Tonal music is called tonal, as it relies on one particular note as its 'home' note - its tonic - hence tonal.
The majority of tonal music is somewhat like a journey. Our journeys tend to take us from 'home', visiting wherever, and eventually, arriving back at square one - home again. We may well make several journeys during that period, but each will end ...
The G major scale contains the exact same notes as the A Dorian scale. So what determines which of those two scales you are playing?
mode = set of notes + tonic
The sense of mode is somewhat subjective and depends on where the music makes the listener feel the tonal center to be. Rhythms and sense of pulse and meter, affect that as well as pitches! Meter ...
How can one distinguish G major from A dorian?
Every mode has a tonal center, a point of greatest stability within the overall sound of the mode. So a piece in G major will tend to move toward G as a pitch goal; whereas, a piece in A dorian will gravitate toward A.
If one in looking at a written score, a good starting point in determining the mode is to look ...
The website Jazz Guitar Online, has a page with very complete information about (jazz) melodic minor and its modes.1 Given for each mode are:
the primary and alternate names
chords that work with that scale
the note names
scale degree alternations based on major
"play-along" audio for the scale
a fret-board map
an example lick with standard and ...