Lessons > Scale Theory > Modes - Part 2

Modes - Part 2

There are two different perspectives to view modes from to help you understand how they are constructed: the relative view and the altered/parallel view.

The relative view involves looking at the different modes of a scale whilst staying within the same set of notes. Below you can see that if you start on D and travel through the C major scale you end up with the D Dorian mode. D Dorian has the same notes as C Ionian but it is a different scale. This is because it has a different interval pattern (shown in modes part 1).

Relative modes of the C major scale

C   D   E   F   G   A   B   C   C Ionian
1   2   3   4   5   6   7   1    
                                 
D   E   F   G   A   B   C   D   D Dorian
1   2   b3   4   5   6   b7   1    
                                 
E   F   G   A   B   C   D   E   E Phrygian
1   b2   b3   4   5   b6   b7   1    
                                 
F   G   A   B   C   D   E   F   F Lydian
1   2   3   #4   5   6   7   1    
                                 
G   A   B   C   D   E   F   G   G Mixolydian
1   2   3   4   5   6   b7   1    
                                 
A   B   C   D   E   F   G   A   A Aeolian
1   2   b3   4   5   b6   b7   1    
                                 
B   C   D   E   F   G   A   B   B Locrian
1   b2   b3   4   b5   b6   b7   1    

 

The parallel or altered view involves looking at different modes that are all in the same key. This enables you to easily see the different intervals. For example the C Ionian and C Dorian mode (below) both have an interval of a tone between their 1st and 2nd degrees (C to D). This would not be so easy to see using the relative view (check the diagram above).

Parallel modes with a root of C

C   D   E   F   G   A   B   C   C Ionian
1   2   3   4   5   6   7   1    
                                 
C   D   Eb   F   G   A   Bb   C   C Dorian
1   2   b3   4   5   6   b7   1    
                                 
C   Db   Eb   F   G   Ab   Bb   C   C Phrygian
1   b2   b3   4   5   b6   b7   1    
                                 
C   D   E   F#   G   A   B   C   C Lydian
1   2   3   #4   5   6   7   1    
                                 
C   D   E   F   G   A   Bb   C   C Mixolydian
1   2   3   4   5   6   b7   1    
                                 
C   D   Eb   F   G   Ab   Bb   C   C Aeolian
1   2   b3   4   5   b6   b7   1    
                                 
C   Db   Eb   F   Gb   Ab   Bb   C   C Locrian
1   b2   b3   4   b5   b6   b7   1