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fiddlers, please help with modal names


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i've seen lots of posts about modes. sadly, it didn't sink in till kevin showed me (a picture's worth...) but i'm having trouble with what you call them.

what i've gotten so far from a website is that if i'm playing a tune using a scale that's off the second note in the scale of D that that's an E dorian. i'm gonna say that twice cos i know i'm not explaining it very well. the scale goes from E to E with a signature like the scale of D (F# and C#) and it's a minor sounding scale.

i guess what i'm having trouble with is, i'd have thought that would be called D dorian. it makes more sense to me to take the name of the scale, then add dorian, ionian, whatever to let you know what note you're starting on.

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Oh boy, this is hard to put in words. You have to think of the modes not as associated with a certain key, but rather as a template pattern of half steps and whole steps that don't correspond with a "scale" per se. If you have E Dorain, for instance, the "Dorian" part tells you that you have a certain pattern of half and whole steps to use that give it that modal quality: whole, whole, half, whole, whole, whole, half, whole. The "E" part tells you what note you have to start on, just like different keys of a scale. I hope that helped some, it's quarter to 5 AM and I'm not at my most lucid...

[This message has been edited by MarvyMei (edited 05-05-2001).]

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