Fundamentals of
SCALES AND KEY SIGNATURES

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14. Relative Keys

a. Major and minor keys that have the same key signature are called relative keys. Relative keys do not have the same tonic (Figure 3-24).


Figure 3-24: Relative Keys.

b. The sixth scale degree of the major scale is the tonic of the relative minor scale (Figure 3-25).


Figure 3-25: Relative Key Identification.

NOTE: Because of this relationship, you can determine the minor key signature by first determining the major key signature. The name of the submediant (in the major key) is the name of the relative minor tonic.

c. The third scale degree of the minor scale is the tonic of the relative major (Figure 3-26).


Figure 3-26: Relative Major and Minor.


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Last Updated: March 31, 2012