What are Modes (Ionian Mode simplified)


We all know music is as impactful as anything we can think of, but yet still, it can get wearisome when we can’t fully grasp the understanding of the knowledge of music we have so learned. Music might not be something we can ‘feel or touch’ but then, we can learn and understand it’s rules. These rules are not burdensome because they do not change. A good way to start learning the theory of music could be Modes because all of the music you hear today, have it’s root from the mode.

This article is the first in the series of modal studies. More are coming but if you need all in one e-book on MODES then send us a message in the comment box and we will send it to you. IT’S TOTALLY FREE!

What is Mode?


History of Modes

Modes have been in existence since Ancient Greece. It was called Tonos Harmonia or Octave Species. Several modes were used in church music even before the Baroque and classical period when tonality came into existence. Recall, that music have been played since time immemorial and there was nothing like tonality (tonal centre) but modes were used until baroque and classical eras.

Nevertheless, Harold Powers a musicologist, is been recognized as the first person to invent the ‘musical modes’ as a term.
Nonetheless, sequential notes with behavioral predictability have been in existence even before ancient Greek.

Having discussed this, let’s get talking about the Ionian mode.

We at Shakezmusic.com love all the instruments, but the piano is the mother of instruments and it’s easy to relate the piano to all other instruments, so we will use the piano for this particular mode and the ones we will teach you.

In recent times, musicians have tagged the Ionian mode ‘Major scale. Major as a name could be fitting to the Ionian mode because the same notes found in the Major scale are found in the Ionian mode. Countless songs make use of the Ionian mode.
Let’s begin from Minute in G by J. S. Back to the famous Happy birthday we’ve been singing and playing are all in major keys.

We will have to commit to memory, the Whole steps and Half steps. When I say whole steps and Half steps, I’m talking about Tone and semi tones. For example one step from the piano is half step while two steps is whole step.
We will build the Ionian mode from the key of C for easy memorization.
The notes of the Ionian mode are : C, D, E, F, G, A, B, and C.

Note that W means whole step while H means half step.

The picture below will give you a clearer insight to what I’m talking about.

In this figure above there are series of W’s and H’s and I’m sure you know what it means because I explained earlier.

Uses of Ionian Mode

All over tonal music, Ionian mode is used, in all the notes of the mode, they are combined to create diverse cords of the major keys that we hear. Chord progressions also act as the foundation of the songs we hear from day to day, including the symphonies.
Distinct notes from the Ionian mode forms the melodies in music written in the major keys.

Comprehension of modes in music will make sense the more, when you listen to music critically.

This is just one out of the several modes that we have.
Stay tuned for more or you indicate in the comment box if you’re interested in the e-book on MODES.

It’s free.

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