Musical Modes Characteristics

Here are how I characterize the different musical modes:

Ionian or Major – Bright and joyful.

Aeolian or Minor – Sad and oppressive.

Dorian – Sad but hopeful. Like the minor scale but with a slight difference that is the raised 6th note (the Dorian 6th).

Phrygian – Dark and tension-filled. Great for heavy metal, flamenco and jazz. It has an oriental and Spanish feel to it.

Lydian – Mystical and mainly used in jazz. It is a major scale with a raised 4th.

Mixolydian – Blues, rock, jazz, and funk use this one. Similar to the major scale in feel, but with a bit of a difference.

Locrian – Unstable and tense is the Locrian scale’s forte. It has a dissonance to it.