Phrygian mode

The Phrygian mode (pronounced n/) can refer to three different musical modes: the ancient Greek tonos or harmonia sometimes called Phrygian, formed on a particular set of octave species or scales; the Medieval Phrygian mode, and the modern conception of the Phrygian mode as a diatonic scale, based on the latter.

 {
\override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f
\relative c' { 
  \clef treble \time 7/4
  c4^\markup { Modern C Phrygian mode } des es f g aes bes c2

} }

Ancient Greek Phrygian

The Phrygian tonos or harmonia is named after the ancient kingdom of Phrygia in Anatolia. The octave species (scale) underlying the ancient-Greek Phrygian tonos (in its diatonic genus) corresponds to the medieval and modern Dorian mode.

In Greek music theory, the harmonia given this name was based on a tonos, in turn based on a scale or octave species built from a tetrachord which, in its diatonic genus, consisted of a series of rising intervals of a whole tone, followed by a semitone, followed by a whole tone.

 {
\override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f
\relative c' { 
  \clef treble \time 4/4
  e4^\markup { Greek Phrygian tonos (diatonic genus) on E } fis g a b cis d e

} }

In the chromatic genus, this is a minor third followed by two semitones.

 {
\override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f
\relative c' { 
  \clef treble \time 4/4
  e4^\markup { Greek Phrygian tonos (chromatic genus) on E } fisis gis a b cisis dis e

} }

In the enharmonic genus, it is a major third and two quarter tones.

 {
\override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f

\relative c' { 
  \clef treble \time 4/4

  e4^\markup { Greek Phrygian tonos (enharmonic genus) on E } gis gisih a b dis disih e

} }

A diatonic-genus octave species built upon D is roughly equivalent to playing all the white notes on a piano keyboard from D to D:

 {
\override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f
\relative c' { 
  \clef treble \time 4/4

  d4 e f g a b c d

} }

This scale, combined with a set of characteristic melodic behaviours and associated ethoi, constituted the harmonia which was given the ethnic name "Phrygian", after the "unbounded, ecstatic peoples of the wild, mountainous regions of the Anatolian highlands" (Solomon 1984, 249). This ethnic name was also confusingly applied by theorists such as Cleonides to one of thirteen chromatic transposition levels, regardless of the intervallic makeup of the scale (Solomon 1984, 244–46).

Other Languages
català: Mode frigi
čeština: Frygický modus
dansk: Frygisk
español: Modo frigio
Esperanto: Frigia modalo
فارسی: مد فریجین
français: Mode phrygien
italiano: Modo frigio
português: Modo frígio
suomi: Fryyginen
українська: Фригійський лад
Tiếng Việt: Âm giai Phrygia