Lydian mode

chromatic scale R ♭2 2 ♭3 3 4 ♭5 5 ♭6 6 ♭7 7
Lydian mode R   2   3   ♯4 5   6   7
major scale R   2   3 4   5   6   7


The Lydian mode is a medieval mode starting on the fourth degree of the diatonic scale, with half steps (semitones) between the fourth and fifth and seventh and eighth degrees. The Lydian mode is a major scale with a raised fourth. It is been described as bitter-sweet in character: the sweetness coming from the major third, the darker aspect from the sharpened fourth.


The Lydian mode is often used for atmospheric music in films and is a favorite of guitarist Steve Vai. It is used in the open tune of The Simpsons.


Other modes

Ionian    Dorian    Phrygian    Lydian    Mixolydian    Aeolian    Locrian