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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
8
votes
1answer
2k views

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?
8
votes
1answer
601 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 ...
8
votes
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
6k views

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 ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Why are Ionian and Aeolian considered Major and Minor keys respectively, but not the other modes? [duplicate]

Why is the Ionian mode called a major key, and the Aeolian mode called a minor key, while the other modes aren't called "Keys"? F Major is relative to D Minor, and just so G Dorian is relative to ...
8
votes
2answers
9k views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Practicing modes on the piano

This has probably been asked a lot here but I can't seem to find the question, sorry if I'm repeating it. I know the definitions of the different modes I just want to incorporate them, being able to ...
7
votes
9answers
4k views

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 ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ...
7
votes
7answers
3k views

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 ...
7
votes
6answers
2k views

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 ...
7
votes
4answers
6k views

2-5-1 Jazz progression and modes

I am classically trained and just started looking into jazz theory. I understand that the 2-5-1 progression is a good place to start. My basic understanding is to play the above progression with ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How would you go about writing a a chord progression properly using the circle of fifths in the phrygian mode?

My question is: How would you go about writing a a chord progression properly using the circle of fifths in the Phrygian mode? I have seen many discuss the circle of fifths using Majors and minors but ...
7
votes
1answer
480 views

What is the difference between "primi toni" and "octavi toni"

In XVI century, there was a composer called Girolamo Cavazzoni. He wrote (amongst other pieces) a couple of Magnificats - in primi toni, quarti toni, sexti toni and octavi toni. You can find the sheet ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Uses for the Prometheus scale?

I was looking up info on scales today and found this page on scales: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_musical_scales_and_modes Scrolling through the page, I found a few interesting scales, but ...
7
votes
4answers
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 ...
7
votes
3answers
2k 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?
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the modes derived from the C major scale?

I'd like for someone to explain the 7 modes derived from the C major scale.
7
votes
2answers
254 views

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 ...
7
votes
3answers
533 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
5k views

Modal chord progressions for Rock music

I need some solid understanding on modal chord progressions. I would be glad if you can explain and give examples this especially from a rock or blues music perspective
7
votes
2answers
4k views

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 ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

I, (II), III major chord progression?

In Under the Bridge by Red Hot Chili Peppers, the introduction alternates between D and F# chords, with an E in between as a passing chord in some cases. There is also a g# passing note played over ...
7
votes
2answers
601 views

Modes: More complicated than it seems?

I've been playing guitar for almost 12 years now. I had never really gotten into what is described as 'modal playing'; I tried years ago and it seemed so hopelessly complicated that I abandoned it. ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How much of classical Arabic maqam music is improvised?

I am listening to a piece of music sung in maqam bayat (or bayati). It's Psalm 126, which is 7 verses long, but the piece takes about 10 minutes and sounds very improvisatory. This is similar to ...
7
votes
1answer
363 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 ...
6
votes
7answers
11k views

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 ...
6
votes
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 ...
6
votes
8answers
3k views

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 ...
6
votes
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?...
6
votes
4answers
480 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

How is 12-bar blues harmonically possible?

How is 12-bar blues harmonically possible? Cmaj scale doesn't really have a C7 - F7 - G7. Is it done by borrowing chords from other modes? There seems to be a C7 in C mixolydian, F7 in C dorian and G7 ...
6
votes
6answers
5k views

Using the Circle of Fifths for Modal Music Key Changes: Is this oversimplifying?

I am learning about the modes, relative scales, and the circle of fifths. I am interested in adding key changes to my playing. I understand that if you're playing in, say C major, the easiest key ...
6
votes
3answers
983 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
428 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
836 views

Is this progression considered to be in A mixolydian?

I have a chord progression that goes: A Bm D A G Other areas of the song also have an A, G, D, A progression. Would this song considered to be in A mixolydian vs A major or D major since the root ...
6
votes
5answers
10k views

What is the difference between a dominant scale VS a mode?

I'm a beginner guitar player and I just started learning music theory. I've been going back and forth into scales and modes but I have little to zero knowledge of how they work, mainly knowing about ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Do any countries use scales apart from major and minor for their anthem?

I see countries just use either the major or minor scale. But I'm wondering if someone knows of a country that uses another mode (apart from major and minor scale) for their anthem?
6
votes
1answer
130 views

Help me figure out the mode of this Howard Shore piece

I have been trying to harmonically analyse this piece by Howard Shore called “Beyond the Forest”, an Elvish song from the Hobbit. I have included the sheet music below (page two is linked) and you can ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

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 ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
111 views

Are the names of scale degrees the same for different modes?

Do the naming conventions and their implied function still apply to modes outside the major and minor scale?Is the minor second of the Phrygian mode called the supertonic?Is the augmented fourth of ...
6
votes
1answer
200 views

Is there a theory of heptatonic scales with 1.5-step intervals?

I've been alternating between reading about music theory on Wikipedia and playing around with the scales that I've learned. The "modern Western modes" are defined systematically with their ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

Do all modes make another mode when mirrored (i.e., intervals reversed)?

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) ...
5
votes
4answers
599 views

How can we relate mathematic permutations to music?

For example: considering chord inversions, the harmony in general, the scales and the intervals and also for example the notes on the fretboard of the guitar we can have different permutations, some ...
5
votes
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
392 views

Music and Maths - Is there a way to prove that there are only 7 Modes of Limited Transposition?

'Modes of limited transposition' are modes that have a limited availability of transpositions. Unlike a major scale that has 12 possible unique transpositions, the seven modes of limited transposition ...
5
votes
3answers
301 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?
5
votes
4answers
292 views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
329 views

Modal confusion

I'm a novice in music theory. I was just improvising over a C-B7 progression and I can play the E harmonic minor and also Em pentatonic scale over this progression. What mode would they be if we take ...

1
2
3 4 5
8