【Music Theory】What is mode? List of modes

“I studied mode, but what exactly is it!?”


Mode is difficult, isn’t it? I was bothered by it like you.

Let me explain the mode as simply as possible for lost lamp.

A list of modes are posted at the end of this post. Please utilize it as a dictionary.

Let’s get started!

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What is Mode?

Mode is the scale that is derived from another scale.

Especially, the mode that is derived from major scale is called church mode.


Mode is roughly divided in to 2 modes.

  • Relative Mode
    The modes that have the same notes
  • Parallel Mode
    The modes that have the same root

Relative Mode

Relative mode is the mode that have the same notes.


In case of C major scale

 CD♭DE♭EFF#GA♭AB♭B
C Major Scale1 2 34 56 7 


Major scale has 7 tones.

The scales that start from these 7 tones respectively are relative modes.

 CD♭DE♭EFF#GA♭AB♭B

C Ionian
=C Major Scale

1 2 34 5 6 7
Ⅾ Dorian7 1 23 4 5 6
E Phrygian6 7 12 3 4 5
F Lydian5 6 71 2 3 4
G Mixolydian4 5 67 1 2 3

A Aeolian
=A Minor Scale

3 4 56 7 1 2
B Locrian2 3 45 6 7 1

These are relative church modes because they are the relative modes derived from major scale.


Here, you may have a doubt like this;

“Relative modes have the same tones, but what is the difference?”


The answer is the “ambiance”.

Though the tones are same, the ambiance is different by mode.


And the difference is based on the following 2 factors.

  • Tonal Center (Green)
    The first note of each mode. Melody becomes stable at this note.
  • Characteristic Note (Red)
    The notes that express the characteristics of each mode.


Now, let’s listen to the relative church modes while paying attention to the differences of each mode!

 

  • C Ionian 
    C,、D、E、F、G、A、B

  • Ⅾ Dorian 
    D、E、F、G、A、B

  • E Phrigian 
    EF、G、A、B、C、D

  • F Lydian
    F、G、A、B、C、D、E

  • G Mixolydian
    G、A、B、C、D、E、F

  • A Aeolian 
    A、B、C、D、E、F、G

  • B Locrian 
    BC、D、E、F、G、A

Parallel Mode

Parallel mode is the mode that have the same root.

Here, you can get the following church modes by generalizing the relative church modes.

 

Scale NotesOrder of Notes
(WT: Whole Tone, HT: Half Tone)

Ionian

ⅰ、ⅱ、ⅲ、ⅳ、ⅴ、ⅵ、ⅶWT、WT、HT、WT、WT、WT、HT
Dorian

、ⅱ、♭ⅲ、ⅳ、ⅴ、ⅵ、♭ⅶ

WT、HT、WT、WT、WT、HT、WT
Phrigian

、♭ⅱ、♭ⅲ、ⅳ、ⅴ、♭ⅵ、♭ⅶ

HT、WT、WT、WT、HT、WT、WT
Lydian

、ⅱ、ⅲ、#ⅳ、ⅴ、ⅵ、ⅶ

WT、WT、WT、HT、WT、WT、HT
Mixolydian

、ⅱ、ⅲ、ⅳ、ⅴ、ⅵ、♭ⅶ

WT、WT、HT、WT、WT、HT、WT

Aeolian

、ⅱ、♭ⅲ、ⅳ、ⅴ、♭ⅵ、♭ⅶWT、HT、WT、WT、HT、WT、WT
Locrian、♭ⅱ、♭ⅲ、#ⅳ、ⅴ、♭ⅵ、♭ⅶHT、WT、WT、HT、WT、WT、WT


You can get the relative church mode by allocating the notes of a major scale sequentially to the roots (i) of the modes in the order of Aionian, Dorian, to Locrian.

On the other hand, you can get the parallel church mode by allocating the same note to the roots (i).

For example, the parallel church mode that is derived from C major scale is as follows.

 CD♭DE♭EFF#GA♭AB♭B

 

♭ⅱ♭Ⅲ#ⅳ♭ⅵ♭ⅶ

C Ionian
=C major Scale

1 2 34 5 6 7
C Dorian1 23 4 5 67 
C Phrigian12 3 4 56 7 
C Lydian1 2 3 45 6 7
C Mixolydian1 2 34 5 67 

C Aeolian

1 23 4 56 7 
C Locrian12 3 45 6 7 


Now, let’s listen to the parallel church mode!

  • C Ionian
    C、D、E、F、G、A、B

  • C Dorian
    C、D、E♭、F、G、A、B♭

  • C Phrigian
    C、D♭、E♭、F、G、A♭、B♭

  • C Lydian
    C、D、E、F#、G、A、B

  • C Mixolydian
    C、D、E、F、G、A、B♭

  • C Aeolian
    C、D、E♭、F、G、A♭、B♭

  • C Locrian
    C、D♭、E♭、F、F#、A♭、B♭


The chords that is made of parallel mode can be used as modal interchange chords.

List of Modes

There are other modes other than the one of major scale.

Here, the modes from the following scales are given as a list.

Please put this post in your favorites and use this list as a dictionary.

  • Major Scale
  • Harmonic Minor Scale
  • Melodic Minor Scale

Modes of Major Scale (=Church Mode)

ModesScale NotesParallel Modes of C Root

Ionian

ⅰ、ⅱ、ⅲ、ⅳ、ⅴ、ⅵ、ⅶC、D、E、F、G、A、B
Dorian

ⅰ、ⅱ、♭ⅲ、ⅳ、ⅴ、ⅵ、♭ⅶ

C、D、E♭、F、G、A、B♭

Phrigian

ⅰ、♭ⅱ、♭ⅲ、ⅳ、ⅴ、♭ⅵ、♭ⅶ

C、D♭、E♭、F、G、A♭、B♭

Lydian

ⅰ、ⅱ、ⅲ、#ⅳ、ⅴ、ⅵ、ⅶ

C、D、E、F#、G、A、B
Mixolydian

ⅰ、ⅱ、ⅲ、ⅳ、ⅴ、ⅵ、♭ⅶ

C、D、E、F、G、A、B♭

Aeolian

ⅰ、ⅱ、♭ⅲ、ⅳ、ⅴ、♭ⅵ、♭ⅶ

C、D、E♭、F、G、A♭、B♭

Locrianⅰ、♭ⅱ、♭ⅲ、#ⅳ、ⅴ、♭ⅵ、♭ⅶ

C、D♭、E♭、F、F#、A♭、B♭

Modes of Harmonica Minor Scale

ModesScale NotesParallel Modes of C Root

Harmonic Minor

ⅰ、ⅱ、♭ⅲ、ⅳ、ⅴ、♭ⅵ、ⅶC、D、E♭、F、G、A♭、B
Locrian Naturalⅰ、♭ⅱ、♭ⅲ、ⅳ、ⅳ#、ⅵ、♭ⅶ C、D♭、E♭、F、F#、A、B♭
Ionian#5ⅰ、ⅱ、ⅲ、ⅳ、♭ⅵ、ⅵ、ⅶC、D、E、F、A♭、A、B
Dorian#4ⅰ、ⅱ、♭ⅲ、#ⅳ、ⅴ、ⅵ、♭ⅶC、D、E♭、F#、G、A、B♭
Mixolydian♭9, ♭13ⅰ、♭ⅱ、ⅲ、ⅳ、ⅴ、♭ⅵ、♭ⅶC、D♭、E、F、G、A♭、B♭

Lydian#2

ⅰ、♭ⅲ、ⅲ、ⅳ#、ⅴ、ⅵ、ⅶC、E♭、E、F#、G、A、B
Super Locrian♭♭7ⅰ、♭ⅱ、♭ⅲ、ⅲ、ⅳ#、♭ⅵ、ⅵC、D♭、E♭、E、F#、A♭、A

Modes of Melodic Minor Scale

ModesScale NotesParallel Modes of C Root

Melodic Minor

ⅰ、ⅱ、♭ⅲ、ⅳ、ⅴ、ⅵ、ⅶC、D、E♭、F、G、A、B
Dorian♭2ⅰ、♭ⅱ、♭ⅲ、ⅳ、ⅴ、ⅵ、♭ⅶ C、D♭、E♭、F、G、A、B♭
Lydian#5ⅰ、ⅱ、ⅲ、ⅳ#、♭ⅵ、ⅵ、ⅶC、D、E、F#、A♭、A、B
Lydian♭7ⅰ、ⅱ、ⅲ、#ⅳ、ⅴ、ⅵ、♭ⅶC、D、E、F#、G、A、B♭
Mixolydian♭13ⅰ、ⅱ、ⅲ、ⅳ、ⅴ、♭ⅵ、♭ⅶC、D、E、F、G、A♭、B♭

Aeolian♭5

ⅰ、ⅱ、♭ⅲ、ⅳ、ⅳ#、♭ⅵ、♭ⅶC、D、E♭、F、F#、A♭、B♭
Alteredⅰ、♭ⅱ、♭ⅲ、ⅲ、ⅳ#、♭ⅵ、♭ⅶC、D♭、E♭、E、F#、A♭、B♭

 


Thank you very much for reading!

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