Index of Seven-Note Scales Known in the Art

Near the beginning of the Middle Ages, the term ‘Mode’ referred only to the 7 unique scales that could be based within the Diatonic Scale, which holds the Major Scale. A Melody was created around any one of the 7 notes, treating it as a root-note which would stay tonally emphasized by the melody throughout the duration of the passage. The respect found of these primary modes is perhaps one of the most important milestones in harmony theory’s history. A distinct Mood is projected from each Mode.

Of the Diatonic Scale; Common in Most Music:

Present Modary Name:


Technical Name:

Traditional Name:

Main Red


Lydian Mode

Main Orange


Ionian Mode

Major Scale

Main Yellow


Mixolydian Mode

Main Green


Dorian Mode

Main Blue


Aeolian Mode

Natural Minor Scale

Main Indigo


Phrygian Mode

Main Violet


Locrian Mode

Inevitably harmonization developed further, and songs became more sophisticated while harmony theory tried to stay in par with the new songs. Meanwhile, theorists were distracted by a mathematical phenomenon called the Harmonic Series, which is responsible for the creation of tone itself. They believed it should be adhered to for our tuning as well. Thus Equal-Temperament, which is the foundation of the chromatic tuning that we use today, was hardly dreamed of. Composers were creating newer progressions that only new mathematical concepts could explain, and there was no justification of the math of equal-temperament until the 16th century.

Around the time that equal-temperament was being discussed along with great efforts to compromise between equal-temperament and the harmonic series, classical harmony was frequently utilizing variances of the diatonic minor scale, namely: the harmonic minor scale and the melodic minor scale. Now that equal-temperament is a part of our modern scientific understanding, we are beginning to accept the fact that both the harmonic minor scale and the melodic minor scale also each have seven modes.

Of Melodic Minor; common in Jazz Harmony:

Present Modary Name:


Estimated Name:

Traditional Name:

Sub Red


Lydian #5 Mode

Lydian Augmented Sc.

Sub Orange


Lydian b7 Mode

Acoustic Scale

Sub Yellow


Ionian b3 Mode

Melodic Minor Scale

Sub Green


Mixolydian b6 Mode

Major-Minor Scale

Sub Blue


Dorian b2 Mode

Sub Indigo


Aeolian b5 Mode

Half-Diminished Scale

Sub Violet


Superlocrian Mode

Altered Scale

Of Harmonic Minor; common in Classical Harmony:

Present Modary Name:


Estimated Name:

Traditional Name:

North Red


Lydian #2 Mode

North Orange


Ionian #5 Mode

North Yellow


Dorian #4 Mode

Ukrainian Dorian Scale

North Green


Aeolian #7 Mode

Harmonic Minor Scale

North Blue


Mixolydian b2b6

Phrygian Dominant Sc.

North Indigo


Phrygian b5 Mode

North Violet


Superlocrian bb7 Mode

A Scale is defined as any fixed set of notes within an octave, while a Mode is defined more specifically as any fixed qualified set of only 7 of the 12 chromatic notes available within an octave. The qualifications of modes are provided by this new modal system. A mode is inately a member of a Spectrum containing seven modes.

The Modary™ System provides color labeling for each of its 119 qualified modes; these modes are collectively members of 17 unique spectrums. So in this system the modes can be labeled briefly with an abbreviation of their spectrum followed by an abbreviation of their color, for example: MB for Main Blue. For simplicity's sake, the Modal Surf™ tool is providing chordal accompaniment for only 25 of the system's most melodic modes (only 8 of the spectrums); however, all 119 modes were necessary to the underlying correlation upon which the Modal Harmony Map was established.

Present Modary Name:


Estimated Name:

Traditional Name:

North Green


Aeolian #7 Mode

Harmonic Minor Scale

South Yellow


Ionian b6 Mode

Harmonic Major Scale

Some of the system's spectrums are independantly balanced while others like North and South are graphically opposite. The most melodic mode of the North Spectrum is shown again above, along with the most melodic mode of the South Spectrum. The following is a list of more of the system's modes which are already being recognized in the art as valid scales:

Present Modary Name:


Estimated Name:

Traditional Name:

Reflective Green


Double Harmonic Scale

Reflective Yellow


Hungarian Minor Scale

East Green


Aeolian #4 Mode

Gypsy Scale

East Blue


Phrygian #7 Mode

Neapolitan Minor Sc.

Dissolving Green


Neapolitan Major Sc.

Dissolving Blue


Major Locrian Scale

Sugar Blue


Persian Scale

The modes listed on this page are those which are already commonly known in the art. In addition to these, the Modary System introduces other modal-scales which are necessary for the system to function. Some of these are equally melodic in nature to those above, while others are too strange in sound to be alone presented. Nevertheless, they are all necessary for the Map of Harmony to be obtained. With this map, we can explain how Modulation works and how to build scales containing more than 7 notes. Add the dimension of time, and the map is able to reveal physical circumstances that exert influence on Tonality within Music-Space.

Helpful insight for the above article was obtained at the following:

All-Piano-Scales.Com: Musical-Modes

Wikipedia: List of Musical Scales and Modes

The Modary