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Dry Dry Sea

Joined: 9 May 2021
Gender: Male
Posts: 115
Location: Earth or Oslo

10 May 2021, 2:47 pm


Can you Define Diatonic for me?

And is this correct? Slash means hirearchially under:

Diatonic Scales/Modal Tone Arts/ionian scales?

I have a lesson tomorrow

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Joined: 3 May 2016
Age: 41
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,266
Location: Yorkshire, UK

11 May 2021, 9:58 am

It varies.

The most common usage I've encoutered is: Diatonic = the standard major scale and the three standard minor scales (melodic ascending, melodic descending, harmonic.) Diatonic scales can start on any note.

Or, from purists: Diatonic = only the major scale.

In modal jazz, "diatonic modes" are those built by taking the major scale and starting at different points on it. The first diatonic mode, "Ionian", starts on the first note so it's literally just a major scale. Start on the second note and you get Dorian, third note Phrygian etc. (They don't consider modes based on the melodic ascending minor or the harmonic minor scales to be "diatonic.")

It looks like your tutorial material is from a modal jazz point of view. In which case, they've just found a really confusing way to say "This is a major scale."

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.