Musical Modes Applied To Moon Phases

Musical Modes Applied To Moon Phases…

Prompt: Phase

In music theory, the Modes of the Major Scale are 7 scales made from one scale, through the process of starting on every successive note. For example, if you start on the 2nd note of the Major Scale, Mode 2 is created. Since there are 7 notes in the Major Scale, 7 Modes can be created from it. The Modes can be referred by number, but they also have Greek names such as Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, etcetera.

Each Mode has its own “mood,” determined mathematically by its “interval contents,” which means the distance of each note from the starting note. For example, the Phrygian Mode has a “flat 2” which makes it sound “darker” than most of the other Modes. Once upon a time I thought, “The Modes can be ordered according to their brightness or darkness – there is a brightest and a darkest, just like the phases of the Moon!” I think about these sorts of things… patterns and correlations.

So, I ordered the Modes in terms of brightness:

  1. Lydian (brightest)
  2. Ionian
  3. Mixolydian
  4. Dorian
  5. Aeolian
  6. Phrygian
  7. Locrian (darkest)

Next, I attempted to make these Mode names act as labels on a diagram of the Moon phases. Sure enough, it all lines up perfectly:

^ “Moon Modes” from the book “Chaos In Boxes: twisted adventures in music theory” ^

When I discovered this correlation through my own ponderance and action, I was very excited, needless to say. The “Moon Modes” made their way into the e-Book version of my book “Chaos In Boxes: twisted adventures in music theory.”

^ cover for my book “Chaos In Boxes” ^

So… if the Moon is full, practice your Lydian Mode; if it’s a quarter-moon, play the Dorian Mode. Easy!

End of report.



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