Modal Scales - Ionian

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Although these modal scales are covered throughout the mini-courses we have decided to feature them all together as a little mini-course in themselves.

The Locrian and Lydian modes are now included in this course but are not always in the theory exam syllabii. The videos also cover the chords (often used in Jazz and Popular music) that derive from the scales.

C major scaleOur familiar Major scale derives from the Ionian mode which was the original Greek form of the scale.

In major scales the semi-tones fall between the 3rd and 4th degrees and the 7th and 8th (marked on the illustration with brackets.

C major has no sharps or flats in the key signature as does its ‘relative’ A minor – The minor scale is actually derived from the Aeolian and Dorian forms (next)

  • Now just using the notes of the C major scale if we start on C we would have the Ionian mode
  • If we began on D (C major scale) we have the Dorian Mode
  • beginning on E we have the Phrygian mode
  • moving from F we get the Lydian mode
  • from the note G begins the Mixolydian mode
  • starting at A we have the Aeolian mode
  • and finally from B we have the Locrian mode

I could never find a good way of remembering the correct order for exams, the nearest (which worked for me) was IRON DOOR FRIDGE LIDS MIXES ALIEN LOCKS – it’s just slightly easier to remember!

Now watch the Video below