Dorian Blue

by Karl Hitzemann

Here is another great song in our popular musical concepts category. This time, we are singing about musical modes. Well, one in particular - Dorian. There are seven basic modes (Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, and Locrian), each with its own unique sound. Some modes are used more than others, of course. The easiest way to think of a mode is to start with a C major scale (Ionian mode). Each subsequent mode starts on the next note of the C scale. So, Dorian starts on the D and has the same key signature as C major. Then, Phrygian starts on E, Lydian on F, and so on. These modes can be transposed into any other key.

The Dorian mode has found many interesting uses in classical and modern music. Several recognizable songs have been written in it, such as "Eleanor Rigby," "Scarborough Fair," "Purple Haze," and "A Horse With No Name," just to name a few.

This song features a lovely string section with violin and cello solos played beautifully by Phil Palermo and Dennis McCafferty, respectively. The melody is rather haunting and pensive, as are the lyrics. "Dorian Blue" would work great in the classroom as a learning tool, but it would also be wonderful in just about any performance setting.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.