Short, to-the-point, and easy-to-understand classical music composer biography on Claude Debussy provided by Five Minute Mozart.

Mode Construction // Mixolydian Mode (5 of 7)

Run time: 4m 27s  |  Release Date: September 28th, 2020

Section 1 - "Relation To Major Scale"

So far in this video series on modes we learned how each scale degree of a Major scale may be considered the tonic, or first scale degree, if a different Mode. For example, in video two we learned how the Dorian mode can be built off the second scale degree of a Major scale. In video three we discussed how the third scale degree of any Major scale can be the tonic of a Phrygian mode, and most recently in video four, how the Lydian mode can be constructed from any Major scale's fourth scale degree.

Well, in that same respect, the Mixolydian mode may be built off of the fifth scale degree of a corresponding Major scale. For example, by looking at the notes of a C Major scale we can see that the fifth note in the scale is the note G. Knowing this, if we play all of the notes in the key of C Major from the fifth scale degree G to the octave above that note we will be playing all of the notes of G Mixolydian.

In that same respect, the fifth scale degree of an F Major scale is the note C natural. Playing all of the notes in the key of C Major from C natural to C natural would result in a C Mixolydian scale.

Section 2 - "Similar To Major Scale"

Similar to the Lydian mode which we discussed in the previous video, the notes of the Mixolydian mode are almost identical to the notes of a Major scale. However, compared to the notes of a Major scale, the seventh scale degree of the Mixolydian scale is flattened by one half step. This gives it a very distinctive tonal characteristic which blends both Major and minor.

Here are the notes of a C Major scale. We can see that the seventh scale degree, or the seventh note in the scale, is the note B natural. If we flatten the note B natural one half step to the notes B-flat we will have changed the scale from C Major to C Mixolydian. Let's listen to the subtle difference between C Major and C Mixolydian.

This same method may be applied to any Major scale. For instance, the seventh scale degree of a G Major scale is the note F-sharp. If we lower the note F-sharp one half step to the note F natural we will have changed the notes of the scale from G Major to G Mixolydian.

Here's G Major. And here's G Mixolydian.

Section 3 - "Unique Pattern of Steps"



Each scale, Major, minor, or otherwise, can be constructed and identified by its unique pattern of steps. To construct a Mixolydian scale above any given note, follow this pattern of steps: whole step, whole step, half step, whole step, whole step, half step, whole step.

Let's use this pattern of steps to construct a D Mixolydian. Starting on the note D, one whole step takes us to the note E. A whole step above E is the note F-sharp. A half step above F-sharp is the note G. G to A is a whole step. A to B is another whole step. A half step above the note B is the note C. And finally, C to D is a whole step. This pattern of steps may be used to construct the Mixolydian mode above any note.

Section 4 - "Dominant Chord"

The Mixolydian mode is a very important scale in many genres of music including jazz and the blues. The flattened seventh scale degree, combined with the root note, third scale degree, and fifth scale degree, produces the notes of a Dominant seven chord. We will go further into depth on seventh chords in a later video.

Section 5 - "Wrap Up"

In the next video, we are going to learn about the mode which is built from the sixth scale degree of a Major scale, the Aeolian mode.


Watch Next:

13f - Modes (Aeolian).png

In the first video of this series we learned how the Ionian mode is simply just another name for the notes of a Major scale. Well in that same respect, the notes of the Aeolian mode are exactly the same as the notes of a natural minor scale. In other words, Aeolian mode is simply another name for the minor scale.
Just like the natural minor scale, the notes of the Aeolian mode may be constructed from the sixth scale degree of a Major scale.


Here are the notes of a C Major scale. Because the note A is the sixth scale degree, playing all of the notes in the key of C Major from the note A, to the next octave, a note also with the letter name A, would result in an A minor