The Ionian Mode

The Ionian Mode is the musical mode which is commonly referred to as the Major Scale. It can be played by playing from C to C on a keyboard or piano. The name was given by Heinrich Glarean in 1547.

C Ionian fretboard diagram

This is the fret board diagram for the C Ionian Scale, but if you want to play it on the piano, here is the formula for any Ionian Scale:

W = Whole Step

H = Half Step

Tonic – W – W – H – W – W – W – H – Tonic

You can use this formula starting on any tonic, such as A:

A – B – C# – D – E – F# – G# – A

or Eb:

Eb – F – G – Ab – Bb – C – D – Eb

The Ionian Mode is the most common mode used in music and other modes are rarely used in today’s music.

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