Dorian Mode

The Dorian Scale, or mode that is the more correct name, is the second of the seven modes. The Dorian modes are comparable to the Major scales – D Dorian, for example, includes exactly the same notes as C Major. The difference is that is D Dorian starts on another step in the scale, the D note (see picture below). It also has a different interval (1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7), which results in a Minor sound – compare C Major with D Dorian and you could hear a slightly different sound.

A famous song that is played in D Dorian mode is “Scarborough Fair”, played over a Dm chord. Modes are also common in jazz music and “So What” from the Miles Davis album Kind of Blue is partly using the D Dorian mode. You can use the chord progression Dm7 G7 Cmaj7 together with D Dorian and try to improvise in jazz style.

C

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

C# / Db

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

D

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

D# /Eb

D# Dorian scale diagram
Notes: D#, F, F#, G#, A#, C, C#, D#

E

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

F

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

F# / Gb

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

G

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

G# / Ab

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

A

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

A# / Bb

A# Dorian scale diagram
Notes: A#, C, C#, D#, F, G, G#, A#

B

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

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

Intervals: 1, 2, b3, 4, 5, 6, b7
Semi-notes: 2 - 1 - 2 - 2 - 2 - 1 - 2
Formula: Whole, Half, Whole, Whole, Whole, Half, Whole

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

Relative keys – Dorian and Major

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

If you already know the Major scales, you will easier memorize the Dorian modes by compare their relative keys.

The ancient heritage

The Dorian scale emerged in the ancient Greece together with other scales such as Aeolian and Locrian. The names were taken from regions or people, the latter is true about Dorian. Many believe that Dorian melodies during that era expressed courage and manhood and were singed by young soldiers.

See also harmonizing Dorian scales into chords.

Altered Dorian scales

Relevant scales are Dorian b2 (flat second), Dorian #4 (sharp four) and Dorian b5 (flat five), which all are altered Dorian scales.

Source: Wikipedia.org