A-flat minor is a minor scale based on A, consisting of the pitches A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. Its key signature has seven flats. Its relative major is C-flat major (or enharmonically B major), its parallel major is A-flat major, and its enharmonic equivalent is G-sharp minor.

A-flat minor
C-flat-major a-flat-minor.svg
Relative keyC-flat major
enharmonic: B major
Parallel keyA-flat major
Dominant keyE-flat minor
enharmonic: D-sharp minor
SubdominantD-flat minor
enharmonic: C-sharp minor
EnharmonicG-sharp minor
Component pitches
A, B, C, D, E, F, G

The A-flat natural minor scale is:

 {
\override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f
\relative c'' {
  \clef treble \key aes \minor \time 7/4
  aes4^\markup { Natural minor scale } bes ces des es fes ges aes ges fes es des ces bes aes2
  \clef bass \key aes \minor
} }

Changes needed for the melodic and harmonic versions of the scale are written in with accidentals as necessary. The A-flat harmonic minor and melodic minor scales are:

 {
\override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f
\relative c'' {
  \clef treble \key aes \minor \time 7/4
  aes4^\markup { Harmonic minor scale } bes ces des es fes g aes g fes es des ces bes aes2
} }
 {
\override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f
\relative c'' {
  \clef treble \key aes \minor \time 7/4
  aes4^\markup { Melodic minor scale (ascending and descending) } bes ces des es f g aes ges! fes! es des ces bes aes2
} }

Music in A-flat minorEdit

Although A-flat minor occurs in modulation in works in other keys, it is only rarely used as the principal key of a piece of music. Some well-known uses of the key in classical and romantic piano music include:

It is also used in Frederick Loewe's score to the 1956 musical play My Fair Lady; the Second Servants' Chorus is set in A-flat minor (the preceding and following choruses being a semitone lower and higher respectively).

More often, pieces in a minor mode that have A-flat's pitch as tonic are notated in the enharmonic key, G-sharp minor, because that key has just five sharps as opposed to the seven flats of A-flat minor.

In some scores, the A-flat minor key signature in the bass clef is written with the flat for the F on the second line from the top.[nb 1]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ An example of this is the bass clef staff of the harp parts in the Jupiter movement of Gustav Holst's orchestral suite The Planets.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Mahler, Gustav. Symphony No. 9 in Full Score, Dover, ISBN 0-486-27492-6 (1993), pp. 116-119.
  2. ^ Holst, Gustav. The Planets in Full Score, Dover, ISBN 0-486-29277-0 (1996), p. 109.

External linksEdit