#1
Just a bit of a quick question, and asking to see if what I've learned so far is right or wrong.

From what I've learned there are 30 keys, 15 major, 15 minor. And there are seven modes:

Ionian (major)
Dorian (minor seventh)
Phrygian (???)
Lydian (???)
Mixolydian (seventh)
Aeolian (natural minor)
Locrian (half-diminished).

Modes are similar to scales, in a way, but not exactly - a set of notes. But a section of a song played in, say, C Ionian would just have all natural notes because the C Ionian Scale is all natural notes. I know this would probably just be called C Major, but it's just an example.

For that example, a song based on C Ionian (Major), would likely be in the key of C Major (right?). A song based on A Aeolian would probably be in the key of A Minor (Right?). But what about the other modes? One can say the song is in say, D Dorian, but if the song in D Dorian were to be transposed to sheet music, what would the key signature be, since there's only major and minor keys? Would it not have a key?

That last paragraph/question is the question, everything else is just what I've gotten so far. Please tell me what parts of what I have so far is wrong, if any, and please answer my question.

Thanks.
#2
I believe, from what I understand from reading all about modes, the D Dorian would be C Major key, but the D Dorian mode gives the song a different feel completely. nowhere near sure on that though
#4
I think you are confusing keys and key signatures. They're not the same thing at all. The key most basically describes the tonal center of the music i.e. where it resolves. If something is in the key of A anything, then it resolves to A. The major and minor appended on the end describes what scale is being used. However, when digging into modal territory, the concept of keys changes a little bit. If you said that a piece was in the key of D Dorian then you'd get some weird looks but people would understand you. At this point you would just say that the piece is in D Dorian.

Key signatures are collections of sharps or flats written in standard musical notation. They are only loosely related to keys, but I'm sure you can recognize the relationship yourself. Modal pieces are still written with key signatures for the convenience, but the key signature stops implying the key of the piece too.

Saying the D Dorian is in the key of C major is incorrect because C major resolves to C and D Dorian resolves to D, so it misses the most basic function of keys.
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#5
From what I've learned there are 30 keys, 15 major, 15 minor

Nay, there are 24 keys, two for each note (C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B)- one major and one minor. Some argue that there're 12, one for each note, and it doesn't matter whether your key is major or minor- it's the same so long as it resolves to the same note, but I don't like that idea. xD

Ionian (major)
Dorian (minor seventh)
Phrygian (???)
Lydian (???)
Mixolydian (seventh)
Aeolian (natural minor)
Locrian (half-diminished).

Huh?
Modes are as follows:
Ionian is the major scale, as a mode.
Dorian is the natural minor with a major 6th instead of a minor 6th, or the major scale, but with the root note as the 2nd note (in the major scale)
Phygrian is the natural minor with a flattened 2nd, or root as 3rd of the major scale.
Lydian is the major scale with an augmented 4th (sharp), or root as 4th of the major scale.
Mixolydian is the major scale with a minor 7th, this is a dominant scale since it's got a dominant 7th chord in there.
Aeolian is natural minor, as a mode.
Locrian is a mess. I look at it as natural minor with a diminished (flat) 5th and flat 2nd. It's mainly a theoretical thing, very rarely used since it's bloody hard to resolve to.

I believe, from what I understand from reading all about modes, the D Dorian would be C Major key, but the D Dorian mode gives the song a different feel completely. nowhere near sure on that though

No. D Dorian is the same notes as C major, but that's where the similarity ends pretty much. D Dorian resolves to D, C major resolves to C.

f the song in D Dorian were to be transposed to sheet music, what would the key signature be, since there's only major and minor keys? Would it not have a key?
Key of D minor (one flat), since D is the root note, and Dorian is a "minor" mode. The major 6th (difference between D minor and D Dorian is the major 6th) would be treated as an accidental, and written down as such.

*edit* See my other post below, I fudged up here.

Note: Modal music is weird. You can't really look at it on the same piece of paper as tonal music. You can (probably) write all the music you want to just using major/minor keys and accidentals. See x-darren-x's lessons on the subject, I can't find them atm. xD
Last edited by MopMaster at Jul 13, 2009,
#6
Well First off their are 42 keys(A B C D E F G, A# B# C# D# E# F# G#, Ab Bb Cb Db Eb Fb Gb, both in major or minor(For those of you who are gonna say, there is no Fb, B#, Etc... Message me and I will explain it to you!!))

I'm not sure what exactly the stuff in the parenthesis is next to the modes, doesn't make too much sense?? But those are the modes, and that is the right order.

Modes are scales!! A scale is a series of notes that start on one note, go through a specified pattern of notes and then end on the same note you started on an octave higher.
Yes, C Ionian is the same as C major!! A Aeolian is the same as A minor!!

To answer your question, let me say that C major and D Dorian(or any relative mode) are the same scale, just starting on different notes!! Also, I'm gonna guess that you Know that a major key and its relative minor key share the same key signature!! for example(C major and A minor share the same key sig). Also, you shouldn't think that you are writing a song in D Dorian! You would say that you are writing a song in C major, but you would emphasize the Dm chord a lot making it Dorian. So, you would keep the key sig C major. Hope that makes sense!! IF it doesn't message me, and I will try and help some more
#7
Interval formulas:

Ionian 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Dorian 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7
Phrygian 1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
Lydian 1 2 3 #4 5 6 7
Mixolydian 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7
Aeolian 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
Locrian 1 b2 b3 4 5 6 7

Ionian from what you can see has no sharps nor flats therefore it's major.
Dorian has flattened 3rd and 7th so yes it is minor 7th.
Phyrgian has flattened 3rd and 7th also making it minor 7th.
Lydian is major.
Mixolydian has flattened 7th, so yeaup it's a Dominant 7th.
Aeolian is the minor scale, but looking at the formula it's minor 7th.
Locrian is half diminished with flattened 3rd, 5th, and 7th.

^Correct me if I'm wrong.

Think of modes as the notes in a major scale, but starting in a different note.

Normally the A major scale is as follows: C#-D-E-F#-G#-A-B-C..

If you start on the D note, or the second degree of a scale, you have D-E-F#-G#-A-B-C#-D.. Also known as D Dorian.

If you start on the E note, or third degree of a scale, you have E-F#-G#-A-B-C#-D-E.. also known as E Phrygian.

If you start on the F note, or fourth degree of a scale, you have F#-G#-A-B-C#-D-E-F#.. also known as E Lydian.

And so forth.

5th degree -> Mixolydian
6th degree -> Aeolian (Also known as the natural minor scale)
7th degree -> Locrian

When you use modes, you change the function of each degree on the scale you might say. Yes, they're similar as they contain the exact same notes of the parent scale, but the change in role in the scales degree makes it a different soud. In E Phrygian, the Tonic is no longer C, but now E. The dominant is not G but rather B.

A song based on A Aeolian would probably be in the key of A Minor (Right?)

Nope, A Aeolian starts on the 6th degree of the parent scale. So now you just need to find what note has an A for it's 6th interval. It's C.

Edit: Now that I think of it though, A Aeolian is A Minor. And A minor is C major.. so you can go both ways I guess. But what you said though was kinda like saying if you have a song based on the key of C, it'll be in the key of C, right? =P Again, just think of the Minor keys as a mode from the major scale. Dunno why it was named the minor scale, if Dorian was named something else.. say an 'Apple' scale, you can have 3 keys- C major, A minor, or D 'Apple'.

But what about the other modes? One can say the song is in say, D Dorian, but if the song in D Dorian were to be transposed to sheet music, what would the key signature be, since there's only major and minor keys? Would it not have a key?

So basically think modes as a scale deprieved from a parent major scale. Dorian is the 2nd degree of a major scale. D is the second interval of the note C. Therefore D dorian is in the key of C. So for the key signature, there isn't any for C has no sharps nor flats.

From what I've learned there are 30 keys, 15 major, 15 minor. And there are seven modes:

Don't worry about that. Just think that everything is resolved around the major scale, and yes, the major scale can be in 12(?) different keys. I like to think minor keys as in the Aeolin mode deprived from the major scale, because it is. Guess people liked the sound of the Aeolian mode so much that they made another name for it, just as Ionian is the name for the major scale. =p Dunno the real reasoning.
Last edited by Zvahl at Jul 13, 2009,
#8
Most important thing to bear in mind is that keys and modes are separate, they're two distinct musical systems and they don't overlap - you'll only either be dealing with one or the other. If you're playing key based music, and 90% of the time you will be, then modes don't apply. Likewise if you'ree playing a modal piece then keys don't apply.
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#9
Well First off their are 42 keys(A B C D E F G, A# B# C# D# E# F# G#, Ab Bb Cb Db Eb Fb Gb, both in major or minor(For those of you who are gonna say, there is no Fb, B#, Etc... Message me and I will explain it to you!!))
No. The notes all exist, but since some of them are enharmonics (E# and F are the same note, but written differently), only one of them is used for a given major or minor scale:

For example, Bb major is Bb C D Eb F G A Bb, A# doesn't appear in there since the "correct" notation for the scale(key, if you prefer) has one of each note (A through G) in there.



Those are the "normal" way of writing the keys down. Of course, you could use A# major as your key, but it's the same notes (written differently) as Bb major. It's just a notation thing- Since the keys are both the same set of notes, and the only difference is how they're written down, they're the same thing in practice.

Finally, I quote myself as doin' it wrong here:

Key of D minor (one flat), since D is the root note, and Dorian is a "minor" mode. The major 6th (difference between D minor and D Dorian is the major 6th) would be treated as an accidental, and written down as such.

The key is D Dorian, the key signature is that of C major (since those're the notes in there). Key signatures get a bit iffy as far as telling you the tonic, they only tell you the notes in the key really. If you used the key signature of C major (no sharps or flats), you could be in any mode of C, and your tonic could be any of the notes in C major. You have to look at what's actually going on in the music to determine the tonic.