Fun with Modes

Here “modes” include anything that has a weird scale. Modes are usually taught as a scale beginning on a white key and using only white keys. This yields C major, A minor, and five modes. The one that starts on B, Locrian, is hostile in the extreme and rarely employed.

But there is no need to stick to these scales. Any seven notes will do, or any other number. There are several hundred possible. My composition teacher seems to like to fool with these sorts of scales.


A Sharp Scale

Just what it says, A normal C scale with A sharp instead of A: “C D E F G A# B”

-audio

-score in portrait orientation

-score in landscape orientation


The Tuareg Scale

This scale in C has D and A flat: “C Db E F G Ab B”  It was concocted my my daughter and her friend, who named it and played it incessantly to stress-test any nearby adults.

-audio

-score in portrait orientation

-score in landscape orientation



Mode Exercise

For my standard modal exercises, I decided to have them all be in the key of C, so C Dorian, C Phyrigian, etc. Here they are…


Iconic Ionian

The normal major scale. “C D E F G A B”

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-score in portrait orientation


Dreadful Dorian

The all white key version would starts on D. Here I use  “C D Eb F G A Bb”

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-score in portrait orientation


Phryghtful Phrygian

Start a white key scale on E. Scale used here is  “C Db Eb F G Ab Bb”

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-score in portrait orientation


Laborious Lydian

Then an F white scale. Scale here is  “C D E F# G A B”

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-score in portrait orientation


Mirthful Mixolydian

Then G. Scale used is  “C D E F G A Bb”

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-score in portrait orientation


Anguished Aeolian

The normal minor scale. Scale used is  “C D Eb F G Ab Bb”

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-score in portrait orientation


Ludicrous Locrian

The white scale version starts from B. Scale used here is  “C Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb”  Composing in Locrian is a musical migraine headache.

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-score in portrait orientation

 

 

 

 

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