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Diatonic/tonic scales?

Discussion in 'Ask Michael Dimin' started by bass87, Mar 16, 2003.

  1. Hi Michael,

    I was wondering if you could explain to me diatonic and tonic scales. I've done quite a lot of theory with my teacher but have never come across these with him, but I've seen them mentioned on Tb quite often. Sorry it's a rather vague question :(
  2. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin Banned

    Dec 11, 1999
    Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you- it's been a busy few days.

    The word Diatonic means "in the key". In any key there are 7 modes diatonic modes. For example in the key of C Major, there are 7 diatonic modes

    C Ionian (major)
    D Dorian
    E Phrygian
    F Lydian
    G Mixolydian
    A Aeolian
    B Locrian

    There are also 7 diatonic triads
    C Maj
    D Min
    E Min
    F Maj
    G Maj
    A Min
    B Diminished

    There are also 7 diatonic 7th chords

    C Maj7
    D Min7
    E Min7
    F Maj7
    G 7
    A Min 7
    B Half-Diminished 7 (or min7 (b5))

    The one thing that all of these have in common is that they all come from the same set of notes - the notes of the C Major Scale.

    BTW, Tonic refers to the chord or mode based on the root of the scale, in this case C

  3. Thanks Mike, that's a great help!

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