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Musical Modes and their Emotions & Characteristics (for EDM)

musical modes and their emotions

Musical modes and their characteristics or emotions help us set certain moods for our tracks. In modern electronic music, this can be extremely helpful to create a very specific vibe in your tracks. Modes can also help you add an unexpected flair to your melody and songwriting. Musical modes can be divided by their tonalities: Major, Minor, and Diminished (locrian mode). Ableton Live 11 has a nice new scale feature which also allows you to highlight modes. Here's a quick list of modes and emotions to chose from:

 

Ionian Mode (common major scale): - Bright, Joyful, Stable

- example: Chainsmokers - Closer

 

Dorian Mode (m): - Jazzy, Bluesy, Rocky, Thoughtful, Uncertain, Sophisticated

- example: Dropkick Murphy - Shipping Up to Boston

 

Phrygian Mode (m): - Exotic, Latin, Lively, Dark, Mystic

- examples: NGHTMRE - Burn Out, DJ Snake - Turn Down For What

 

Lydian Mode (M): - Hopeful, Dreamy, Heavenly, Yearning, Ethereal, Uplifting

- examples: Zelda - Lost Woods, Andrew Bayer - Once Lydian

 

Mixolydian Mode (M): - Positive, Bluesy, Rocky, Poppy, Searching

- examples: Galantis - Peanut Butter Jelly

 

Aeolian Mode (Common minor scale): - Sad, Melancholic, Romantic, Oppressive

- examples: Skrillex - Scary Monsters, The Weeknd - The Hills

 

Locrian Mode (m):

- Complex, Unstable, Exotic, Tense

 

Here's a nice post on reddit, taking this a bit further.

If you like to learn more about setting moods, writing chords and melodies, feel free to check out our "Harmony" course series. 

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 Check out our new MELODY COURSE: 

We are offering a great Future Bass MIDI Pack with predesigned melodies and chord progressions to chose from as inspiration. Also, if you want to dive deeper into writing chords, feel free to take a look at our course: Harmony & Chord Progressions.



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