Date: Thu, 8 Feb 1996 02:58:23 -0600
From: M Forrester-Barker
Subject: Modes - the listing

Back in #107, Ian Goldby (I think) asked for a list of what the modes are. The actual medieval modes are (starting on C):

Ionian		C  D  E  F  G  A  B  C	all major and perfect intervals

Dorian		C  D  Eb F  G  A  Bb C 	minor 3rd and 7th

Phrygian	C  Db Eb F  G  Ab Bb C	minor 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 7th

Lydian		C  D  E  F# G  A  B  C	augmented 4th

Mixolydian	C  D  E  F  G  A  Bb C	minor 7th

Aeolian		C  D  Eb F  G  Ab Bb C	minor 3rd, 6th, 7th

Locrian		C  Db Eb F  Gb Ab Bb C	minor 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 7th, 
					diminished 5th

The intervals noted by the side allow you to construct the mode on any starting note (all the other intervals are major/perfect). Note that the ionian mode is equivalent to the modern major scale, and the aeolian is essentially the same as the minor one but without the variant forms (descending melodic minor?). The locrian mode is really an invention of music theorists, for the sake of completeness, and wasn't actually used (as far as I know) in real music.

One thing to note about modes is that if you start on the right one, you can play all the modes using the notes of one (major) scale. So, C ionian, D dorian, E phrygian etc. are all played on the white notes of a piano, while D ionian, E dorian etc. use the notes from the D major scale, and so on. That's possibly an easier way to remember.

Hope that helps.

Magnus Forrester-Barker (
	of the Department of Mathematics, University of Nottingham

:-)	"A mathematician is a machine for converting coffee into theorems"

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