Link to Ionian, Mixolydian, Dorian and Aeolian: Samples and Examples of the 4 Main Musical Scales in Celtic, Anglo-American and English Folk Songs []
The notes of the Dorian mode in tonic solfa are sung as “re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do, re”. The D Dorian notes are D, E, F, G, A, B, C, D’ and you get this scale on a piano when you play upwards from D to D’ on the white keys. Note the distribution of the tone and semitone intervals in this scale:
The Dorian scale is the same as the Mixolydian scale except that the third note is flattened by a semitone. To convert a Mixolydian to a Dorian key signature, add a flat to, or remove a sharp from, it. Likewise, to convert a Dorian to a Mixolydian key signature, remove a flat from, or add a sharp to, it.
To convert a Dorian to an Ionian key signature add 2 sharps to, or remove 2 flats from, it. Likewise, to convert an Ionian key signature to a Dorian key signature, add 2 flats to, or remove 2 sharps from, it.
Below you will find a sample of tunes in the Dorian scale.
01 Henry Martin (Cecil J. Sharp, 1916, One Hundred English Folk Songs)
Tune analysis: Key signature is D Aeolian but the single B (7th) is naturalised to produce a Dorian scale. Heptatonic, Authentic. If the single B were a Bb the scale would be Aeolian; if it were absent the scale would be a Hexatonic Dorian/Aeolian hybrid.
Basket of Eggs Version 1 of 2 (GB/6a/17)
Tune Analysis: Key signature is E Aeolian but all of the C naturals (7ths) are sharpened to produce a Dorian scale. Heptatonic, Mainly Authentic (2 Ds dip below the keynote).
Bold Thresherman Versions 1 of 2 and 2 of 2 (GB/6a/28 and GB/6a/29)
Tune Analysis (both versions): F Dorian, Heptatonic, Mainly Authentic (1 E dips below the keynote).
Bonny Blooming Highland Jane (GB/6a/30)
Tune Analysis: F Dorian, Heptatonic, Mainly Authentic (several Es dip below the keynote). The consistent 5/4 time signature is rather uncommon.
Green Bushes Version 2 of 5 (GB/6a/79)
Tune Analysis: F Dorian, Heptatonic, Mainly Authentic but there are some Es that dip below the keynote.