Aeolian Mode

The Aeolian Scale consists of the same notes as the Natural Minor Scale. Songs in Aeolian Mode tend to have a sad feeling and the scale is quite common in modern blues and jazz compositions. See also Aeolian Dominant.

Even if the notes are exactly the same, there can be some things that separate the Aeolian scales from the Minor scales. This is, however, only true if the Minor scales (which in reality are three to the number and beside the Natural includes the Harmonic and the Melodic) is treated as a single concept. In songs based on minor keys, the V chord is often a major (for instance E instead of Em in the A Minor key), and sometimes also the IV chord (for instance D instead of Dm in the A Minor key).

But otherwise should the Aeolian mode be treated as a duplicate of the Natural Minor Scale (which is the most common of the minor scales). The main role of the Aeolian mode is as the sixth mode of the Major Scale. The A Aeolian include the same notes as the C Major, for example, only that it starts on the sixth degree (A, B, C, D, E, F, G instead of C, D, E, F, G, A, B).

C

C Aeolian scale diagram
Notes: C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab, Bb, C

C# / Db

C# Aeolian scale diagram
Notes: C#, D#, E, F#, G#, A, B, C#

D

D Aeolian scale diagram
Notes: D, E, F, G, A, Bb, C, D

D# /Eb

D# Aeolian scale diagram
Notes: D#, F, F#, G#, A#, B, C#, D#

E

E Aeolian scale diagram
Notes: E, F#, G, A, B, C, D, E

F

F Aeolian scale diagram
Notes: F, G, Ab, Bb, C, Db, Eb, F

F# / Gb

F# Aeolian scale diagram
Notes: F#, G#, A, B, C#, D, E, F#

G

G Aeolian scale diagram
Notes: G, A, Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G

G# / Ab

G# Aeolian scale diagram
Notes: G#, A#, B, C#, D#, E, F#, G#

A

A Aeolian scale diagram
Notes: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, A

A# / Bb

A# Aeolian scale diagram
Notes: Bb, C, Db, Eb, F, Gb, Ab, Bb

B

B Aeolian scale diagram
Notes: B, C#, D, E, F#, G, A, B

Aeolian Scales overview
C: C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab, Bb, C
C#/Db: C#, D#, E, F#, G#, A, B, C# / Db, Eb, Fb (E), Gb, Ab, A, B, Db
D: D, E, F, G, A, Bb, C, D
D#/Eb: D#, E# (F), F#, G#, A#, B, C#, D# / Eb, F, Gb, Ab, Bb, Cb (B), Db, Eb
E: E, F#, G, A, B, C, D, E
F: F, G, Ab, Bb, C, Db, Eb, F
F#/Gb: F#, G#, A, B, C#, D, E, F# / Gb, Ab, Bbb (A), Cb (B), Db, Ebb (D), Fb (E), Gb
G: G, A, Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G
G#/Ab: G#, A#, B, C#, D#, E, F#, G# / Ab, Bb, Cb (B), Db, Eb, Fb (E), Gb, Ab
A: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, A
A#/Bb: A#, B# (C), C#, D#, E# (F), F#, G#, A# / Bb, C, Db, Eb, F, Gb, Ab, Bb
B: B, C#, D, E, F#, G, A, B

Intervals: 1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7
Semi-notes: 2 - 1 - 2 - 2 - 1 - 2 - 2
Formula: Whole, Half, Whole, Whole, Half, Whole, Whole

The Aeolian scales in musical notes are available in the member area.
The scale in all keys can be downloaded as a PDF-file.

Relative keys – Aeolian and Major

The same notes can be found in different Major and Aeolian scales:

If you already know the Major scales, you can play the relative Aeolian by walking three semi-steps down on the keyboard.

The ancient heritage

The Aeolian Scale emerged in the ancient Greece together with other scales such as Dorian and Ionian. The names were taken from regions or people – the Aeolians was one of the major tribes.

Aeolian b1

A relevant scale is the Aeolian b1 (flat one). It has the intervals 1, b3, 3, b5, b6, 6, 7 and the semi-notes can be written as 3 - 1 - 2 - 2 - 1 - 2 - 1. An example is C Aeolian b1: C, D#, E, F#, G#, A, B, C (which can be seen as C# Aeolian with C as the tonic).