Introduction to Modes

Daniel Lee

This lesson will introduce the Lydian, Mixolydian, and Dorian modes, as well as connect the major and minor scales/keys to the terms of Ionian and Aeolian. Students will need to know the WT/HT sequence within major and minor scales before receiving this lesson, and the visuals in this lesson include examples in treble, bass, and alto clefs. Also, musical excerpts and review/assessment examples are given in various keys.

            This lesson is appropriate for undergraduate or high school theory students, or for anyone desiring a review of modes. During the lesson an acknowledgement of the system of assigning modes to specific white-key groups on the piano may be made (Dorian as D to D, Lydian as F to F, and Mixolydian as G to G), but the lesson focuses more on the altered pitches compared to the nearest major or minor scale, so students will be able to identify modes on any tonic/key center. This lesson was originally delivered via Zoom, and a copy of the slideshow used is included.