Fundamentals of
SCALES AND KEY SIGNATURES

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INTRODUCTION

In the Middle Ages, music was often composed of eight tone scales that did not follow the pattern of major and minor scales. These early scales were called modes. Modal scales have since been used in many periods and styles of music.

Most modal scales are classified as major or minor. The major modal scales are: Lydian, Ionian, and Mixolydian. The minor modal scales are: Dorian, Aeolian, and Phrygian. The Locrian modal scale is neither major nor minor, it tends toward minor and will be discussed with the minor modal scales.


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Last Updated: March 31, 2012