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What are the musical modes or scales?

Here are the severn scales or modern modes used by Western (and we don't mean "country") music, showing Scale Postition and an example in the key of C::

The Ionian mode is identical to the major scale of tonal music.

  • I - II - III - IV - V - VI - VII:  C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C

The Aeolian mode is identical to the natural (pure) minor scale of tonal music. Compared to Ionian, its 3rd, 6th, and 7th notes have been lowered one half-step.

  • I - II - bIII - IV - V - bVI - bVII:  C-D-Eb-F-G-Ab-Bb-C

Lydian is identical to Ionian, except that the 4th note in the scale is raised one half-step.

  • I - II - III - #IV - V - VI - VII:  C-D-E-F#-G-A-B-C

Mixolydian is identical to Ionian, except that the 7th note in the scale is lowered one half-step. Most jazz, blues and rock are played using the Mixolydian mode.

  • I - II - III - IV - V - VI - bVII:  C-D-E-F-G-A-Bb-C

Dorian is identical to Aeolian, except its 6th scale degree is raised one half-step.

  • I - II - bIII - IV - V - VI - bVII:  C-D-Eb-F-G-A-Bb-C

Phrygian is identical to Aeolian, except its 2nd scale degree is lowered one half-step.

  • I - bII - bIII - IV - V - bVI - bVII:  C-Db-Eb-F-G-Ab-Bb-C

Locrian, the theoretical mode, is identical to Aeolian, except its 2nd and 5th scale degrees are flattened. Because its 5th scale degree is flattened, this mode sounds very unstable, and thus, is seldom used.

  • I - bII - bIII - IV - bV - bVI - bVII:  C-Db-Eb-F-Gb-Ab-Bb-C

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