ElecTrika-MixTek wrote:I believe the names of the modes refer to the prominent tribes of Ancient Greece and the fact that such scales/modes were actually in use in ancient times. Naturally the medeival developments (Gregorian modes) are based on the earlier Greek texts, but the names are more than just passing academic references; the substantial theory was already well developed by the time Aristotle was teaching, so the medeival developments are a later evolution, or a response to some mathematico-aesthetic problems ultimately solved by what is now know as contemporary scale theory.
All three modal systems (ancient Greek, medieval, modern) are similar in concept... different melodic results produced by different combinations of intervals built from a central root note. If I recall correctly, though, there's no continuity in the names used. Our Lydian has nothing to do with the original Greek Lydian mode.
The medieval system was a bit more fiddly than ours. We just have a root and a set of intervals, but in the medieval modes there was a distinction between the 'final' (root) and the 'reciting tone' (the main note used in a liturgical chant).
There were four basic modes, equivalent to our Dorian, Phrygian, Mixolydian and Lydian, but each one had 'authentic' and 'plagal' variants, depending on where the root sat in relation to the vocal range.