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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816 views

How are/were the “non-standard” modes used?

By "non-standard" I mean all the modes other than Ionian and Aeolian. By "how are they used", I'm referring to how often when I discuss modes I'll end up hearing something along the lines of "...
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164 views

Why is the submediant chord in a D Dorian mode a Bm7b5?

Why is the submediant chord in a D Dorian mode a Bm7b5? I thought a Dorian mode has only flatted 3 and 7 compared with a major scale. I am trying to learn about harmonizing church modes and need to ...
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638 views

So… 84 modal scales vs actual practice and usage

So if I understand correctly we have 12 major scales x 7 modes = 84 possible scales. That is taking aside melodic and harmonic and pentatonic and blue scales. I understand this is all derived from ...
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336 views

Switch from minor melodies to major

As a composer (and electronic music producer), I'm currently facing what I think is a big issue : each and every melody I compose is in minor mode, so it makes them gloomy. But now I would like to ...
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3answers
421 views

Find out scale from these 3 chords

I am playing these 3 chords in the following sequence: AM - CM - DM What scale do they belong to? I first thought its A Mixolydian: // But this can't be it, because it doesn't have C#(used in A ...
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1answer
718 views

What is this scale?

So I've been learning a Frank Vignola jazz chord melody etude called "A Look at Minor" and I stumbled across this particle scale that sounded really nice with a minor tone. 1 (R), b2, 3, 4, 5, b6, b7,...
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314 views

Diatonic Scales and Modes. How do I reconcile information about Modes?

The accepted answer to what a mode is and how they work is posted here: What is the difference between a dominant scale VS a mode? This is what I thought the correct answer was. Basically that the "...
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2answers
198 views

The V chord in a II-V-I progression in major key

Assume we are in the key of F. Then II = Gm7, V = C7 and of course I = Fmaj7. If we want to include the 9th in the V chord then we have V = C9 = C E G Bb D. All of those note are in the scale of F ...
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2answers
643 views

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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2answers
481 views

Is there a name for each of the two chords that form a cadence?

Let's say we're in the key of C major (for simplicity). A typical cadence would be V-I, which is G major to C major. Is there are name given for the role each chord play within a cadence? The reason ...
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How are chord progressions built in a modal context vs traditional major/minor context?

This question is asked from the standpoint of popular music as it is today (2016). Let's confine the question to progressions that are 4 bars long, since that's the most generic pattern in pop music. ...
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Can you construct chords for all musical modes?

One way I'm aware of to find the chords in a given key are to generate triads 1,3,5 for each note in the major scale. E.g. In C major you get CEG (C), DFA (Dm), etc leading to the typical I ii iii IV ...
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Arabic Maqam Keyboard?

I have read that the Arabic maqam system has 24 pitches in an octave. Are there any instruments (keyboards especially) that have been made specifically to be able to play all 24 tones?
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Do all modes make another mode when inverted?

I may just being going crazy but I was writing some music theory and noticed that if you reverse the whole steps and half steps of a mode it becomes another mode. (W= whole tones H= half tones) ...
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1answer
198 views

Did the modes change when they came to be “expressed as permutations of the major-minor scale system”?

Christopher Whitt - Origins of the church modes The next milepost in the misnaming of church modes happened over a 75 to 100 year period ending in roughly 1675 ... when the church modes of ...
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3answers
368 views

Does the existence of a chord tone (and its enharmonic spellings) imply the absence of another?

My question is about the notation of chords and what that notation conveys (mostly applied to jazz and the notes that are implied by the chord symbol). A chord symbol notated with a '7' alone ...
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2answers
634 views

Identifying Modes

I'm getting introduced to modes and got a small homework assignment to identify the modes of some short melodies. The problem is I'm not sure that I'm following the guideline correctly, and I can't ...
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1answer
338 views

Tonal Harmony - Does a classical composer ever use the #6 chord in minor?

In melodic minor you get a #6 (and #7) ascending. Do composers commonly use the #6 to build a chord on? Are there exceptions? So in a min you'd get an diminished triad like (F# A C) which would ...
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1answer
98 views

Modes in Series

If I want to play G/A... I find the Note 'A' and think in 'Mixolydian Scale intervals. (i.e.) as if the, 'A' is the, 'G'. G,A,B,C,D,E,( flat the,7th ).IF:I think the 'Tonal Centre' is the key of 'A, ...
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Is there such a thing as “key of E Mixolydian”?

I was reading an article Steve Vai wrote in the 80's where he says - "In the key of E Mixolydian, you can use this fingering in the open, 2nd, 5th, 7th, 10th and 12th positions." I thought that when ...
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1answer
111 views

Mode for french 16th century music

This is about the 6th's of the song "Quand je bois du vin clairet", a tourdion from 16th century's France by Pierre Attaingnant. The song is in some kind of minor mode, but it is unclear to me and to ...
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241 views

Major or Minor, which modes are you in?

How do you know if a piece is in a major key or its corresponding minor? As far as I can tell, the key signature is the same. Maybe it doesn't matter as they are the same, just starting 3 half steps ...
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Why does modal interchange work? Can any mode be used?

When you're in the key of C major and you use chords from C Dorian, Phyrgian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, and Locrian. Why does it sound acceptable to use those chords, and does it work with all ...
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1answer
607 views

Melodic minor with raised 4th

I think I heard Bill Evans playing melodic minor with raised 4th over a Dm6/9 chord (on "I do it for your love" with Thielemans). Has anyone encountered this scale elsewhere?
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How to name modes of non-major scales?

What is the common way to name modes of, say, the harmonic minor scale? Can one say "D harmonic minor Dorian" and be understood to mean the second mode?
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Memorizing modes on guitar fretboard

I'm comfortable with all 5 basic box positions and 7 3-note-per-string patterns for diatonic scale. I can switch among these positions fairly well. Problem is, when I try to emphasize on a mode, it ...
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1answer
213 views

How to distinguish the mode of a riff

I am having a hard time understanding what exactly it means to be playing in a certain mode of a scale. I will try to pose my question in mathematical terms. A given key has a set of notes, for ...
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0answers
70 views

Examples for Songs in Tonus Peregrinus (ninth tone)? [closed]

I heard about the tonus peregrinus or ninth tone. The corresponding article in German Wikipedia claims that Deep Purple's Child in Time is essentially composed in this key: Tonus peregrinus is also ...
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814 views

How does harmonic analysis work in different modes?

I noticed that normal harmonic analysis doesn't seem to work when playing in different modes. For example what is the dominant and sub-dominant chord in the Dorian mode?
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Scale Families: heptatonic scales organized by half-steps in their intervallic spelling

Consider a note a collection of frequencies, a mode a collection of seven notes, and a scale a collection of seven modes. Hence, C is a collection of frequencies, CDEFGAB a collection of notes, the ...
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558 views

Using modes for jazz solo improvisation

I am a vocalist trying to learn jazz improvisation without a teacher. I have been working on the modal scales. I am trying to cut through this dense forrest and I have a question: If I sing a song ...
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Is there a reason in music theory for certain songs sounding creepy

This is a fairly informal -and maybe speculative- question, but I was recently browsing Youtube, when I happened upon the Spongebob Squarepants Outro. Quickly overcome with nostalgia, I clicked on the ...
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1answer
304 views

Composing melodies which introduce chromaticism

I'm trying to rap my head around the tune "June 9th" by Boards of Canada. So I started here: and attempted to work out the chords that work with the bass line. My ...
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2answers
107 views

Song written in Locrian of C

How would I write a song in Locrian of C. In sheet music would that be written in the key of C. Or would I write it in B minor / major? If B, I'm guessing the way I would choose between the minor and ...
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2answers
211 views

Why are there only five diatonic scale forms if there are 7 modes? not including hypo- modes

I"m learning diatonics on guitar finally, and there are just some theory based confusions I'm having with these things: Why are there only five diatonic scale forms if there are 7 modes not including ...
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2answers
741 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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What is the tonic of a musical mode?

Let's say I'm playing Dorian D mode. Is my tonic: C, because Dorian mode is derived from the diatonic scale of C? Or D, because my tonal center is in D?
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Do modes exist in the harmonic / melodic minor scales?

I'm trying to get my head around modes and the tonal center. In my understanding the natural minor scale is the same as the Aeolian mode. However, when considering the mix-up that happens in the ...
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100 views

Modal approach to soloing over this piece?

Is my approach for creating a melody over this harmony I have written theoretically correct? Harmony: (KEY OF A) F#m F#sus4 C#m C#msus4 Bm Bsus4 AMaj7 Now lets just take a really straight approach ...
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1answer
80 views

Soloing in Harold Mabern's Edward Lee

I'm looking at the song "Edward Lee" by Harold Mabern, Jr. (as it's presented in The Real Easy Book in C) and I'm trying to understand how to apply scales approach to soloing over its chords. There ...
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What is the difference between C major and C Ionian?

To my understanding, C major is the same as C Ionian, because both consist of the notes C, D, E, F, G, A, B, (C) in this order. Contrast this with D Dorian, which consists of the same notes, but in ...
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277 views

Do people who don't study modes improvise the same as those who do?

Reading/watching interviews with some noted jazz/rock musicians (e.g., Jimmy Bruno), when asked about modes they will disavow themselves of bothering to study modes because doing so is, to their way ...
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1answer
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What does “of the first/second/third/etc. tone” mean in Iberian keyboard music?

For example, "Tiento de 5° tono" - The fifth tone? Mixolydian? I'm not sure about whether "tono" refers to a scale mode because the music is scattered with accidentals that don't seem to follow the ...
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1answer
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How many sharps in G Dorian Minor?

How many sharps are in G Dorian Minor? I believe that there aren't any but I am not sure. Please help me solve this problem.
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120 views

Third Degree On Major [duplicate]

Compared to a major scale, what mode starts on scale degree three? I think it is minor but I do not know.
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1answer
553 views

Chord progression analysis

In the song "If You Have To Ask" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers there is this instrumental funk interlude with a bunch of seventh and ninth chords and I want to understand this progression more by ...
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Cadences for Modes

For each of the modes, is there a certain chord that goes before the targeted I or i chord? For instance, it seems in the Phrygian mode that II to i is a quite strong progression. In Ionian, obviously ...
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Gregorian modes in Renaissance music (with Cabezón's 'Tiento del Cuarto Tono' as an example)

I'd like to ask a question on how Gregorian modes were transformed during Renaissance using a piece of Antonio de Cabezón as an example. His 'Tiento del Cuarto Tono' is written in mode 4, which is, as ...
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Is the history of scales in Cooke's “Mastering Scales” an accurate history?

I was using Cooke's "Mastering Scales" just to get piano fingerings. But, I see that it also contains a history of scales. Is this an accurate history, especially the sections about the old church ...
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Is I-V-vi-IV not tonal compared to passamezzo moderno/antico?

I'm asking this using tonal in the sense it was described in a highly voted best answer I found with search on topic of tonal vs modal. I interpret what is said in it that tonality implies common ...