Table of the Key Signature & Scales

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Get quick info on each musical key, including relative minors, enharmonic signatures, and the nonexistent keys.

Major Key Signatures

 

Major
Scale
Relative No. of Sharps Enharmonic
Key Signature
Parallel Key
C maj A min 0 C minor
G maj E min 1 G minor
D maj B min 2 D minor
A maj F# min 3 A minor
E maj C# min 4 E minor
B maj G# min 5 Cb major / Ab min B minor
F# maj D# min 6 Gb major / Eb min F# minor
C# maj A# min 7 Db major / Bb min C# minor
No. of
Flats
F maj D min 1 F minor
Bb maj G min 2 Bb minor
Eb maj C min 3 Eb minor
Ab maj F min 4 Ab minor
Db maj Bb min 5 C# major / A# min No Db minor (C# min)
Gb maj Eb min 6 F# major / D# min No Gb minor (F# min)
Cb maj Ab min 7 B major / G# min No Cb minor (B min)

Minor Key Signatures

Minor
Scale
Relative
Key
No. of
Sharps
Enharmonic
Key Signature
Parallel Key
A min C maj 0 A major
E min G maj 1 E major
B min D maj 2 B major
F# min A maj 3 F# major
C# min E maj 4 C# major
G# min B maj 5 Ab minor / Cb maj No G# major (Ab maj)
D# min F# maj 6 Eb minor / Gb maj No D# major (Eb maj)
A# min C# maj 7 Bb minor / Db maj No A# major (Bb maj)
No. of
Flats
D min F maj 1 D major
G min Bb maj 2 G major
C min Eb maj 3 C major
F min Ab maj 4 F major
Bb min Db maj 5 A# minor / C# major Bb major
Eb min Gb maj 6 D# minor / F# major Eb major
Ab min Cb maj 7 G# minor / B major Ab major

The Pattern of Accidentals

Memorizing the order in which the accidentals appear in the key signatures will ease both sight-reading and musical composition, and help strengthen your understanding of the diatonic scale. You’ll see this pattern everywhere in music theory, so it’s valuable to to know (notice in the examples below that the pattern is simply reversed):

  • Sharps (#): F     C     G     D     A     E     B
  • Flats (b): B     E     A     D     G     C     F

Key Signatures in Depth

• Understanding the Key Signatures
Everything you need to know about the accidentals & key signatures.

• There are always two keys that relate to one another more than any other key. Find out what this means.

• Comparing Major & Minor
Major and minor are often described in terms of feelings or mood. The ear tends to perceive major and minor as having contrasting personalities; a contrast that is most obvious when the two are played back to back. Learn more about major and minor scales and keys.

• The Circle of Fifths (Musiced.about.com)
Visual guide to all the scales and their relatives.

• Table of Key Signatures
Test your ability to identify the keys.

• The 6 Enharmonic Key Signatures
If you’re familiar with the circle of fifths (see above) or you just know your way around the key signatures, you may have noticed a few anomalies. Some keys – like B-sharp and F-flat major – are seemingly absent, while others go by two names

• The Inefficient Keys
The circle of fifths shows only the working scales. But, if we expand on its pattern, we can see that it’s actually more of an infinite spiral, so there’s no end to the possibilities of musical scales.

• Table of Working & Non-Working Keys
See a clear visual of which keynotes are workable and which would be redundant.




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