Songs that use the Phrygian mode


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Phrygian has a sound much like the minor scale but with a darker edge. A common choice in metal, prog and hip-hop, Phrygian introduces an exotic, unnerving sound to a song’s tonality. Today we’re going to look at some examples of the phrygian mode in action and also look at some similar scales including the Double Harmonic scale and Phrygian Dominant.

📍 CORRECTION 1: at 4:45 the sheet music for “Milkshake” should show three Ds before descending to C#, not just one! Sorry about that and thanks to Asle Fjeldstad for bringing it to my attention.

📍 CORRECTION 2: at 11:05 I said that “Misirlou” started as an Arabic folk song, but in fact it seems it was Greek. Thanks to Theo Querel for bringing that to my attention.

SOURCES:
Phrygian mode in Kendrick’s “HUMBLE”: https://youtu.be/2T_xLmZ4YPc
Early version of “Misirlou”: https://youtu.be/LW6qGy3RtwY
12 tone analysing “White Rabbit”: https://youtu.be/mxp7W6H-Oig
Listening In analysing “Pyramid Song”: https://youtu.be/P8aSFj6zdx0

Stream my EP “The Longest March” at Spotify: https://sptfy.com/davidbennett
or download it at Bandcamp: https://davidbennettpiano.bandcamp.com/

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About agogo22

Director of Manchester School of Samba at http://www.sambaman.org.uk
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