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Music Theory for Computer Musicians by Michael Hewitt

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The Seven Modal Scales

So what are these modal scales? The major scale itself is one of the old modal scales, except that it had a different name.

The Ionian Mode

As mentioned a moment ago, the major scale is one of the old modal scales, but it was called the Ionian mode (see Figure 20.1). This mode had a bad reputation in the Middle Ages, being also called the Wanton mode. This is because ancient Greek musicians and philosophers linked it with the planet Venus—the goddess of love and lust. The Church was thus rather afraid of its use in case it inspired carnal feelings amongst the brethren!

Figure 20.1. The Ionian mode: Key of C.

As in the ...

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