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The Modal Method of Music

The subject of music theory is not a closed book...

Welcome to The Modal Method of Music, the first in a series of books that takes a look at music theory from a different perspective. The focus for this volume is scales and their modes, not only their unique individual formulae but how and where they are used in music. This subject is explained through the use of a simple process that takes the student through all of the steps needed to understand not only where scales come from but where they lead to and how to use them.

This book is divided into four sections. The first covers the theoretical knowledge needed to understand scales and their modes. The unique process is explained in detail and includes a full description of how and where scales arise and where they are most suited in a musical setting. The second section is a full analysis of the sixty six scales in existence, when they arise and where they can be played. Section three covers the practical side of the scales and how to practise them most productively. This culminates in The Ultimate Scale Workout, a method for modulating and changing scales. Section four covers various methods for introducing scales into music, including key changes, modal inversions and cadences among others.

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The process described in this book is not random or arbitrary but has been developed over a number of years of intense musical analysis. In my endeavours to understand the rules when playing a wide selection of musical genres, the realisation slowly dawned on me that there is one fundamental rule behind the others that governs them all. Or to put it another way, a principle that makes all of the rules in scalar theory identifiable.


I take full responsibility for any successes or failures this book may achieve. There are no references, quotes or bibliographies and the musical examples used are my own.

The reader will come across scales in this book that are as familiar as their fingers, some known by their name only and others that they will encounter for the first time. Don’t be daunted. Take what is useful to you. Some scales will become infinitely more useful than they were previously while others will find their way into your musical vocabulary that were not there before.

For more information on the scales and modes contained within this book, updates on current research in music theory, practice, composition and analysis, visit

Tony Mizen

"I have been learning and using this unique method of identifying and writing effective modulations in music. This book is helping me to understand advanced theory as well as giving me insights for my own composing ambitions. As someone who has previously found this a difficult subject, I’m very pleased to now have a logical and consistent approach to work from"

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