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December Music Blog

December Music Blog

Dean Cutinelli here from the Colorado School of Music. Remember we are just a call away to start your private music lessons. We offer guitar lessons, piano lessons, drum lessons, Violin lessons, vocal lessons as well orchestral instruments. Ok now on to the Dorian mode.

The Dorian Mode

The modes are a variation on either the major scale or minor scale. There are seven modes, Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian and Locrian. This month we will be discussing the Dorian mode. The Dorian mode is easiest to understand when comparing it to the natural minor scale. If you played an A natural minor scale your note are A,B,C,D,E,F,G. The Dorian mode takes the natural minor scale an augments one note. The Dorian mode has a raised 6th if compared to the natural minor scale. If we stay with A being the root of our Dorian scale your note would now be A,B,C,D,E,F#,G. By change just one note in the scale you can create whole new sound. IF you

Are familiar with your key signatures you may be saying to your self well that’s just a G major scale starting on A. Yes this is another way to theorize the Dorian scale. 

The History of the Dorian Mode

The early Byzantine church developed a system of eight musical modes (the octoechos), which served as a model for medieval European chant theorists when they developed their own modal classification system starting in the 9th century.[3] The success of the Western synthesis of this system with elements from the fourth book of De institutione musica of Boethius, created the false impression that the Byzantine octoechos was inherited directly from ancient Greece.[4]Originally used to designate one of the traditional harmoniai of Greek theory the name was appropriated (along with six others) by the 2nd-century theorist Ptolemy to designate his seven tonoi, or transposition keys.

Who uses the Dorian Mode

You can hear this scale used in rock, jazz, blues, classical and pop as well as other styles of music. 

In the blues rock vain Carlos Santana makes the Dorian mode a big part of his sound. Oye Como Va has a very strong Dorian sound. In a classical setting Beethoven‘s Missa Solemnis incorporates the Dorian scale. Milestones by Miles Davis will give 

An example of this sound in a jazz context. Last give a listen to Eleanor Rigby by the Beatles to hear us very cleverly in a pop song.

I hope after reading this you have a better Idea on what a mode is and in particular the Dorian mode. Please feel free to contact us and come in for a music lesson to learn all about the modes and anything else pertaining to music from one of our great instructor at the Colorado School of Music in Golden CO. We offer guitar lessons, piano lessons, drum lessons, violin lessons and vocal lessons as wells as orchestral instruments. 

Thanks for reading!

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Dean Cutinelli

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