## Section3.2Minor Key Signatures

Minor key signatures agree with the notes of the natural minor scale. Since the $\text{C}$ natural minor scale had $\text{E}^♭$, $\text{A}^♭$, and $\text{B}^♭$, the key signature of C minor has three flats, written in the order of flats—$\text{B}^♭$, $\text{E}^♭$, $\text{A}^♭$. Therefore, a minor key signature will have three lowered notes—the 3rd, 6th, and 7th—in relation to the corresponding major key signature. We use the term parallel minor when referring to a minor scale that has the same 1st scale degree (in this case $\text{C}$) as the major. We say, “The parallel minor of $\text{E}$ major is $\text{E}$ minor,” and “The parallel major of $\text{F}$ minor is $\text{F}$ major.” One method of figuring out a minor key signature is to add three flats to the parallel major key signature. This is the same as subtracting three sharps. Note on uppercase versus lowercase: When writing below the five-line staff to designate keys, we will use the shorthand of upper case for major ($\left.\text{C}\right.$) and lowercase for minor ($\left.\text{c}\right.$). When writing prose, we will use uppercase: $\text{C}$ major and $\text{C}$ minor.

We use the term relative minor when referring to a minor key that has the same key signature as a major key. For example, the relative minor of $\text{E}^♭$ major is $\text{C}$ minor because both have three flats in the key signature. Conversely, one could say the relative major of $\text{C}$ minor is $\text{E}^♭$ major. The relative major is three half steps above the relative minor. Below are the minor key signatures. Here are circle of fifths diagrams for both major and minor, for comparison.  