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Modes


Modes are alternate musical scales which derive from the common scales (major scale, harmonic minor, and melodic minor).

They are built by starting on a degree of the common scales (inheriting the name 'tonic') and following the same sequence of steps until the new tonic is reached. Although the same sequence of steps is followed, the mode inherits a new distinct sound or mood.

The origin of modal music is set back to medieval times and said to originate from the Ancient Greeks.


Ionian

Ionian is the first mode of the major scale. It shares the same interval steps as the major scale:

Figure 1: The C ionian mode (T, T, S, T, T, T, S).


Dorian

Dorian is the second mode of the major scale:

Figure 2: The D dorian mode (T, S, T, T, T, S, T).


Phrygian

Phrygian is the third mode of the major scale:

Figure 3: The E phrygian mode (S, T, T, T, S, T, T).


Lydian

Lydian is the fourth mode of the major scale:

Figure 4: The F lydian mode (T, T, T, S, T, T, S).


Mixolydian

Mixolydian is the fifth mode of the major scale:

Figure 5: The G mixolydian mode (T, T, S, T, T, S, T).


Aeolian

Aeolian is the sixth mode of the major scale and shares the same interval steps as the natural minor scale:

Figure 6: The A aeolian mode (T, S, T, T, S, T, T).


Locrian

Locrian is the seventh mode of the major scale:

Figure 7: The B locrian mode (S, T, T, S, T, T, T).


Harmonic Minor

Harmonic minor is the first mode of the harmonic minor scale:

Figure 8: The A harmonic minor mode (T, S, T, T, S, Min. 3rd, S).


Locrian Natural 6

Locrian natural 6 is the second mode of the harmonic minor scale:

Figure 9: The B locrian natural 6 mode (S, T, T, S, Min. 3rd, S, T).


Ionian Augmented

Ionian augmented is the third mode of the harmonic minor scale:

Figure 10: The C ionian augmented mode (T, T, S, Min. 3rd, S, T, S).


Dorian #4

Dorian #4 is the fourth mode of the harmonic minor scale:

Figure 11: The D dorian #4 mode (T, S, Min. 3rd, S, T, S, T).


Mixolydian b9 b13

Mixolydian b9 b13 is the fifth mode of the harmonic minor scale:

Figure 12: The E mixolydian b9 b13 mode (S, Min. 3rd, S, T, S, T, T).


Lydian #9

Lydian #9 is the sixth mode of the harmonic minor scale:

Figure 13: The F lydian #9 mode (Min. 3rd, S, T, S, T, T, S).


Super Locrian bb7

Super Locrian bb7 is the seventh mode of the harmonic minor scale:

Figure 14: The G# super locrian bb7 mode (S, T, S, T, T, S, Min. 3rd).


Melodic Minor

Melodic minor is the first mode of the melodic minor scale:

Figure 15: The A melodic minor scale (T, S, T, T, T, T, S).


Dorian b9

Dorian b9 is the second mode of the melodic minor scale:

Figure 16: The B dorian b9 scale (S, T, T, T, T, S, T).


Lydian Augmented

Lydian augmented is the third mode of the melodic minor scale:

Figure 17: The C lydian augmented scale (T, T, T, T, S, T, S).


Lydian Dominant

Lydian dominant is the fourth mode of the melodic minor scale:

Figure 18: The D lydian dominant scale (T, T, T, S, T, S, T).


Mixolydian b13

Mixolydian b13 is the fifth mode of the melodic minor scale:

Figure 19: The E mixolydian b13 scale (T, T, S, T, S, T, T).


Aeolian b5

Aeolian b5 is the sixth mode of the melodic minor scale:

Figure 20: The F# aeolian b5 scale (T, S, T, S, T, T, T).


Super Locrian

Super Locrian is the seventh mode of the melodic minor scale:

Figure 21: The G# super locrian scale (S, T, S, T, T, T, T).


Also see Scales | Arpeggios.


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