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In music, the parallel minor of a particular major key (or the parallel major of a minor key) is the key which has the same tonic and a different key signature, as opposed to relative minor (or major, respectively). For example, G major and G minor have different key signatures (one sharp and two flats, respectively) but both have the same tonic, G; so we say that G minor is the parallel minor of G major.

Easily calculating the parallel major or minor of a key

To find the parallel minor of a key, add 3 flats to the key signature.

For example, F major has 1 flat (B). Adding 3 flats would yield 4 flats, meaning F minor has 4 flats in its key signature. (B E A D)

B major has 5 sharps (F C G D A). To find B minor, add 3 flats. Since flats cancel out sharps, you are left with 2 sharps. (F C)

To find the parallel major, add 3 sharps.

Em to EM: Em has 1 sharp (F). Add 3 to get 4 sharps. (F C G D)

Fm to FM: Fm has 4 flats (B E A D). Add 3 sharps to get 1 flat. (B)

  Results from FactBites:
Tendency Tones and Minor Scales (522 words)
A harmonic minor scale is a natural minor scale with a raised scale degree 7.
As we noted in the section on key signatures, minor scales built on the sixth scale degree of a major scale have the same key signature.
This is called the relative minor to the major key (or relative major to the minor key, depending upon from which you are starting.) For example: in F Major, the sixth scale degree is the pitch class "D":
Major and minor - definition of Major and minor in Encyclopedia (472 words)
The minor scale may be considered as the sixth mode of a major scale, or otherwise a variation, such as a major scale with a lowered third, sixth, and seventh.
The minor third is considered the hallmark of a minor scale, since the sixth and seventh may be variably raised while the third remains unaltered.
The use of triads only available in the minor mode, such as the use of A♭-major in C major, is relatively decorative chromaticism, considered to add color and weaken sense of key without entirely destroying or losing it.
  More results at FactBites »



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