#1
I'm working towards conquering modes of the major scale but keep becoming unsure as to when I can use a mode, my understanding is that you use the mode relative to the major scale but I want to know why this isnt true in some cases, for example, a book I have shows a piece in A major/F# minor but uses the F# Dorian...how can F# Dorian work over the progression if the Dorian mode of A major is B Dorian?

Thanks!
#2
Without the benefit of the source material, I'd say the piece is in F#m and the music utilizes the natural 6th of the Dorian scale. Notice that F#m and F# Dorian are extremely similar:

Minor: F# G# A B C# D E
Dorian:F# G# A B C# D# E

What's really going on in this piece, since it's likely (99%) not modal, the music is using the Natural Minor scale, but using (possibly abusing) the natural 6th as an accidental.
Nothing that is worthwhile in life will ever come easy.
#3
Unless a song is STRICTLY diatonic (that is, only uses the 7 notes of that key) then you can often successfully swap around simular scales i.e. minor, dorian, phrygian etc without the song actually being modal. Think of it as using a different flavor- instead of your regular coffee, you might go for decaff or an expresso.
#4
Quote by SilverSpurs616
Think of it as using a different flavor- instead of your regular coffee, you might go for decaff or an expresso.


But, I hate coffee!

On topic, I'd like to point out that the natural 6th in a minor key is already accounted for by the Melodic Minor scale. In minor tonality, it's generally assumed that you can and will pick various elements of the Natural, Harmonic and Melodic Minors to put in your composition. Now, if you used a b2, you might consider that a Phrygian influence, but it wouldn't be Phrygian and it most assuredly wouldn't be modal.
Nothing that is worthwhile in life will ever come easy.
#5
Quote by soviet_ska
But, I hate coffee!

On topic, I'd like to point out that the natural 6th in a minor key is already accounted for by the Melodic Minor scale. In minor tonality, it's generally assumed that you can and will pick various elements of the Natural, Harmonic and Melodic Minors to put in your composition. Now, if you used a b2, you might consider that a Phrygian influence, but it wouldn't be Phrygian and it most assuredly wouldn't be modal.


That's very true indeed- hey, now I've learnt something from this thread!