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March 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, ukulele lessons, piano lessons, drum lessons, Violin lessons, vocal lessons as well orchestral instruments. Now on the our discussion of the Mixolydian scale.

The Mixolydian  Scale

The Mixolydian scale or mode as it is more commonly referred to is the 5th mode of the seven modes that are derived from ancient greek music. If you were to play a C major scale starting on the 5th scale degree you would be playing G Mixolydian. The notes for the scale would be G, A, B, C, D, E, and F. Yes this can be theorized by say this is just a C major scale starting on G. The model sound can also be described as a major scale with a flatted 7th degree. Again If we take the notes G, A, B, C, D, E and F again you would have the G Mixolydian scale. This mode is great for improvising over a dominant 7th chord. The dominant 7th chord is comprised of a root major third, perfect 5th, and minor 7th interval. There for our notes for G7 are G, B, D and F. Try playing the G Mixolydian scale over the G7 chord to hear how well these fit together.

The History of Mixolydian 

The idea of a Mixolydian mode comes from the music theory of ancient Greece. The invention of the ancient Greek Mixolydian mode was attributed to Sappho, the 7th-century-B.C. poet and musician.[1] However, what the ancient Greeks thought of as Mixolydian was very different from the modern interpretation of the mode.

Who uses the Mixolydian Mode

You can hear this scale used in traditional music, pop, rock, blues Jazz and classical music.  As we are discussing music it’s always best to listen to some different songs that incorporate this scale or sound in there music. A traditional song would be Old Joe Clark. In a classical setting Bach uses this sound in “Fughetta super: Dies sind die heilgen zehn Gebot” in G Major. In popular music give a listen to Clocks by Cold play. In All Blues by Miles Davis you can here it used in a blues context. 

I hope after reading this you have a better Idea on what a mode is and in particular the Mixolydian 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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