I transcribed a jazzy melody and am unsure how to view it in terms of scale / mode

I transcribed the opening guitar melody of a song and it raised a few questions. Here’s the song:

My basic dilemma is this: the notes of the melody belong to the G major scale, but the feel of it is quite minorish. All scale notes are used at least once. The melody starts and ends on the same A note. The lowest note played is E, the highest is F#. There is a faint trumpet but I could not transcribe that part yet. I can’t hear any very prominent chords backing up the melody, only some bass and a bit of colouring by the clavinet (and maybe some guitar with a wah wah).

I wonder what, apart from the slow tempo, may cause this minor feeling. Is it because the first and last note is an A, the 2nd degree of the G major scale? Or is it somehow not in a major but a minor key? If so, are there any signs in the melody (e.g. order of notes) that indicate a minor key?

Thanks in advance for your help, and feel free to move this post to a more appropriate topic if there is one.

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If it is G major resolving to A the mode would be A Dorian and the Key would be Am.
The easiest way to learn to use the Dorian mode is to think of it as the A minor pentatonic with 2 color tones.

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Hey Joszef,

Its likely A Dorian, or Em ( which many would say is just sad G major) - you say E is the lowest note, so thats where it all might be resolving to.

Cheers, Shane

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Thanks for the quick reply. I played the same melody starting on each note of the G major scale and some of the versions sounded better than others. I really should check out what those modes are all about…

When the chord (s) kick in after the very sparse intro I think it becomes a one chord vamp on E minor.

E minor is the relative minor of G major.
E Aeolian is the modal name for it.
Modes: Modes Parts 1 - 9

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