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Lesson 3.6 - Minor Keys to 4 sharps or flats.

In lesson 3.2 you learned all the major keys up to 4 sharps and flats. If you are still unsure about these key signatures, it might be worth revising this lesson before continuing with the minor keys.

Every major key has a corresponding minor key (which is called the relative minor). Therefore the key signatures you learned in lesson 3.2 are the same for this lesson. 

Key             Key Signature            Relative minor 
E major       F, C, G, D♯              C♯ minor
A major  
     F, C, G♯                     F♯ minor
D major  
     F, C♯                            B minor
G major   
    F♯                                  E minor
C major       No sharps or flats        A minor
F major  
      B♭                                  D minor
B major  
    B, E♭                            G minor
E major   
   B, E, A♭                      C minor
A major      B, E, A, D♭                F minor

The only thing that is different in these minor keys is that the 7th note in a harmonic minor is raised by a semitone. So for example in D minor the 7th note is normally C. If we raise it by a semitone it becomes C♯.

NOTICE that the C sharp is not part of the key signature. It is written as an extra accidental on the note itself.

Here is a summary of  the raised 7ths for all the minor keys up to four sharps or flats.

Minor Key     Raised 7th
C♯ minor             B
F♯ minor              E
B minor               A
E minor               D
A minor               G
D minor               C
G minor               F
C minor               B
F minor               E

Notice especially the last two are naturals, not sharps. This is because the 7th note according to the key signature is a flat, and when you raise it, it becomes a natural. For example the 7th note of C minor according to the key signature is B flat, which becomes a B natural in the harmonic minor.

One final thing to remember is that if you are taking an ABRSM examination you may be asked to say which form of minor scale you have used - which in this case is the harmonic minor.

Download a worksheet for this lesson HERE

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