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Relative key

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(Redirected from Relative minor/major)

In music, the relative minor of a particular major key (or the relative major of a minor key) is the key which has the same key signature but a different tonic, as opposed to parallel minor or major, respectively. For example, G major and E minor both have a single sharp in their key signature; so we say that E minor is the relative minor of G major. The relative minor of a major key always has a tonic a minor third lower.

A complete list of relative minor/major pairs is:

  • C major–A minor
  • C sharp/D flat major–A sharp/B flat minor
  • D major–B minor
  • D sharp/E flat major–C minor
  • E major–C sharp/D flat minor
  • F major–D minor
  • F sharp/G flat major–D sharp/E flat minor
  • G major–E minor
  • G sharp/A flat major–F minor
  • A major–F sharp/G flat minor
  • A sharp/B flat major–G minor
  • B/C flat major–G sharp/A flat minor

Together with moves to the dominant (fifth scale degree) or sub-dominant (fourth scale degree), modulation to the relative minor or major are the most common in tonal music.

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