In medieval and modern music, the Mixolydian mode is a diatonic (seven-note) scale or musical mode which corresponds to the white keys of the piano from G to G. It may be considered an “excerpt” of a major scale played from the pitch a perfect fifth above the major scale's tonic, i.e., a major scale played from its fifth scale degree up to its fifth degree again. If we build a chord on the tonic, third and fifth, it is still a major chord.
The Mixolydian mode is actually equivalent to the major scale but with the seventh degree lowered by a semitone. Please note that in this case the seventh note of the scale should not be called “leading tone” as it is in major mode, because being more distant from the tonic it does not naturally lead to it; instead, it should be called “subtonic”.
The Mixolydian scale is often used in rock, funk, and blues music, and constitutes the most basic scale to play over dominant V7 chords.
Some notable compositions in Mixolydian mode:
- “Old Joe Clark”
- “She Moved Through the Fair”
- “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)” and “Dear Prudence” by The Beatles
- “(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction” and “Let It Loose” by The Rolling Stones
- “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd
- “The Visitors” by ABBA
- “Theme from Star Trek” by Alexander Courage
Two-octave Mixolydian scales are also available: PDF