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A mode is like a scale: It is a collection of pitches which have a certain relationship between each other. Just like any major or minor scale, a mode has a Tonic (a point of rest) and a “Dominant” (a point of tension which needs resolution). I have put the word Dominant in quotations because in the case of modes, the dominant is not always found on the 5th degree — like in any major scale for example — but it is the degree(s) which contain the characteristic note (the note that gives a certain mode its peculiar sound) that functions as a dominant.

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