context, I understand the concept just fine. But it seems that answers ...
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1answer
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Mode of Limited Transposition for Microtonal Temperament

There's a recent paper discussing the theory of limited transposition for general n-temperament scale: https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Generalizing-Messiaen-%E2%80%99-s-Modes-of-Limited-to-a-...
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1answer
815 views

Characteristic chords of a mode/scale

What makes a chord a characteristic chord of a mode? Apparently, the characteristic chords of Lydian is I and II, why is that? Why not, for instance, vii, as Lydian is the only mode that contains a ...
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Is Mother by Pink Floyd in G Mixolydian mode? [closed]

(I'd like to clarify that this is the first time that I'm approaching scales and modes) I was searching for the key of this song when I've found that it's in G major, but if it's from G major where ...
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3answers
74 views

Why are there no modes for minor scales? [duplicate]

I noticed that modes are all based on major scales. How come there are no modes for minor scales?
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1answer
81 views

Does this progression have a name?

I discovered that if I play a major scale, i.e. Ionian mode, then move through the modes with the same root note in the following order: Ionian Mixolydian Dorian Aolian Phrygian Lochrian At this ...
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8answers
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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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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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712 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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1k 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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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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478 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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214 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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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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1answer
190 views

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
147 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
173 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
179 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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