Hypoionian mode

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The Hypoionian mode, literally meaning "below Ionian", is the name assigned by Henricus Glareanus in his Dodecachordon (1547) to the plagal mode on C, which uses the diatonic octave species from G to the G an octave higher, divided at its final, C. This is roughly the same as playing all the white notes of a piano from G to G: G A B C | (C) D E F G. [1]

Glarean regarded compositions with F as the final and a one-flat signature as transpositions of the Ionian or Hypoionian mode (depending on the ambitus). Most of his contemporaries, however, appear to have continued considering such compositions as being in the fifth and sixth modes (Lydian and Hypolydian), which had been regarded since the beginnings of medieval modal theory as preferring B over B for the fourth degree above the final, F. [2]

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Hypodorian mode

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The Hypoaeolian mode, literally meaning "below Aeolian", is the name assigned by Henricus Glareanus in his Dodecachordon (1547) to the musical plagal mode on A, which uses the diatonic octave species from E to the E an octave above, divided by the final into a second-species fourth (semitone–tone–tone) plus a first-species fifth (tone–semitone–tone–tone): E F G A + A B C D E. The tenor or reciting tone is C, mediant B, the participants are the low and high Es, the conceded modulations are G and D, and the absolute initials are E, G, A, B, and C.

The Hypolocrian mode is an almost entirely theoretical mode, introduced into chant theory in the 19th century by the editors of the Pustet-Ratisbon, Mechlin, and Rheims-Cambrai Office-Books, who designated it mode 12. It is the plagal counterpart to the authentic Locrian mode, mode 11 in that system of numbering, in which the Ionian and Hypoionian become modes 13 and 14. The ambitus of the mode lies between F and the F an octave higher, divided at the final, B. Its reciting tone, is E, and its mediant is D. It has two participants, G and C. Although a few plainchant melodies, as well as polyphonic compositions, have been attributed to this mode by some writers, it will generally be found that they are really derived, by transposition, from some other tonality.

The musical system of ancient Greece evolved over a period of more than 500 years from simple scales of tetrachords, or divisions of the perfect fourth, into several complex systems encompassing tetrachords and octaves, as well as octave scales divided into seven to thirteen intervals.


  1. Powers 2001, p. 37.
  2. Powers 2001, pp. 37–38.

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