The danger of describing the modes as purely 'scales on the white notes' can cause this sort of confusion, pianostar!
They can, of course, be transposed to any starting note. This is why it is really best to try to understand the structure of each. As noodle says, the raised 4th in the scale of C would be F#.
They CAN be viewed in terms of their similarity to a basic major or natural minor scale.
The Dorian is like a natural minor scale with a raised 6th; the Phrygian is natural minor with a flattened 2nd.
The Lydian is like a major scale with a raised 4th; the Mixolydian is major with a flattened 7th.
The Locrian, although its first third is a minor one, has a totally different character to the others because its 5th is a diminished one.
Each mode has its own lovely 'flavour'...enjoy!!
Hello, there! Sorry I didn't reply for such a long time - I didn't notice you've posted! Thank you very much for untangling my confusion about modes...
When my teacher at school explained about them...that's exactly what he said: They are scales which only use white notes. That is why I got confused! Because, of course...I misunderstood him!
That's why I was kind of...lost when somebody mentioned that a Lydian 4th was, for example, a C to an F#. Because, I thought, that modes only had white notes in them...but I do understand now that that is not necesseraly true.
So, if you took the Dorian (I think that's right..) mode, which begins with D: D E F G A B C D , and worked out the intervals: Tone, Semitone, Tone, Tone, Tone, Semitone, Tone, and applied them to the same scale which begins on a different note...e.g. G, it would be: G A Bflat C D E F G. Is that about right?
But, oh my gosh - that's like a mixture of G minor (because of the B flat and the F natural) and G major - because of the E natural! Is that, incidentally, why modes sound neither major nor minor?!
Thank you for helping me understand.