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Key Signature Tables
Complete Scale Outline With Relative and Parallel Keys
By Brandy Kraemer, About.com Guide

Get quick info on each musical key, including relative minors, enharmonic signatures, and the nonexistent keys.

Major Key Signatures

No. of Sharps Enharmonic
Key Signature
Parallel Key
C maj A min 0   C minor
Musical sharp
G maj E min 1   G minor
D maj B min 2   D minor
A maj F# min 3   A minor
E maj C# min 4   E minor
B maj G# min 5 Cb major / Ab min B minor
F# maj D# min 6 Gb major / Eb min F# minor
C# maj A# min 7 Db major / Bb min C# minor
Musical flat
symbol   No. of
F maj D min 1   F minor
Bb maj G min 2   Bb minor
Eb maj C min 3   Eb minor
Ab maj F min 4   Ab minor
Db maj Bb min 5 C# major / A# min No Db minor (C# min)
Gb maj Eb min 6 F# major / D# min No Gb minor (F# min)
Cb maj Ab min 7 B major / G# min No Cb minor (B min)

Minor Key Signatures

No. of
Key Signature
Parallel Key
A min C maj 0   A major
Musical sharp
E min G maj 1   E major
B min D maj 2   B major
F# min A maj 3   F# major
C# min E maj 4   C# major
G# min B maj 5 Ab minor / Cb maj No G# major (Ab maj)
D# min F# maj 6 Eb minor / Gb maj No D# major (Eb maj)
A# min C# maj 7 Bb minor / Db maj No A# major (Bb maj)
Musical flat
symbol   No. of
D min F maj 1   D major
G min Bb maj 2   G major
C min Eb maj 3   C major
F min Ab maj 4   F major
Bb min Db maj 5 A# minor / C# major Bb major
Eb min Gb maj 6 D# minor / F# major Eb major
Ab min Cb maj 7 G# minor / B major Ab major

Pattern of Accidentals

Memorizing the order in which the accidentals appear in the key signatures will ease both sight-reading and musical composition, and help strengthen your understanding of the diatonic scale. You'll see this pattern everywhere in music theory, so it's valuable to to know (notice in the examples below that the pattern is simply reversed):

  • Sharps (#): F     C     G     D     A     E     B
  • Flats (b):   B     E     A     D     G     C     F

Help memorizing: Mnemonic devices for the Pattern of Accidentals

  Key Signatures In Depth
• Understanding Key Signatures
• What Is a Relative Minor?
• The Circle of Fifths (Musiced.about.com)
• Take the Key Signature Quiz!
  Beginner Musical Symbols
• Accidentals & Double-Accidentals
• Reading the Time Signature
• Musical Repeat Signs
• How to Play Dotted Notes
  Piano Recitals & Performances
• Choosing Your Piano Recital Song
• On-Stage Etiquette for Musicians
• Audience Etiquette to Know!
• Getting a Grip on Stage Fright  

  Piano Chords
• Left Hand Piano Chord Fingering
• Chord Types & Symbols
• Easy Piano Chords With Illustrations
• Learn 7th & Dominant Piano Chords

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