Phrygian mode

chromatic scale R ♭2 2 ♭3 3 4 ♭5 5 ♭6 6 ♭7 7
Phrygian mode R ♭2   ♭3   4   5 ♭6   ♭7  
natural minor scale R   2 ♭3   4   5 ♭6   ♭7  

The Phrygian mode is a medieval mode, starting on the third degree of the diatonic scale, whose half steps (semitones) fall between the first and second degrees and fifth and sixth degrees. The Phrygian mode is a minor scale with a flat 2nd (like the Locrian) and a flat 7th, which is to say it is a minor7♭9 scale. It has exactly the same pattern of intervals as the natural minor scale starting on the same root note, except for the flatted 2nd. This flatted 2nd means that in using the Phrygian there's a powerful tendency to resolve downwards to the root, rather than upwards, as is usual, from the 7th. In use, it has an exotic, Arabic or Spanish feel to it and is a favorite of flamenco guitarists. The introduction to "Bungalow Bill", by the Beatles, is also in Phrygian mode.


Other modes

Ionian    Dorian    Phrygian    Lydian    Mixolydian    Aeolian    Locrian