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Mixolydian/Ionian/Lydian vs Dorian/Aeolian/Phrygian


(@neztok)
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Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 152
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I learned the sound of Mixolydian and Lydian by changing the one note in Ionian.

Would this work well by changing the one note of Aeolian to create Dorian and Phrygian? Or should I be comparing them to Ionian, for example?


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(@noteboat)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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Yes, it works.

Dorian = Aeolian with #6; Phrygian = Aeolian with b2.

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(@noteboat)
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By the way, that's exactly how I teach them - as major and natural minor scales with one note changed.

Comparing them to the Ionian is more complicated:

Dorian = major with b3 and b7
Phrygian = major with b2, b3, b6, and b7

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(@martmiguel)
Eminent Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 29
 

You are actually doing fine with this, divide the modes in to 2 categories, the major and the minor, each one of this categories will have a principal mode:

Major modes:
major scale

Minor modes:
minor scale

Then compare the other scales to the main scales in your categories:

Major modes:
major scale
Lidian = major + #4
Mixolidian = major + b7

Minor modes
minor scale
dorian = minor + 6 natural, not flat
Phrygian = minor + 2b

hope this helps you because it can be done with many other scales and helps a lot to learn them.

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(@fleaaaaaa)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 680
 

No mention of Locrian.... is it deemed useless?

together we stand, divided we fall..........


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(@noteboat)
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For about 400 years, yes.

The Locrian is the first documented synthetic scale - "synthetic" scales are those created by theory, rather than the usual process of a scale being used by composers, and then being analyzed by theorists.

When Heinrich Glarens realized that the four church modes (Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian) and the two secular scales (major & minor, which he named Ionian and Aeolian) could all be made from the same tones, he postulated that there must be a seventh, which he named the Locrian.

After experimenting with it, he realized it would not lead to a good melodic cadence, so he discarded it as useless. It really wasn't used again until the 1950s, and it still isn't widely used, even in the genres that do use it.

If you want to view modes as single note alterations of other scales - which is a good approach - neither the major or minor will do for the Locrian. Look at it as the Phrygian with a b5.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


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(@fleaaaaaa)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 680
 

If Locrian is so useless though.......... why does Superlocrian exist? *I don't really know what that scale is*

together we stand, divided we fall..........


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(@tinsmith)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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super-locrian exists so one can play like John McLaughlin playing Birds of Fire.


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(@noteboat)
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Superlocrian actually has nothing to do with modes.

If you look at the Locrian scale, it's 1-b2-b3-4-b5-b6-b7. Everything is flat except 4. So if you flat the four... well, that must be a SUPER locrian scale!

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