I'm having a bit of trouble with modes. Like, I know what they are, and how they're related, but, say for example would all the modes under 'C' fit in the key of C? Or if you wanted to play Dorian would you have to play D Dorian, which is all the notes of C major?
no a modal scale is in the same key as its root note. so a d dorian scale is in the key of
d minor even though it uses the notes of the c major scale.
Wouldnt some of those notes not fit in c? sorry im just a bit confused
The thing is that "C" modes are in the key of C. So C Ionian, C Dorian, C Phrygian, etc. are in "C" keys.
Quote by synthesis
no a modal scale is in the same key as its root note. so a d dorian scale is in the key of
d minor even though it uses the notes of the c major scale.

that's not right. the key of D minor is different than the D dorian mode & All the modes of C major scale are in the key of C

check here
Quote by Stash Jam
All the modes of C major scale are in the key of C

check here

Quote by Me
Now, each of these modes contain the same notes as its "parent scale", in this case, C major. So, D Dorian, for example, is D E F G A B C. Notice how D functions as the root note, not C. The thing to remember that many people get confused about when learning about modes is that none of these modes are in the key of C! They share the same notes as C major, but they are not in the key of C major. D Dorian is a D scale with minor tonality, and its root note is D. The same idea goes for the other modes.
...
Last edited by kirbyrocknroll at Mar 8, 2007,
Well the Key of C major is the only key that has no sharps or flats...

The D Dorian Mode has No sharps or flats.. So what key is D dorian in by that logic?
Quote by Stash Jam
The D Dorian Mode has No sharps or flats.. So what key is D dorian in by that logic?
By that logic it is in C major, but since the scale is a type of D minor scale, it is in the key of D minor. It's the same reason you don't write the key signature of a song that only uses A harmonic minor as just one sharp, that being G#.
Quote by Stash Jam
Well the Key of C major is the only key that has no sharps or flats...

The D Dorian Mode has No sharps or flats.. So what key is D dorian in by that logic?

D Dorian is a type of minor scale in the key of D. D is functioning as the root note, not C. Ionian is the major scale right? It is a mode in its own sense...So what key is C major in? C, right? What key is F# major in? F#, right? What key is D Dorian (another mode) in? The key of D.

D Dorian has the same notes, but is not the same scale.
Quote by Stash Jam
that's not right. the key of D minor is different than the D dorian mode & All the modes of C major scale are in the key of C

check here

D Dorian is a minor mode, and thus in the key of D minor. It just isn't in D natural minor.

Edit - Oop, a bunch of people covered that already. That's what I get from walking away from the computer and replying without refreshing!
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Quote by kirbyrocknroll
D Dorian is a type of minor scale in the key of D. D is functioning as the root note, not C. Ionian is the major scale right? It is a mode in its own sense...So what key is C major in? C, right? What key is F# major in? F#, right? What key is D Dorian (another mode) in? The key of D.

D Dorian has the same notes, but is not the same scale.

Ok I see what you guys are saying, but generally speaking Key of D Minor refers to D natural(Aeolian)minor.
Quote by Neogioh
You'll often see sheet music only composed with the key signature in only Ionian/Aeolean, and the other notes will appear as accidentals.

For example, if you have a song in A dorian, the key signature will more than often have Zero sharps (A minor/C major). In turn, any time you see a F in that piece, it will have a sharp (M6).

So we would call it A minor, even though it is in A Dorian.

Thank You! That's all I'm trying to say! I read sheet music that is by and large in that format, so that's kinda my perspective on it.

And when communicating with other musicians, if you say we're in "D minor" how are they to know if you mean D Dorian, Phrygian, or Aeolian. You would need to specify if it was a modal thing rather than just saying "D minor" and not alluding to which of the 3 possible minor modes you mean.
Quote by Neogioh
Yeah, you'd say the mode when talking to musicians.

My post was in reference to sheet music.

Yeah I hear you, I figured we were speaking with musicians here (jk)

It's all good, I was just confused by the fact that people weren't distinguishing the different types of minor. (Which is VITAL when communicating with others especially non guitarists) Thats all, sorry for any confusion
Last edited by Stash Jam at Mar 8, 2007,
"Now, each of these modes contain the same notes as its "parent scale", in this case, C major. So, D Dorian, for example, is D E F G A B C. Notice how D functions as the root note, not C. The thing to remember that many people get confused about when learning about modes is that none of these modes are in the key of C! They share the same notes as C major, but they are not in the key of C major. D Dorian is a D scale with minor tonality, and its root note is D. The same idea goes for the other modes."

I can see why people are so confused about this concept here. No formal or academic teacher would describe modes this way. It's unnecessarily complicating it. They way this site is teaching it introduces each mode as a separate key, so instead of the way regular teachers show you the 12 keys & relative minors & the fact that the modes are diatonic (i.e in the same key.) , you're presenting it as 7 different keys when they are all actually diatonic. So instead of the normal amount of key signatures musicians typically deal with, your making people here think of each mode as it's own key which adds up to 84 different keys! Thats not a good way to describe these concepts to beginners in my opinion. It's important to understand that the modes have a different tonal center, but that is not the same as changing keys.
And what are they to think of the Locrian mode from that description? A diminshed key? Something they would never encounter in music, so why present it that way?
Last edited by Stash Jam at Mar 9, 2007,
no, thats still wrong. the tonal center is basically the definition of key- and key is not the
same as key signature. a key signature is just convenient notation for common sets
of sharps and flats.
When peaple say....key D minor they talking about the relative minor,
which is the 6th degree of the parent scale diatonic/major scale.

1/2 step between 3 and 4 ....... 7 and 8

Do...... ..Ra.......Me.........Fa.........So.........La.........Te........Do..............vocal

I...........II.........III..........IV...........V..........VI.......VII..........I....................romans

ionian..dorian..phygian..lydian...mixo....aeolian..locrian...ionian...........modes

play 1 to 1 for ionain
2 to 2 for dorain....and so on and so forth.

The easiest thing to do when playing over the Leading Tone chord (VII)
is to play the locrian mode....mmm the seventh mode.lol

Over the Dominate (V) chord...play the mixolydian mode..el 5th mode.

assuming you can count...the fifth note in the key of C is G
Over the V chord...i guess it would be ...mmm G mixolian.

Each mode creates a type sound, (train your ears)
no you don't have to play all notes
or start at the root or end at the root of the mode.
Last edited by Ordinary at Mar 9, 2007,

Ra should be Re. Ra is a minor second, Re is a major second.
Me should be Mi. Me is a minor third, Mi is a major third.
Te should be Ti. Te is a minor seventh, Ti is a major seventh.

A minor second, minor third and minor seventh above the root do not occur in the major scale.
What da..... i an E..... excuss me

Now you're confusing peaple

You're thorwing in the intervals terms

yes I know the differnce between a maj 7 and a min 7

a min 3rd.....is 3b
a perfect 4th is the IV
a perfect 5th is the V......so why the hell do they just call it a perfect 7
Or a perfect 1, perfect 2nd, perfect 3rd. ?

Becuase I really want to know....about perfections

and why the heck I can't just call it a minor 5 instead of a diminish 5th
Last edited by Ordinary at Mar 9, 2007,
^What are you talking about? You said this...

Quote by Ordinary
Do...... ..Ra.......Me.........Fa.........So.........La.... .....Te........Do..............vocal

Which is incorrect. It should be Do - Re - Mi - Fa - So - La - Ti - Do. The solfege names you wrote do not name each interval correctly.

Quote by synthesis
no, thats still wrong. the tonal center is basically the definition of key- and key is not the
same as key signature. a key signature is just convenient notation for common sets
of sharps and flats.

sorry I should have worded that better. But my point was that the mode lesson may be misguiding to beginners. All the information is correct, it's just not really clear enough. This part is very helpful...

"Generally speaking, some chords that Ionian gives off its unique sound over are major, maj7, and maj6 chords, Dorian with minor, m7 and m6 chords, Phrygian with m7b9 and susb9 chords, Lydian with maj7#11 chords, Mixolydian with dominant and sus chords, Aeolian with m7b13 chords, and Locrian with m7b5 chords."

It helps you get accustomed to the unique sounds fairly quickly, especially if you practice soloing over vamps of those type of chords. And I'm sure a lot of people just read that whole mode lesson and start trying to use modes, and they may not necessarily have a full understanding/or maybe not even have a clue about crucial underlying concepts like intervals/harmony etc.

Judging by the responses in this thread people are in the mindset of "we're in the key of whatever the root note of the mode we're playing in" i.e.

Quote by kirbyrocknroll
The thing is that "C" modes are in the key of C. So C Ionian, C Dorian, C Phrygian, etc. are in "C" keys.

take a standard ii V I progression Dm7 - G7 - Cmaj7

So by the logic of "we're in the key of the root note of our mode" you'd get D dorian over the Dm7, so we're in the key of D minor. G7= G mixolydian now we're in the key of G.....etc You get the proper scale, but it's an unnecessarily complicated viewpoint that's missing the bigger picture of that progession. You're in the Key of C major for that whole progression. Those chords give the the strongest possible sense of C major tonality given their chord functions (which are mentioned in passing in that lesson) the V7-I resolution is about as strong as you get in western harmony and the ii sets that harmonic motion out very strongly.
So sure you'd play some d dorian licks in there, but you're not in the key of D minor at any point of that progression.

Sure many of you know that, but my whole point was that beginners could be confused by the mode lesson on this site if they don't really have all the necessary foundations of music down before jumping into modes
Last edited by Stash Jam at Mar 9, 2007,
^Right. That's II V I, as you said, IN THE KEY OF C. You're playing MODALLY over those chords if you choose to play D dorian, G mixolydian, and C ionian, but you're ALWAYS playing in the key of C.

The lesson is hardly confusing---it makes just as much sense as it should.
Looking for my India/Django.
This whole page just confused the hell outta me.
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D dorian is in the key of Cmaj period!!!!!!!! It`s correct that the dorian mode is a type of minorscale but when a song is the key of Dmin the whole thing is based on the chords in the D Aeolian/Natural Minor scale. Cmaj: Cmaj.Dmin,Emin,Fmaj,G,Am,Bdim
Dminmin,Edim,Fmaj,Gmin,Amin,Bbmaj,Cmaj.

D Aeolian is the same as F Ionian by the way. D dorian would sound terrible over the chords in Dmin. Try it You`ll see/hear what I mean
Quote by Neogioh
You'll often see sheet music only composed with the key signature in only Ionian/Aeolean, and the other notes will appear as accidentals.

For example, if you have a song in A dorian, the key signature will more than often have Zero sharps (A minor/C major). In turn, any time you see a F in that piece, it will have a sharp (M6).

So we would call it A minor, even though it is in A Dorian.

That doesn't make sense to me. Why not just show the key as being G maj?
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Quote by rich72
D dorian is in the key of Cmaj period!!!!!!!!

I see what you're saying, and what Stash Jam is saying, since a melody
using the D dorian scale can certainly be part of a song in C major. That doesn't
mean that every time you see a D dorian scale it is in the key of C. What if there
were a song that only used D dorian?--then it would obviously be in the key of D.
Quote by synthesis
I see what you're saying, and what Stash Jam is saying, since a melody
using the D dorian scale can certainly be part of a song in C major. That doesn't
mean that every time you see a D dorian scale it is in the key of C. What if there
were a song that only used D dorian?--then it would obviously be in the key of D.

Right, it's all about the context. (though you would have to be more specific than just calling it the key of D )

Originally Posted by Neogioh
You'll often see sheet music only composed with the key signature in only Ionian/Aeolean, and the other notes will appear as accidentals.

For example, if you have a song in A dorian, the key signature will more than often have Zero sharps (A minor/C major). In turn, any time you see a F in that piece, it will have a sharp (M6).

So we would call it A minor, even though it is in A Dorian.

Hmm, upon re-reading that I don't follow that....If a song was in "A dorian" you would still see the G major key signature, and sometimes there's a note added (like bangoodcharlote said) that would say something to the effect of *Key Signature Denotes A Dorian. So in that case you would be in a minor key (dorian)/treating A minor as your tonic, but the key sig would still use Gmaj since it's the same pool of notes & prevents unnecessarily having to use extra notation to sharp all the F's that appear in the piece.
Last edited by Stash Jam at Mar 13, 2007,