Locrian Mode


The Locrian Mode is a musical mode in Western music, belonging to the seven church modes. It is often recognized for its unstable and dissonant quality.

In the Locrian mode, each note is assigned a specific degree within the scale, following the pattern: half, whole, whole, half, whole, whole, whole (1-b2-b3-4-b5-b6-b7). For example, in the key of C Locrian, the corresponding note names and pitches are: C (root), D♭ (minor second), E♭ (minor third), F (fourth), G♭ (diminished fifth), A♭ (minor sixth), B♭ (minor seventh), and C (octave).

What sets the Locrian mode apart is its diminished fifth (also known as a tritone) between the root and the fifth degree. This diminished fifth creates a dissonant and tense quality, giving the mode an unsettling and unresolved character. The Locrian mode is considered the most unstable of the seven modes due to its lack of a stable tonic triad. Because of its inherent instability, the Locrian mode is rarely used in traditional Western music and is not often employed for creating melodies or harmonies. However, it can find application in experimental or avant-garde compositions where dissonance and instability are intentionally sought after.

Example of Locrian Mode

The Locrian Mode Explained In 2 Minutes (The Scariest Major Mode!)