Friday, December 6, 2013

Is there a “Do-Re-Mi” for other Modes besides the Major Scale?

That’s a question I asked myself last night.  Most of us know that "do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do" is the major (Ionian) scale.  But I was wondering if there were similar syllables you could sing or hum to represent other modes such as dorian, mixolydian and aeolian?  I think I’ve found the answer.
Before I get any further, I’m going to change the spelling of these notes to be more phonetic.  It’s easier for me to visualize/internalize it as "doh, ray, mee, fah, soh, lah, tee, doh".

In "doh, ray, mee, fah, soh, lah, tee, doh" the root note is “doh”.  So you can call this "Doh Ionian”, for the Ionian scale with the root note "doh".  Anytime you use the Ionian intervals of Whole, Whole ,Half, Whole, Whole, Whole, Half you have "doh, ray, mee, fah, soh, lah, tee, doh", regardless of what key you are in.

To make a “Do-Re-Mi” for another mode, all you have to do is start with “ray” instead of “doh”.  For example…

"ray, mee, fah, soh, lah, tee, doh, ray" would be Ray Dorian.

“mee, fah, soh, lah, tee, doh, ray, mee" would be Mee Phrygian.

"fah, soh, lah, tee, doh, ray, mee, fah" would be Fah Lydian.

"soh, lah, tee, doh, ray, mee, fah, soh" would be Soh Mixolydian.

"lah, tee, doh, ray, mee, fah, soh, lah" would be Lah Aeolian.

"tee, doh, ray, mee, fah, soh, lah, tee" would be Tee Locrian.

"doh, ray, mee, fah, soh, lah, tee, doh" comes back around to Doh Ionian.

By starting on a different note than “Doh” you change the key of the scale and the intervals between the notes are different.  When the intervals are different it no longer sounds like the major (Ionian) scale, so you end up with “Do-Re-Mi’s” for each of the 7 modes.

No comments:

Post a Comment