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29 votes
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What are the interval patterns for the modes?

Modes are what we call rotations of the major scale. This means that we can start off with the major-scale interval pattern and just rotate it to begin at different places to create the other modes. ...
Richard's user avatar
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20 votes
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What does it mean to play in a mode?

The difference is all about what is the tonic and how a tone become perceived as the tonic. In C major C is the tonic. In E Phrygian E is the tonic. Unless you're talking about Gregorian chant (no ...
Michael Curtis's user avatar
19 votes
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Why are there just 7 modes?

By very definition, the modes are created by taking the Ionian scale/mode and starting at a different point, not by rearranging those intervals at will. According to wikipedia: Modern Western modes ...
mkorman's user avatar
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18 votes
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Why do modes sound so different, although they are basically the same as a mode of another scale?

mode = set of notes + tonic Modes sound different, because each scale degree's distance to the tonic i.e. home note is different. The home note is in a different location relative to the other notes ...
piiperi Reinstate Monica's user avatar
16 votes

Jazz greats knew nothing of modes. Why are they used to improvise on standards?

My understanding is before 1970, no Jazz players thought about modes. This is incorrect, see this question: How does modal jazz use chord progressions? A: Modes became of interest over time as a way ...
LSM07's user avatar
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15 votes

Is D minor also F Aeolian?

Key and mode are not the same thing. In a mode (in the modern/current meaning of the word), your tonic (home note, center pitch) and the intervals around it are fixed in rigid positions, and if you ...
piiperi Reinstate Monica's user avatar
14 votes

What are modes in the real world?

Try this - play D E F G A and back again. Then play a C major chord (CEG). Does the chord sound like it would fit under the tune? Possibly not. But you've used 5 of the 7 notes that constitute the C ...
Tim's user avatar
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13 votes
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What comes after Locrian?

The diatonic modes — ionian, dorian, ..., locrian — don't apply to octatonic scales. So for any given octatonic scale, the first mode, for example, is not "ionian" (unless you develop your ...
Aaron's user avatar
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12 votes

What is the difference between C major and C Ionian?

The difference is simple. When you are talking about the major scale you are talking in a tonal context and when you are talking about Ionian you are talking in a modal context. You won't hear anybody ...
Dom's user avatar
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12 votes
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Arabic Maqam Keyboard?

First of all, let's get this fact out of the way: 24 pitches in an octave is a rather simplistic notational convention. It doesn't reflect the actual state of affairs at all. Actual number of notes ...
cyco130's user avatar
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12 votes

Why don’t we use the term “scale signature”, rather than “key signature”?

Let's take a step back and look at what a key is first. A key is a very specific concept in music theory. The key tells you what the tonic of a pieces is and the general type of Harmony to expect. A ...
Dom's user avatar
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12 votes

Why do modes sound so different, although they are basically the same as a mode of another scale?

Stand in your kitchen and look around you. Now stand on your head in your kitchen, so that you are upside down. Do things look the same? (Or if you're not so good at gymnastics, lie on your back ...
Нет войне's user avatar
12 votes
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What is the origin and original meaning of "tonic", "supertonic", "mediant", etc.?

This is a little complex to answer, because "dominant" has been used to mean different things over time. In the (late) Middle Ages, "dominant" actually just meant "reciting ...
Richard's user avatar
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12 votes

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

Well, to give a boring answer to how it can be proved – since there are only finitely many subsets of the 12 tones (namely, 4096), you can just list them all and check exhaustively. But we can be a ...
leftaroundabout's user avatar
11 votes
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Does borrowing chords from a parallel mode change the key?

It depends on how you define "change the key." Traditionally, modulation is understood as a change in tonic. If you keep tonic (say, C) the same, you don't modulate. Even if it's between C major and ...
Richard's user avatar
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11 votes
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What is the difference between "primi toni" and "octavi toni"

However, if the assumption above is correct, the octavi toni would end up in Ionian mode. As you've probably deduced, the assumption is incorrect. In fact, this question is based on a couple of ...
phoog's user avatar
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10 votes

Harmony in Phrygian : What chords are tonic, subdominant, and dominant?

I haven't ever encountered this topic in a theory book, but I think an empirical approach would produce good answers. The method I'm envisioning is: find a bunch of songs written with a phrygian tonal ...
jdjazz's user avatar
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10 votes
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Do modes exist in the harmonic / melodic minor scales?

Think of modes as the scale starting off at different notes. So, yes there are modes both for the harmonic and melodic minor scales. In jazz, the melodic minor scale isn't the same as the classical ...
Shevliaskovic's user avatar
10 votes

Is there such a thing as "key of E Mixolydian"?

TLDR; Yes, there is such thing as the "key of E Mixolydian", but it's not a proper way to address it. You should call it the "mode of E Mixolydian". Notating it on sheet music is more complex then ...
Dom's user avatar
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10 votes
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What is the name of the scale containing A, Bb, C#, D, E, F?

That looks like a mode of the D harmonic minor scale. D natural minor is D, E, F, G, A, B-flat, C, D. The harmonic minor has a raised seventh degree, so D, E, F, G, A, B-flat, C-sharp, D. If you ...
Bradd Szonye's user avatar
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10 votes

How can we relate mathematic permutations to music?

You certainly can consider permutations in music. There's a branch of music theory called neo-Riemannian theory, and it looks at what we call "parsimonious voice leading." ("...
Richard's user avatar
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10 votes

Are modes in jazz primarily a melody thing?

The simple/traditional approach is for the chords to match the scales you're improvising over. You wouldn't improvise with C Lydian in your right hand and simultaneously play a CMaj11 chord--the F in ...
jdjazz's user avatar
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10 votes

What are modes in the real world?

For example in the background there is playing C major chord and I am playing melody on my guitar. One phrase starts from C note, 3 seconds later, another phrase I play starts from F note. ...
piiperi Reinstate Monica's user avatar
10 votes

What do you mean by the tonic chord feels as 'home'?

About the "tonic" Not every scale has a tonic chord. Tonic is primarily a concept in major/minor Tonality and does not apply (the same way) in modality or to non major/minor-Tonal music. ...
Aaron's user avatar
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10 votes

With modes, is 'tonic' still the appropriate term for naming the first note of the scale?

Tim's answer is right on, but I wanted to mention one historical issue depending on what genre you mean: In pre-tonal (that is, modal) music of around the seventeenth century, the term in use would ...
Richard's user avatar
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9 votes
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Augmented dominant seventh chord = what scale?

There are several options for appropriate chord scales: the whole-tone scale: C D E F# G# A#/Bb) the altered scale (7th mode of melodic minor): C Db Eb E F# G#/Ab Bb If you replace the #5 by the ...
Matt L.'s user avatar
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9 votes

What are the interval patterns for the modes?

Adding to Richards (as ever) superb answer, another way to look at modes with start note (home) of, in this case, C, is to track back. So - C Ionian is rooted on C. C Dorian starts on the second ...
Tim's user avatar
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9 votes

Can you help me understand Modes from the aspect of chord changes?

(at the bottom of this answer, there are youtube example videos with sound) Definition of modes Different modes produce different harmonic feelings. These differences are caused by the notes of the ...
piiperi Reinstate Monica's user avatar

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