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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600 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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287 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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977 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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3answers
277 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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3answers
690 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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1k 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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1answer
130 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
125 views

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
117 views

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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1answer
173 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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896 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? [duplicate]

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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4answers
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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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4answers
403 views

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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1answer
146 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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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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1answer
348 views

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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2answers
1k 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
734 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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5answers
937 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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2answers
291 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 ...
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4answers
124 views

Key and possible missing "tonic chord"

I just figured out in this tune the chords F major and e minor fit, and they are repeated all over. Surely its a simple and repetitive piece, but what I am wondering is, the only key where both chords ...
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1answer
54 views

How do I tell which mode this extract uses?

In this exercise, the key signature has two flats but it's marked as C minor. There's a footnote that simply says 'modal key signature'. How do I work out which mode to use in my harmonisation?
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190 views

What key do I assign for neither minor nor major scales?

I'm composing a song that is in E♭ phrygian which can also be regarded as A♭ aeolian. Do I note this in the key E♭ minor (6 flats) or Aflat; minor (7 flats)? In general: Is the key ...
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3answers
276 views

Melodic minor and the ii chord

I am curious about the following. If you look at the Melodic Minor scale (ascending) it is really just Dorian with a major 7th. In Jazz we do not alter this mode when descending. In classical ...
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1answer
194 views

What does it mean for a mode to be "tonally effective"?

The web site http://www.tonalcentre.org states that there are only two "tonally effective" modes of the diatonic scale (viz., the Ionian and Aeolian modes) [http://www.tonalcentre.org/Scales.html] and ...
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4answers
111 views

common tones and the keys they are in

for example the tones C and Eb appear in Db(-5 flats), Ab(-4 flats) Eb(-3 flats) and Bb(-2 flats)(relative to the key of C). in each key they appear in, those two tones have diffrent functions(...
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1answer
299 views

Why is the 'standard chord' on the first step of Dorian b2 (second mode melodic minor) a sus-chord for jazz?

Why is the 'standard chord' for Dorian b9 a sus chord? More specifically, a sus4. Instead of stacking triads, i often see people (most notably Rick Beato on youtube) use a sus chord on the first step ...
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1answer
639 views

Can someone please explain differences between Ionian dorian phrygian (etc) scales [duplicate]

If you have C scale, C, D, E, F, G, A, H, C this is already Ionian. C dorian scale is when you play same tones but start from second tone, in this case D. I am correct?
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1answer
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What are all the modes (scales) based on the major scale?

I've heard that there are 7 different scales based on the major scale, like the minor scale, which is made by shifting the major scale pattern 6 to the right. What are the names of the other scales ...
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3answers
810 views

What's the point of connecting chords to modes when writing in an established key?

Let's say I am in the key of C and trying to write a simple melody over some chords on the piano. Chord progression: I (Cmaj) IV (Fmaj) V (Gmaj) I (Cmaj) Let's take the IV chord for instance. What's ...
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2answers
107 views

Understand this progression/harmony

I've found a song that uses the next progression. Is a 4 "simple" 4 bars progression: Cm / D / D# / F In the first 3 bars, it plays notes from this scale: D D# F# G A A# C In the last bar, basically ...
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2answers
358 views

Is there such a thing as a Harmonic key besides for Harmonic Aeolian?

My understanding of the various modes is that, relative to the base note’s natural major key: Ionian is the same as natural major; Dorian flats the third and seventh; Phrygian flats the second, third,...
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1answer
112 views

How do you establish a feel of the mode?

I have been trying to learn some music theory and I'm kind of a confused about modes. Reading explanations and watching numerous videos about subject just don't seem to clarify it enough. What is the ...
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1answer
63 views

When describing the melodic minor scale, I hear it referred to as a "minor major 7th", but isn't the harmonic minor also that?

The melodic major consists of 1 2 b3 4 5 6 #7 while the harmonic minor consists of 1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, #7. Both appear to be "minor major 7th" chords. So when someone refers to one of these, how do ...
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Why don’t we use the term “scale signature”, rather than “key signature”?

This would avoid the confusion to some, of saying that the key/mode of A dorian has a key signature of G. I’m all for making things clearer for people learning music. If a piece is in D dorian, I ...
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5answers
655 views

Modes of scales other than C major

I was learning modes. But I'm confused now. My problem is that I don't know how to apply the modes in other scale. For example I know in c major, mixolydian is form g to g and all keys are flat. But ...
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1answer
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Analysing "Dust to Dust", John Kirkpatrick

I've been trying to analyse the song "Dust to Dust" by John Kirkpatrick to perhaps get some insight into how one writes in Locrian without sounding it sounding ugly. The only thing I've noticed is ...
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6answers
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Does borrowing chords from a parallel mode change the key?

I was watching a video how a guy uses chords from different modes. Let's say I'm in C major, my understanding is that I can borrow any chord from any of the 7 parallel modes to make my chord ...
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6answers
1k views

How do you think of the natural minor scale (or any non-major scale), when you play it?

I would be grateful to know how other beginner musicians think of the natural scale. For example, do you think: I need to play in A minor - the relative major is C. I shall therefore play in C ...
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3answers
338 views

Is using a flat 6 in dorian to avoid an augmented fourth OK in jazz?

Here is a basic line of broken fourths I was playing over Dm7. ...at beat 4 I use B flat so that a fourth is formed from the preceding F. As line continues in the next bar I go back to the B natural ...
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3answers
294 views

How could the medieval chants be classified before any notation was available?

We all have in mind the image of a medieval mode as a scale with a pattern of tones and semitones with a finalis, a specific range, etc. However, it seems that medieval chants were classified ...
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4answers
10k views

My Favorite Things - Harmony Theory-Modal Question About E-7->F#-7

It's my understanding that the standard My Favorite Things is in the key of E minor and then modulates to E major. Since E-minor is the relative minor key of G major, from the major scale perspective,...
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3answers
5k views

What exactly is the difference between C Ionian and D Dorian?

Both modes have the same notes. But why do they sound different. How to approach while composing a song in a particular mode as opposed to a key. Is it the harmony or the pivoting root? I read few ...
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4answers
370 views

Modes on the guitar

Pretty new to jazz and I just had a question about soloing So for example we have a progression Dm7| Bm7| so I understand we can play D Dorian then B Dorian with each of the chords. My question is ...
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4answers
198 views

for a person who is still beginner at ear training how does one hear the difference between modes and other keys?

I've been doing ear training and I have to say my scale degree identification (after playing cadences) is pretty good, I can identify the #4 and the b2 and the b7 etc well but the problem is that as ...
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2answers
2k views

What do we call a chord progression that doesn't have a tonic chord?

I came up with a chord progression the other day: Fm7 Ebmaj7 Abmaj7 G7 It's clearly in C minor. But instead of resolving to Cm, I was looping through it. What catched my attention was that it ...

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