B minor is a minor scale based on B, consisting of the pitches B, C, D, E, F, G, and A. Its key signature has two sharps. Its relative major is D major and its parallel major is B major.

B minor
{ \new Staff \with{ \magnifyStaff #3/2 } << \time 2/16 \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f { \clef treble \key b \minor s16 \clef bass \key b \minor s16 } >> }
Relative keyD major
Parallel keyB major
Dominant keyF-sharp minor
SubdominantE minor
Component pitches
B, C, D, E, F, G, A

The B natural minor scale is:

\override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f
\relative c' {
  \clef treble \key b \minor \time 7/4 b4^\markup "B natural minor scale" cis d e fis g a b a g fis e d cis b2
  \clef bass \key b \minor
} }

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

\override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f
\relative c' {
  \clef treble \key b \minor \time 7/4 b4^\markup "B harmonic minor scale" cis d e fis g ais b ais g fis e d cis b2
} }
\override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f
\relative c' {
  \clef treble \key b \minor \time 7/4
  b4^\markup "B melodic minor scale (ascending and descending)" cis d e fis gis ais b a! g! fis e d cis b2
} }

Christian Friedrich Daniel Schubart (1739–1791) regarded B minor as a key expressing a quiet acceptance of fate and very gentle complaint, something commentators find to be in line with Bach's use of the key in his St John Passion.[1] By the end of the Baroque era, however, conventional academic views of B minor had shifted: Composer-theorist Francesco Galeazzi (1758–1819)[2] opined that B minor was not suitable for music in good taste. Beethoven labelled a B-minor melodic idea in one of his sketchbooks as a "black key".[3]

Notable compositions in B minorEdit

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ Tusa 1993, pp. 2–3, n. 5.
  2. ^ Galeazzi 1817, p. [page needed].
  3. ^ Tusa 1993, p. 2, n. 3.


  • Galeazzi, Francesco (1817). Elementi teorico-pratici di musica con un saggio sopra l'arte di suonare il violino analizzata, ed a dimostrabili principi ridotta. Ascoli. See also Francesco Galeazzi, The Theoretical-Practical Elements of Music, Parts III and IV; English translation, with introduction and commentary, by Deborah Burton and Gregory W. Harwood (Champaign, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 2012); ISBN 978-0-252-03708-5.
  • Tusa, Michael C. (1993). "Beethoven's 'C-Minor Mood': Some Thoughts on the Structural Implications of Key Choice". In Christoph Reynolds (ed.). Beethoven Forum. Vol. 2. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 978-0803239098.

External linksEdit

  •   Media related to B minor at Wikimedia Commons