Audio: locrian (0:04)

Figure: locrian

locrian plays a locrian melody on the tenor sax. The locrian figure shows the score:

  • Bar 1 is an ascending scale in the key of B locrian.
  • Bar 2 is a melody in the same key using four different notes in the locrian scale.

The locrian mode contains the sequence of tones and semitones: STTSTTT.

B locrian contains the notes BCDEFGA.

The locrian has a tritone above the tonic. It is the position of this tritone that gives the locrian mode its unique quality. No other mode has this feature. In addition, there is an interval of semitone, a minor second, above the tonic, a feature the locrian shares with the phrygian mode.

The lonely locrian is rarely used to write music because of the positions of the tritone and the semitone above the tonic. It is a shame because every mode has its own unique character and the locrian is no exception.