It occurred to me this weekend that arranging the diatonic modes with Dorian in the middle, because its sequence of intervals is symmetrical, makes a lot of sense. If you play a Dorian scale, it's the only mode that forces you to choose to shift your hand up or down a fret reach all the notes. The other modes can all be played with the hand at the same position. That's because Dorian is "balanced" in that it has an equal number of major and minor intervals on either side of the scale. Being symmetrical, Dorian is its own mirror twin. The other six modes have a mirror twin. If you arrange the modes in mirror pairs on either side of Dorian, so that the more the half-tone intervals are shifted up or down the scale, the further away from Dorian they are, you get a diagram like this: Code: +3 -T-T-T-s-T-T-s- lydian +2 -T-T-s-T-T-T-s- ionian +1 -T-T-s-T-T-s-T- mixolydian 00 -T-s-T-T-T-s-T- dorian -1 -T-s-T-T-s-T-T- aeolian -2 -s-T-T-T-s-T-T- phrygian -3 -s-T-T-s-T-T-T- locrian Mixo has one semitone shifted up the scale relative to Dorian, so it's +1. Phrygian has two semitones shifted down the scale, so it's -2 relative to Dorian. Lydian has one semitone shifted up one space, and the other shifted 2 spaces up the scale, so it is +3. And so on. If you arrange them this way, guess what - the tonic of each mode on the white keys is the circle of fifths. Lydian F, Ionian C, Mixo G, Dorian D, Aeolian A, Phryg E, Locrian B. I can make the same table with Major, minor, Augmented, diminished, perfect notation: Code: -2-3-4-5-6-7- -M-M-A-p-M-M- lydian < - all Maj + Aug = "maximum" Major -M-M-p-p-M-M- ionian <- all Maj -M-M-p-p-M-m- mixo < - mostly Major -M-m-p-p-M-m- dorian <- balanced, equal Maj/min -M-m-p-p-m-m- ionian < - mostly minor -m-m-p-p-m-m- phryg <- all min -m-m-p-d-m-m- locrian <- all min + dim = "maximum" minor But we think of Dorian as minor rather than neutral because chord 'I' has a minor 3rd. The Major 6 is not "strong" enough to be its equal.