Asked • 03/18/19

Do modes exist in the harmonic / melodic minor scales?

I'm trying to get my head around modes and the tonal center. In my understanding the natural minor scale is the same as the Aeolian mode. However, when considering the mix-up that happens in the harmonic and melodic minor scales, this led me to wonder. Do the modes bear any relation with these two minor scales? Like, if I'm playing Harmonic minor C scale with a tonal center of the D. Could that be considered Harmonic Dorian D? If I'm way off with my question, please explain why I'm off, it will help me to touch base

Buzz A.

Yes...each degree has it's own scale..In melodic minor it's dorian b2,,Lydian augmented, Lydian dominant, mixolydian b6, aeolian b5 and altered locrian In the harmonic minor they are: Locrian #6, Ionian #5, Dorian #4, Phrygian dominant, Lydian #2 and superlocrian


2 Answers By Expert Tutors


Joe F. answered • 01/02/21

New to Wyzant

Patient and Knowledgeable Music Theory Instructor

Ben R. answered • 01/12/20

New to Wyzant

UC Berkeley Music Grad, Specializing in Piano and Music Theory

David M.

It's a great answer until the statement about the 14 modes yielding "the total number of ways seven notes on the piano can be arranged in a scale" spanning an octave. First of all, what about the harmonic minor and harmonic major modes, fairly common in modern jazz? Then, if you are interested in calculating all possible ways to arrange seven notes within an octave, you should probably start with a seven-note fragment of the chromatic scale, like c-c#-d-d#-e-f-f#-c'.


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