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Lesson 2.5 - Minor Keys

Minor Keys have key signatures that correspond to those of the major keys. This is shown in the table below.


     Key Signature        Major Key        Minor Key

  • None                      C major             A minor
  • F sharp                   G major            E minor
  • B flat                      F major             D minor

In a minor scale however there are other accidentals and this depends on which form of the minor key you are using. There are three types of minor key that will be used in this course, Natural minors, Harmonic Minors and Melodic Minors.


For Grade 2 ABRSM Theory 
you can choose to use either the harmonic minor or melodic minor.

For Grade 2 Trinity Theory 
you need to know the natural minor and harmonic minor.

The natural minor is easy, it is simply the notes according to the key signature so D natural minor would look like this.



In a harmonic minor scale the 7th note is raised a semitone in addition to any accidentals you may already have in the key signature. 

Therefore:
  • In A minor there is also a G sharp
  • In E minor there is also a D sharp
  • In D minor there is also a C sharp

These raised 7ths do not appear in the key signature but next to the relevant note. So the scale of D harmonic minor would look like this.


N.B. Melodic minors will be covered in a later lesson

Download a WORKSHEET for this lesson HERE

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