Mixolydian Mode

The Mixolydian mode is Mode 7 of the church modes used in Gregorian chant. In modern terms, it is most easily described as the scale from G to G using only the white notes of the piano. In order to construct the scale starting on other notes, follow the pattern ascending from tonic: whole step – whole step – half step – whole step – whole step – half step – whole step.

A handout showing the mode starting from all twelve notes is available here.

The Mixolydian mode is considered a major mode because of the major third above the tonic. It differs from the major scale by having a lowered seventh degree. The ancient Greek Mixolydian mode in the diatonic genus resembles the Locrian mode rather than the ecclesiastical Mixolydian mode.

Some themes in the Mixolydian mode include:

  • Asperges me
  • Puer Natus Est
  • In Paradisum

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