Friday, October 9, 2015


Modes! Seriously one of my favorite topics in music theory, but admittedly a slightly complicated one, so let's make sure we understand what's going on.

1) Let's start by making sure you get the concept. Can you name all the relative modes of E major? For instance, C# Aeolian is the 6th mode. What are the others?

2) Now let's look at a single mode. Can you tell me the notes in each mode when the tonic is F?

3) Finally, let's identify some modes. Each of these is in one of the modes, with a random tonic. can you tell me which mode it is?

That's it! See you next week!


  1. Question 1:
    E Ionian
    F# dorian
    G# phrygian
    A lydian
    B myxolydian
    C# aeolian
    Eb locrian

    Question 2: *The same notes as:
    F ionian = F maj
    F dorian = Eb maj
    F phrygian = Db maj
    F lydian = C maj
    F myxolydian = Bb maj
    F aeolian = Ab maj
    F locrian = F# maj

    Question 3:
    A) Bb dorian
    B) A phrygian
    C) E lydian
    D) B locrian
    E) F# myxolydian

    Are these right? If I have any mistakes, please correct me! ;)

  2. This all looks right, except for a couple enharmonic things. On question 1, I would call it D# locrian instead of Eb, because Eb locrian requires the use of double flats. (For instance, the fifth degree would be Bbb, whereas in D# it'd be A.) On question 2, F locrian is technically the same notes as Gb major, not F# major. They sound the same, but F# major doesn't have an F natural, it has an E#. But that's pretty small stuff: You've definitely got the idea!

    Side note: It's been so long since I wrote this that I'd completely forgotten which scales I used for question 3. Had to go back and recheck them by hand...

  3. Question 1:
    1) E ionian
    2) F# Dorian
    3) G# Phrygian
    4) A Lydian [my favorite]
    5) B Mixolydian [lydian with mix in it is how I rememeber the name
    6) C# Aeolian
    7) D# Locrian