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A flat minor

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Parallel key  A♭ major
Enharmonic  G♯ minor
Dominant key  E♭ minor
A-flat minor
Relative key  C♭ major enharmonic: B major
Subdominant  D♭ minor enharmonic: C♯ minor

A-flat minor is a minor scale based on A-flat, consisting of the pitches A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. For the harmonic minor, the G is raised to G. Its key signature has seven flats (see below: Scales and keys).

Its relative major is C♭ major (or, enharmonically, B major), and its parallel major is A♭ major. Its direct enharmonic equivalent is G♯ minor.

Changes needed for the melodic and harmonic versions of the scale are written in with accidentals as necessary.

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:

  • The Funeral March in Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 12, Op. 26.
  • An early section of the last movement of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 31, Op. 110 (although the key signature of this section uses only 6 flats, not 7).
  • The Adagio of Friedrich Kalkbrenner's Piano Concerto No. 4, Op. 127, although it is written with a four-flat key signature and uses accidentals to indicate the minor mode.
  • The first piece "Aime-moi" ("Love me") from Charles-Valentin Alkan's Trois morceaux dans le genre pathétique
  • Johannes Brahms's Fugue for organ (c. 1857).
  • Max Bruch's Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra, Op. 88a (although at least one two-piano transcription of this uses a 6-flat signature, similarly to the Op. 110 Beethoven example).
  • The Evocación from Book I of Isaac Albéniz's Iberia.
  • Leoš Janáček uses it for his Violin Sonata and the organ solo of his Glagolitic Mass.
  • The opening of Igor Stravinsky's The Firebird.
  • Moritz Moszkowski used it for his piano etude, Op. 72 No. 13.
  • Franz Liszt's original version of "La campanella" from Grandes études de Paganini, which was subsequently rewritten in G-sharp minor.
  • In Gustav Mahler's Ninth Symphony, there is a particularly aggressive restatement of the introduction of the third movement in A-flat minor.
  • 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 of G-sharp's appreciably simpler key signature and it has just five sharps as opposed to the seven flats of A-flat minor. As a result, only works expressly notated as such may reasonably be considered to be in A-flat minor.

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

    References

    A-flat minor Wikipedia


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