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Question about enharmonic notes / scales

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Question about enharmonic notes / scales

Post by axxe on Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:17 pm

Just something I thought about...

Lets say: B major....It has 5 sharps...So the relative minor G# minor also has 5 sharps....

G# minor can also be called Ab minor...But Ab minor has 7 sharps...

But they share the exact same notes...What is point of adding two extra sharps when calling it Ab minor?

And C# minor for example, can you call that key Db minor? Cus the latter is not in the circle of fifths?
Or F# minor? Can you name that scale Gb minor?

I would really appreciate if someone could clear this up for me....

Thanks a lot..

axxe
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Re: Question about enharmonic notes / scales

Post by georger on Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:01 pm

Hi Axxe,
It is not actually correct to say that Ab minor has 7 sharps. It is correct to say that it has seven flats (Ab,Bb,Cb,Db,Eb,Fb,Gb). C# minor is not referred to as Db minor, probably because one would then either have to write the scale notes as (Db,Eb,Fb,Gb,Ab,A,B) which repeats the letter A and misses C, (Db,Eb,Fb,Gb,Ab,A,Cb) which repeats the letter A and misses B, or (Db,Eb,Fb,Gb,Ab,Bbb,Cb) which uses all the letters but requires a double flat in the key signature. By calling it C# minor we can write out the notes as (C#,D#,E,F#,G#,A,B), which uses all the letters and involves only #s. F# minor is not referred to as Gb minor for the same reasons. Note, however, that we can call C# Major Db Major, and F# Major Gb Major as these problems don't arise with these Major scales.
Below is a list of all the Major keys and their relative minors (with enharmonic names), and their key signatures.


Major...........Key Sig..........minor
C....................-...................A
G....................1#................E
D....................2#................B
A....................3#................F#
E.....................4#...............C#
B/Cb................5#/7b...........G#/Ab
F#/Gb..............6#/6b...........D#/Eb
C#/Db..............7#/5b...........A#/Bb
Ab...................4b.................F
Eb...................3b.................C
Bb...................2b.................G
F.....................1b.................D

Hope this clears things up.

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