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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2answers
174 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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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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How did the plagal modes differ from their authentic counterpart in practice?

In the traditional modal system there were eight modes. Four that were authentic and four were plagal. These modes are depicted below: Based on the description of the modes the final note of the ...
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3answers
5k views

How does “The Simpsons” main theme work?

http://www.hooktheory.com/theorytab/view/danny-elfman/the-simpsons-main-title-theme How did the theme go from C Lydian to B Lydian to E Lydian to C Lydian to Db Lydian? How did they (modulate) transit?...
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5answers
154 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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1answer
299 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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3answers
685 views

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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1answer
764 views

Are scales usually 7 notes in Middle-Eastern music?

I noticed that the Phrygian dominant (aka hijaz maqam) is used a lot in Middle-Eastern music. I also noticed that the oud, which is capable of playing microtonal intervals, is used a lot too. Although ...
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2answers
426 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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Are there any modern era songs that use true Locrian? [closed]

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
585 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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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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3answers
90 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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3answers
216 views

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
57 views

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
466 views

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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1answer
110 views

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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6answers
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Do the 'natural' chords to use in a key change if you use a different mode?

This question gives a great, not-too-technical explanation of modes: What are modes and how are they useful? I wondered if playing in a different mode would mean the standard chords change move also? ...
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2answers
157 views

is this song written in dorian or mixolydian mode? [closed]

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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2answers
367 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
415 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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2answers
188 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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3answers
305 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
2k views

How to establish a mode?

I would like to learn about the art of establishing a mode. For example, how to make A minor sound like A minor instead of C major.
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4answers
465 views

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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6answers
856 views

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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6answers
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How to learn the modes of the scales? And even worse, how to improvise over them over any key?

I struggle to memorize the formulae for the modes of the major, harmonic minor and melodic minor scales. Actually the formula for the major scale is pretty much ok. I start learning them by heart ...
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1answer
62 views

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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6answers
212 views

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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9answers
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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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2answers
278 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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1answer
58 views

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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5answers
476 views

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
87 views

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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1answer
440 views

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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1answer
2k 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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8answers
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modes, the more I learn, the less I understand [closed]

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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1answer
93 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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6answers
177 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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3answers
90 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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7answers
849 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
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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3answers
106 views

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
538 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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2answers
1k views

Key of a Song in Modes

If I'm playing a song in Dorian D would I say that the song is in the key of C? Or is the song in the key of D, cause that my true tonic? I guess the question can be boiled down to, is the tonic the ...
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8answers
17k views

Understanding minor key harmony

A comment discussion under this question from me, clued me in to the fact that I don't really understand how minor keys work very well. So here is what I think I know The natural minor comes from the ...
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3answers
3k views

Fingering for modes on the piano

I'm a self-taught pianist. I know how to play all the major and minor scales, so I believe I can progress to modes. How should I practice modes on the piano? Should I just use the fingering for the ...
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6answers
12k views

Why does the minor scale have modes?

My knowledge of music theory is very limited at the moment. I'm in the process of learning about scales and modes. I've learned that the major scale has a mode for every degree of the scale. The 6th ...
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0answers
277 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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2answers
269 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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