theory from Frank Singer.comMixolydian scales | print this page | close this window |

Mixolydian scales are seven-note scales. Mixolydian is one of the seven Church Modes, or simply modes. The mixolydian scale conforms to the following scale formula:

scale degree [ formula ] 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7
solfege syllable do re mi fa sol la te
key of C [ C mixolydian ] C D E F G A Bb

The mixolydian scale contains all four notes of the seventh chord (1-3-5-b7). The additional tones are scale degree two, scale-degree four, and scale-degree six. Scale-degree [b]seven is the most characteristic tone of the mixolydian scale, and uniquely identifies mixolydian. The basic quality of mixolydian is major.

scale degree tension functional availability
2 9 I7, IV7, V7, bVII7, all paralell 7ths
4 [NA] any 7sus4
6 13 I7, IV7, V7, bVII7, all paralell 7ths

style approach usable chords in style
blues by chord I7, IV7, V7, bVII7
modal by chord I7, I7sus4, any paralell 7 or 7sus4 with 9 & 13
[ sc degree 4 functions as SC or PT on 7th ]
modal by key I7, bVII7 [ adjunct chord contains scale-degree bseven ]
modal by key modal vamp (no changes/progression)

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