(4.3)  Major and Minor Keys

As we noticed in the previous topic, the A Natural Minor scale contains the same notes as the C Major scale, with just a different starting note.  This is a very important property of the Natural Minor scale.

Every Major scale has a relative Natural Minor scale, starting on its sixth note, which contains the same notes.  This means that music in a Natural Minor scale can be written on staff lines in the key signature of its relative Major scale without any accidentals.

Some examples of equivalent Major and Natural Minor keys are shown below.  You can assume that when a minor key is referred to, it is the Natural Minor scale, unless one of the other minor scales is specifically mentioned.

So how do you know when music is in a major key, or the related minor key?  The starting or ending chords in the song often give the best clues.

Music in a major key has the characteristic major sound, and tends to use more of the related major chords of the scale (such as Cmaj, Fmaj and Gmaj in the C Major scale).

Music in the related minor key has the characteristic minor sound, and tends to use more of the related minor chords of the scale (such as Am, Dm and Em in the A Natural Minor scale).

Create Music with Songtrix

Bring these music concepts to life with the free Songtrix Bronze Edition as you create songs from chords and scales.  Then publish and share your ideas with the other musicians you meet on the ChordWizard Network.

Have questions?  Join the ChordWizard Network and post them in the Music Theory forum for answers and discussions on your topics of interest.

More Info Download

Topic 49 of 117
ChordWizard® and Songtrix®
are registered trademarks
Copyright © 1997-2022
Free Songtrix Bronze
Download
Songtrix
Bronze
Edition
-:-
Free!
Songtrix Gold
The essential
workshop
for all
instruments
and playing
levels
Songtrix Silver
The essential
workshop
for all
instruments
at beginner
level
ChordWizard Gold
The essential
workshop
for string
instruments
at all
levels
ChordWizard Silver
The essential
workshop
for string
instruments
at beginner
level
Music Theory
The essential
multimedia
guide to
playing and
understanding
music
ChordWizard® and Songtrix®
are registered trademarks
Copyright © 1997-2022

Sorry, this page cannot be printed.  However, you can print from ChordWizard Music Theory 3.0, the full version of the How Music Works tutorials.

It can be installed on your computer for easy reference, and includes all the sounds, text searching, bookmarking, and many printing options.

Download from https://www.chordwizard.com