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Link to Ionian, Mixolydian, Dorian and Aeolian: Samples and Examples of the 4 Main Musical Scales in Celtic, Anglo-American and English Folk Songs [[1]]

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.

Basket of Eggs Version 1 of 2 (GB/6a/17)


Tune Analysis: Key signature is E Aeolian but all of the C naturals 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)

Links: and

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.