Modes and More

“Modes for modes”, and “moods for modes”

In today’s music the word “modal” simply describes music that can be written using only the white keys on the piano. Music played in these “white” modes is simple to play, and writing this music down is simple, direct and logical.

Modes can all be transposed to 11 other keys, which makes the whole system look much more complicated, but it does not change the sound of modes. Each mode has a very different “feel” and is used to create different “moods”.

Here are the 7 modes:

  1. Ionian or major
  2. Dorian (also called Dorian minor), b3 b7
  3. Phyrgian (also called Phrygian minor), b2 b3 b6 b7
  4. Lydian (also called Lydian major), #4
  5. Mixolydian (also called Mixolydian major, b7
  6. Aeolian (also called Aeolian minor or natural minor), b3 b6 b7
  7. Locrian (no other name), b2 b3 b5 b6b 7




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