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.
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.