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Question about modal scales

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by MistaMarko, Apr 30, 2006.

  1. MistaMarko


    Feb 3, 2006
    Are modal scales (i.e., Dorian, Mixolynian, Lorian, Ionian), are they just different scales all in the same key, just starting on different notes?
  2. Cloggy


    Apr 5, 2006
    They are the same scale starting on a different note.
    C D E F G A B C is Ionian
    D E F G A B C D is Dorian
  3. Wasabi1264


    Oct 3, 2004
    President: MusicDojo.com
    At their most basic level, as stated, it is the same scale starting on a different note. Because of the natural occurence of whole and half steps, each mode has a different shape.

    So, step one is learning those shapes, and you basically can play the scale all over the neck. That's the most basic use for the modes.

    But step two has to do with chordal harmony, and implying interesting tonalities within a key.
  4. No, they are their own tonalities. They don;t necessarily belong to a single major key. They do occur naturally within major keys, and you can derive them that way, but IMO that's not the best way to think about them. There has been a lot of stuff posted about modes in this forum. I recommend doing a search, sitting with some of the data to start digesting it, and then see if you have some more specific questions.

    For starters I recommend learning the modes starting from the same note, for example E:

    E ionian--E F# G# A B C# D# E
    E lydian--E F# G# A# B C# D# E
    E mixolydian--E F# G# A B C# D E
    E dorian--E F# G A B C# D E
    E aeolian--E F# G A B C D E
    E phrygian--E F G A B C D E
    E locrian--E F G A Bb C D E
  5. Cloggy


    Apr 5, 2006
    Notes of Ionian mode in order of appearance in the harminic series:
    C G E Bb D (F) A B C
    Reshuffled to one octave:
    C D E (F) G A Bb B C

    Bb B has been a contentious issue for eons.
    If Bb is the true 7th then the natural starting point (mode) would be what is now the mode on the 5th degree.
    But the harmonic series itself points to the string (and tonality) that is longer to the extent that the root is the third harmonic of the longer string.

    The symmetry of the Pythagorian Diatonic Ionian mode makes it a perfect starting point for an equal tempered harmonic system.

    The notes arrived at by cycling fifths produce:
    C G D A E B ,and backwards C F Bb(again)

    In one octave:
    C D E (F) G A (Bb) B C

  6. Cloggy


    Apr 5, 2006

    No they aren't.

    This is 2,500 year old stuff.
    The beginning of the scientific method.
    Which Pythagorus himself then stifled,

    Yes,they are valid in their own right,but if we're working within the equal temper system then they are only relative.

    I'll work out the fingerings for ancient Greek untempered versions if you want.but you'll have to retune your strings halfway through .
  7. The ancient Greek versions are kind of irrelevant. What I'm saying is that the modes exist as independent tonalities right now, in that there is music in existence that can only be described as being "in" D dorian, for example. A lot of European folk music, for example. Some modal jazz, for another.

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