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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19 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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54 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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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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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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48 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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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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372 views

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 real world?

For months, I am trying to understand modes. Even though I memorized all the names, what notes they start from and so on, I do not understand their meaning in real world of music making. Let's say ...
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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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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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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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66 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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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
72 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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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
115 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
119 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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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
134 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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701 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
64 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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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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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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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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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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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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100 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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61 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
94 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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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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217 views

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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1answer
203 views

Is Locrian a minor mode or is it a diminished mode?

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 ...
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114 views

Locrian mode is not part of standard usage?

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 ...
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1answer
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What is the key/mode of “you are the government” by bad religion?

I'm trying to make sense of keys and modes, and I'm studying simple songs note by note to reach this goal. One of them is "You are the Government" from Bad Religion. It starts with a riff that goes : ...
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5answers
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How to get a more major sound without going directly to major?

So I am composing a piece for piano trio to represent the transition from winter to spring. I have finished the first part where it is all in minor, D minor to be more specific, to represent winter. ...
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87 views

Relationship between extended diatonic chords and modes?

If we have C major, the diatonic chords are: C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am, Bdim, C If we turn each of these chords to diatonic 13th chord versions of themselves: Cmaj13, Dmin13, Emin13, Fmaj13, G13, Amin13, ...
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222 views

Different modes with same root

I am a self taught pianist that played purely by ear for most my life. Only recently have I journeyed into understanding music theory and man, I keep thinking how I should have done it a long time ago....
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Can someone explain what a key is?

I feel like I shouldn't be asking this... ugh. Every explanation I've encountered left me feeling like a key is the same as a scale. I've been using the word "key" to mean the primary scale the song ...
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Is the tritone (A4 / d5 / DA3 / Dd6) still banned in Roman Catholic music?

The tritone is one of the most dissonant intervals in music. It is also known as the "Augmented 4th", "Diminished 5th", "Doubly Augmented 3rd" or "Doubly Diminished 6th", and it is composed of three ...
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Do Half steps in a diatonic scales need to be separated by two whole steps? [duplicate]

I've been reading about what makes a scale diatonic, and so far it seems that any scale that is constructed with a pattern of 5 whole steps and 2 half steps inside an octave could be considered ...
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If there are no diminished keys, then why does Locrian mode exist?

A diminished chord can't work as a tonic due to its dissonance. If then, why does Locrian mode even exist? It's confusing!
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110 views

Why do some phrygian dominant pieces end on the iv chord?

I was looking at Itzhak Perlman playing Shalom Aleichem It starts (0:14) in E Phrygian Dominant with the i chord, but ends (4:16) in A minor, the iv chord. I've seen the same thing happen with Hava ...
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318 views

What is the ordering of modes (Ionian, Dorian, etc.) from least to most dissonant? [closed]

What is the ordering of modes (Ionian, Dorian, etc.) from least to most dissonant? Intervals are dissonant/consonant so why wouldn't there be a way to measure the totality (or average?) of modes ...
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Are all modes relative to Ionian (major) in Roman numeral analysis?

I saw in this Wikipedia article that there are a lot of flats and sharps in the modal natural chords. And I was wondering if it's because they all refer to Ionian. So in Aeolian the "bIII" chord is ...
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What do 'dominant' and 'plagal' mean in medieval music?

In classical style brief definitions would be... Dominant: a major chord, built on the tone a perfect fifth above the tonic, used to form authentic, half, and deceptive cadences. Plagal: a cadence ...
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235 views

What scale shape does Enter Sandman intro use?

I am learning Enter Sandman. I know it's in E minor key. But How do I find out what scale shape does it use? Does it apply to the CAGED system? None of the online videos talks about that. They just ...
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1answer
193 views

Are scales usually 7 notes in middle eastern music?

I noticed that Phrygian dominant (aka hijaz maqam) is used alot in middle eastern music. I noticed that the oud is used alot too and it's microtonal. Since it's microtonal does middle eastern music ...
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281 views

Are the 1,4,5 the primary chords in all modes?

I know in both major (Ionian) and minor (Aeolian) the 1 4 5 chords are the primary chords. as they seem to come up more often than other chords. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primary_triad In Aeolian ...
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150 views

Chord progression leading using B lydian (and others)

I'm reading the book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Music Theory, and in the book is a cool table with chord leading patterns. The explanation in the book is this: So if you have a scale with the ...