so i was sight reading in the key of C no sharps or flats, and i noticed that the way the scale was played was exactly the same as the phrygian mode, only like, 8 frets displaced, so i was wondering whether the key signature had any corrolation with the 7 modes or whether this was just some wierd coincedence... please excuse any spelling errors that may or may not have occured
I'm terrible at theory, so this will come off as confusing, because I suck at explaining stuff.
There's a certain order of modes that correlates with every key. Let's just use the key of C major, for example. I don't know the exact order, but for instance, the Phrygian mode (I'd assume it's the E Phrygian? I'm not sure...) contains all the same notes as C major, only emphasizes a different root note. It's the same with all modes. Whatever Aeolian is the same as C but with a different root note, something-or-other Locrian is the same as C but with a different root note, what's-its-name Dorian is the same as C but with a different root note, etc.
If someone smart would post tangible examples, it'd probably be easier to understand. I guess all I'm saying is, every single mode can contain all of the exact same notes of one specific major and one specific minor scale, only it will emphasize a different root note. A strange phenomenan, and almost, as you said yourself, a "coincidence".
There is theoretical crap backing it up, but I'm tired and don't think I'm up for the challenge of explaining it.
Do you at least halfway get it now, though?
The modes of a major scale have the same notes as the major scale itself.

So in your example, C major has C D E F G A and B, so the Phrygian mode of C major shares the same notes but starts on a different note (in the key of C major, that note is E).

Here are the modes of the C major scale (they all have the same notes, but start on a different note, giving each scale a certain feel)

C Ionian (the major scale, basically)- C D E F G A B
D Dorian- D E F G A B
E Phrygian-E F G A B C D
F Lydian-F G A B C D E
G Mixolydian-G A B C D E F
A Aeolian (the minor scale)-A B C D E F G
B Locrian-B C D E F G A

Since these modes are in the key of C major, the modes use the same notes, but start at different points.
Last edited by kirbyrocknroll at Jul 18, 2006,
Oh sweet, I was right! It is E Phrygian! I figured since I'm so tired and generally theory-retarded anyway, that I was way off. Feels good to be right.
And good explaination, Brando. A thousand times better than mine.
And with that note, I think I might just be signing off to get some sleep. Later.
gotcha, thanks guys, its all so clear now