E-flat minor

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E-flat minor
G-flat-major e-flat-minor.svg
Relative keyG-flat major
Parallel keyE-flat major
Dominant keyB-flat minor
SubdominantA-flat minor
EnharmonicD-sharp minor
Component pitches
E, F, G, A, B, C, D

E-flat minor is a minor scale based on E, consisting of the pitches E, F, G, A, B, C, and D. Its key signature consists of six flats. Its relative key is G-flat major (or enharmonically F-sharp major) and its parallel key is E-flat major. The direct enharmonic equivalent of E-flat minor is D-sharp minor, a key signature of six sharps.

The E-flat natural minor scale is:

Musical scores are temporarily disabled.

Changes needed for the melodic and harmonic versions of the scale are written in with accidentals as necessary. The E-flat harmonic minor and melodic minor scales are:

Musical scores are temporarily disabled.
Musical scores are temporarily disabled.

Music in E-flat minor[edit]

In the 24 canonic keys, most of the composers preferred E-flat minor, while Bach, Lyapunov, and Ponce preferred D-sharp minor.

In Book 1 of The Well-Tempered Clavier by Johann Sebastian Bach, Prelude No. 8 is written in E-flat minor while the following fugue is written in D-sharp minor. In Book 2, both movements are in D-sharp minor.

Haydn's Piano Trio No. 41, H. XV.31 in two movements, composed in 1794/95, one of the "London Trios", is in the key of E-flat minor.[1]

Beethoven applied E-flat minor to the slow introduction in the sixth (last) movement of his Septet Op. 20 by adding accidentals while bearing the key signature of E-flat major (three flats). His oratorio Christ on the Mount of Olives is also in this key, but with the full six-flat signature.

The final piece in Brahms' Klavierstücke, Op. 118, No. 6, is in E-flat minor. The piece, like many pieces in this key, is dark and funereal, being based on the Dies irae chant. Schubert ended his Impromptus No. 2, D. 899 in E-flat minor, the parallel key to E-flat major, and so did Brahms in his Rhapsody No. 4, Op. 119. Chopin wrote his Etude No.6, Op. 10, his Polonaise No. 2, Op. 26, and his Prelude No. 14, Op. 28 in E-flat minor.

Janáček's Piano Sonata, 1. X. 1905, arguably his best-known work for the piano, is in E-flat minor.

Alkan composed the final movement for Symphony for Solo Piano in E-flat minor.

One of the few symphonies written in this key is Prokofiev's Symphony No. 6, where none of these three movements ends in E-flat minor. A few other less well-known composers also wrote symphonies in this key, such as Andrei Eshpai, Jānis Ivanovs (fourth symphony Sinfonia Atlantida, 1941), Ovchinnikov and Nikolai Myaskovsky. Aram Khachaturian wrote his Toccata in E-flat minor while studying under Myaskovsky.

E-flat minor is the key in which Dmitri Shostakovich composed his fifteenth and final string quartet.

Alexander Scriabin's Prelude No. 14 from his 24 Preludes, Op. 11, and 10th Mazurka from his Op. 3 are in E-flat minor, as well as Johannes Brahms's only independent Scherzo, Op. 4.

Sergei Rachmaninoff's Elegie, Op. 3, No. 1, is in E-flat minor, as is his Étude-Tableau, Op. 39, No. 5.

The waltz "On the Hills of Manchuria" by Ilya Alekseevich Shatrov, about the loss of Russia in the Russo-Japanese War, is written in E-flat minor. As mentioned, E-flat minor is common in Russian pieces. "On the Hills of Manchuria" is perhaps the most notable example.

The extended orchestral introduction to part 2 of Gustav Mahler's Eighth Symphony is in E-flat minor, as is the dark orchestral introduction to Beethoven's only oratorio, Christ on the Mount of Olives.

Guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen has composed a number of pieces in E-flat minor, including the Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra.

Jazz composition "Take Five" is also in this key.


  • A. Morris, "Symphonies, Numbers And Keys" in Bob's Poetry Magazine, III.3, 2006.
  1. ^ "Piano Trio in E flat minor, Hob XV:31 (Haydn) - from CDA67757 - Hyperion Records - MP3 and Lossless downloads". www.hyperion-records.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-02-26.

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