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modes names & triads

Discussion in 'Ask Michael Dimin' started by sn0wblind, Jan 15, 2001.

  1. sn0wblind


    Apr 20, 2000
    Ontario, Canada
    can you tell me the names of all the modes?? and a brief explaination of Triads???i know Cliff Burton used them before his tragic untimley death, but I need a little info in them, any websites would be of great help.

    thanx for all the help -sn0bllind

    [Edited by sn0wblind on 01-15-2001 at 12:13 PM]
  2. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Modes - I. Ionian
    II. Dorian
    III. Phyrgian
    IV. Lydian
    V. Mixolydian
    VI. Aeolian (minor)
    VII. Locrian

    Triads - A chord consisting of 3 notes wherein the intervals are root, 3rd, 5th. This is the simple explanation.
  3. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    jazzbo is correct, but for a bit more explanation (after all this is my forum :))

    The major scale is also called the Ionian mode. It is comprised of 8 notes. The easiest way to see it is to play all the white notes on the piano beginning and ending on C. The intervalic relationship is what makes it a major scale. Major scales can start on any note and are made up of the following intervals
    whole step, whole step, half step, whole step, whole step, whole step, half step.
    It is Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti, Do or in the key of C

    Each mode is made up of the same notes but start on a different scale degree.
    Dorian starts and ends on the second degree of the major scale. Phrygian starts and ends on the third degree of the major scale. Lydian starts and ends on the fourth degree of the major scale. Mixolydian starts and ends on the fifth degree of the major scale. Aeloian also called the natural minor scale starts and ends on the sixth degree of the major scale. Finally, the locrian mode starts and ends on the seventh degree of the major scale. I hope this elaborates a bit more on jazzbo's answer.
  4. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Mike, I hope Snow is getting as much out of this as I am.:)

    Would you "explain", for lack of a better term, the minor scale?

    I wonder ,also, if there is any advantage to memorizing the names of the modes. It seems easier to grasp by calling them by thier degree. Am I taking a shortcut that will slow me up later as I progress to more complex theory?

    I have never taken lessons because I've been too busy playing.:) I plan to take a few lessons but I figure that if I know the scales and some of the more basic stuff that it might make the lessons a little easier. I really don't want to have to unlearn anything later because I learned it wrong.

    BTW, your explanations are very clear. Tnx much.

  5. sn0wblind


    Apr 20, 2000
    Ontario, Canada
    Thanx guys it helped alot!!!!1
  6. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    There are a number of "minor" scales. In western theory we identify 3 of them, Natural, Harmonic, and Melodic. One can also say that that the Dorian, Phyrigian and Locrian modes, in addition to the aeolian (or natural minor) are also "minor". The key to all of these scales/modes is the 3rd degree of the scale being a flatted 3rd. It can also be said that the interval between the root and the third scale degree is a minor 3rd.

    As for learning the names. The more you know, the better ytou can communicate your ideas. Does it help musically? Probably not, but it does give each of us a common set of terms to communicate with. I think it will slow you a up a bit as you learn more advanced theory concepts

  7. sn0wblind


    Apr 20, 2000
    Ontario, Canada
    damn you now a lot Mike!!!!!!!!
  8. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    You know, since this is Mike's column, I don't know if I'm really supposed to reply to people's questions, so I just thought I'd give a basic answer to Snow's questions.

    I hope I didn't step on any toes.

    PS. Yeah, Mike really does seem to know quite a bit, eh? Thanks for the help Mike.

    **Mike, if you wouldn't mind, can you give a more detailed explanation to the harmonic and melodic scales, including the intervals of the scale and their relation to the diatonic scale?! Thanx!
  9. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.

    :) :) I had to read this one a couple of times to understand that you weren't dissing Mike, Snow. :) I agree, Mike obviously Knows a lot. But if I can just hang on long enough.......:)

    Mike: thanks for the response. I'll take your advice and memorize the names of the modes. I'm not sure how much memory I have left. I am sure that I really appreciate your help, though.

    I suppose that I can now say "I studied under Michael Dimin". :)

  10. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    No stepping on any toes here. Getting the info out is all that counts. Besides being a moderator means I can scrap anything that I don't agree with (now that IS power :))

    OK lets remember the old melodic and harmonic minor scales.

    Harmonic minor is the same as a natural minor except the 7th degree is raised a half step. The intervals are W,H,W,W,H,1.5,H. Starting on C that would be C, D, Eb, F, G,Ab,B,C. The reason for this scale is:

    In diatonic harmony the chord built of the 5th scale degree is minor. In the key of C minor , a chord built on the G would be G, Bb, D, F or Gm7. To make the chord built on the 5th scale degree a dominant seven chord and therefore develop the dominant to tonic resolution we are so used to in western harmony, we raise the 7th note of the scale from the flatted to the natural 7th. In this case we raise Bb to B. Our chord, built on the 5th scale degree is now G,B,D,F or G7. G7 resolves nicely to the tonic Cm.

    The melodic minor scale is diferent going up then coming down. Going up it is a natural minor scale with a raised 6th and 7th degrees. Coming down it is like a natural minor. Therefore in the key of C minor:

    going up: C,D,Eb,F,G,A,B,C
    coming down: C,Bb,Ab,G,F,Eb,D,C

    I would have to dust off all the old theory books to remember the theory behind the development of the melodic minor scale. That would entail a trip into my freezing cold attic, finding the right box, cutting my hand open with a really sharp knife trying to open the box, bleeding profusely all over all the books in the box just to come to the realization that I probably dumped that book with all the other text books back in '82.

  11. neptoon

    neptoon Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Melbourne, FL
    alright, this is the way i used to memorize the names of the modes and to what degree of the major scale they begin and end on...you'll just have to remember locrian at the end though, because i can't come up with a good sentence that will stick with me (dumb) okies, here goes...I Don't Punch Like Muhammed Ali..and, of course, like every other good mnemonic, if you take the first letter in each word of the sentence, you get a mode name...you just have to throw locrian in at the end. i know it's corny, but...
  12. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    A different way to memorize them (and organize them for that matter) is the LIMDAPL method (pronounce it like this: lim dap ul ).

    Organizing it this way is going from number of raised notes to the number of lowered notes (as they relate to the major scale)

    Lydian - 1 raised note #4
    Ionian - major scale
    Mixolydian - 1 lowered note b7
    Dorian - 2 lowered notes b7 b3
    Aolean - 3 loered notes b7 b3 b6
    Phrygian - 4 lowered notes b7 b3 b6 b2
    Locrian - 5 lowered notes b7 b3 b6 b2 b5

    And don't forget that the Harmonic Minor scale has modes, too.
  13. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    BIG, BIG help Nep. If you've never heard the pronunciation, it's difficult to memorize.

    Tnx Ed.

    Mike, please forgive us for turning your forum into a roundtable. Yours and Steves forum are the only places on the board to get this kind of info. It is valuable to me.

    We need to convince Paul that a theory forum would be worthwhile.
  14. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Nice to hear from you. I believe that it is the harmonic minor that justifies the dominant 7 in a minor key (as I mentioned earlier). Hence the name "harmonic". You reallay are going to make me go up in the attic aren't you?

  15. neptoon

    neptoon Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Melbourne, FL
    yeah, really....i'm a little on the mentally challenged side, so it helps to remember easy things that point to the larger ones...i don't punch like muhammed ali.....LOCRIAN!! lmao...that's great...
  16. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    In reference to the melodic minor scale, here is a quote off of Bunny Brunel's web site, when asked about the melodic minor scale:

  17. As far as the melodic minor's development, I remember it has to do with the way people sang in the Renaissance and Baroque days. Going up, the singers had the tendency to raise the 6th (submediant) and 7th (in this case, it's the leading tone) ascending and then returning to minor going down. This would make sense because you have perfect intervals before those notes and that leads one to believe "I'm singing in a major scale."

    Another thing I remember about minor scales is that raising the 7th in harmonic and melodic scale "tonicizes" the minor (making that note a half-step closer to the tonic like what happens in the Ionian major scale)

    I could be wrong about this but I'm taking AP Music Theory this year (my fun class and a great stress reliever from my other hard classes).

    Oh, blame the Greeks and the Catholic Church for the modes' names if you are confused. :)

    Derek J. Power

    Remember... churches, apples and very small rocks float in water... like WITCHES! :D
  18. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    I've heard this "theory" before from classically trained theorists. But I have to tell you the raised 7th degree of the harmonic minor scale creates a tritone between the 3rd and 7th of the "V" chord. It is the tritone that resolves inward to the tonic chord. I just don't buy the leading tone idea. It is just not a strong enough point to create a scale around.

    On the other hand the tritone resolution from the V to the I is very powerful stuff.



    Jan 22, 2001
    Intervals 1 b2 2 b3 3 4 b5 5 b6 6 b7 7

    Major( Ionion )* 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
    Mixolydian* 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7
    Lydian* 1 2 3 #4 5 6 7
    Phrygian* 1 b2 3 4 5 b6 b7
    MajorPentatonic 1 2 3 5 6
    Wholetone( aug ) 1 2 3 #4 b6 b7
    Oriental 1 b2 3 4 b5 6 b7
    Doubleharmonic 1 b2 3 4 5 b6 7
    Enigmatic 1 b2 3 #4 #5 #6 7
    Major Locrian 1 2 3 4 b5 b6 b7
    Lydian minor 1 2 3 4 #4 5 b6 b7
    Overtone 1 2 3 #4 5 6 b7
    Hungarian major 1 #2 3 #4 5 6 b7
    8 tone Spanish 1 b2 b3 3 4 b5 b6 b7
    Symmetrical 1 b2 b3 3 #4 5 6 b7
    Blues 1 b3 3 4 b5 5 b7 7

    Pelog 1 b2 b3 5 b6
    Aeolian( nat.minor )* 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
    Dorian* 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7
    Harmonic minor 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 7
    Melodic minor 1 2 b3 4 5 6 7
    Phrygian* 1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
    Super Locrian 1 b2 b3 b4 b5 b6 b7
    Locrian* 1 b2 b3 4 b5 b6 b7
    Diminished 1 2 b3 4 b5 #5 6 7
    Minor pentatonic 1 b3 4 5 b7
    Neopoliton 1 b2 b3 4 5 6 7
    Minor Neopoliton 1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 7

    Here's the math involved! MMUUSSIICCAALL

  20. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Found this in the lessons @ Activebass. com.

    Just another way of saying what you gurus are saying. Maybe it will help someone else who might be pulling their hair out trying to absorb this stuff.

    Thanks guys. Judging from the views this thread is getting, you guys are helping a lot of people. Myself most definitely included. :)

    Start with a major scale.
    To make it:
    Dorian = add two flats to key
    Phrygian = add four flats
    Lydian = add one sharp
    Myxolydian = add one flat
    Aeolian = add three flats
    Locrian = add five flats

    The scales are:
    Dorian = b3, b7
    Phrygian = b2, b3, b6, b7
    Lydian = #4
    Myxolydian = b7
    Aeolian = b3, b6, b7
    Locrian = b2, b3, b5, b6, b7



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