- Ionian mode
The Ionian mode is a
musical modeof diatonic scale. It was part of the music theoryof ancient Greece, and was based around the relative natural scale in C (that is, the same as playing all the 'white notes' of a piano from C to C). This simple scale was called the Hypophrygian modein Greek theory, and the Ionian mode must have been a different, perhaps chromatic, variation of this.
The term "Ionian mode" fell into disuse in mediaeval Europe. Church music was based around eight
musical modes: the relative natural scales in D, E, F and G, each with their authentic and plagal counterparts. However, Greek music theory was poorly understood, and the modes in G were called Mixolydian and Hypomixolydian (authentic and plagal modes, respectively).
1547, Heinrich Glareanpublished his "Dodecachordon". Central to its premise was the idea that there were twelve diatonic modes rather than eight. It seems that the additional modes were used in popular folk music, but were not part of the official church repertory. Glarean borrowed the Greek term "Ionian" for a quite different mode. He added "Ionian" as the name of the "new" eleventh mode: the relative natural mode in C with the perfect fifthas its dominant, reciting noteor "tenor". The twelfth mode was the plagal version of the Ionian mode, called "Hypoionian" (under Ionian), based on the same relative scale, but with the major thirdas its "tenor", and having a melodic range from a perfect fourthbelow the tonic, to a perfect fifthabove it.
As mediaeval monophonic church music was replaced by
polyphonicmusic, the "folk" modes added by Glarean became the basis of the minor/major division of classical European music, the Ionian mode being the major mode.
The Ionian mode of Glarean is effectively the same as the ancient Greek
Lydian modeand the modern major mode. However, it would not be correct to refer to any piece in a now-traditional major key as being in the Ionian mode, which would imply that the style of the piece was modal, which is usually not the case with music in a major key as understood today.
* [http://gosk.com/scales/major-scale-for-guitar.php Ionian mode for guitar] at GOSK.com
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