An introduction to music theory
An introduction to music theory

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An introduction to music theory

Group 2: identifying minor scales with key signatures of up to four sharps and four flats

Activity 1

Match the key signatures of one sharp, two sharps, one flat, three flats to the scales below.

With each activity, don’t forget to check which clef is being used. Each scale starts on the tonic or key-note.

Using the following two lists, match each numbered item with the correct letter.

  1. One flat

  2. Two sharps

  3. One sharp

  4. Three flats

  • a.

  • b.

  • c.

  • d.

The correct answers are:
  • 1 = c
  • 2 = a
  • 3 = b
  • 4 = d

Answer

D minor You need to add a key signature of one flat to make this a D minor scale starting on the tonic. The C in the second bar is the sharpened seventh making this the harmonic form of the D minor scale.

B minor You need to add a key signature of two sharps to make this a B minor scale starting on the tonic. Both the sixth and seventh notes of the scale are sharpened which means that this is the ascending melodic form of the scale.

E minor You need to add a key signature of one sharp to make this an E minor scale starting on the tonic. Neither the sixth nor seventh notes of the scale are sharpened making this the descending melodic or natural form of the scale (remember that both the natural and the melodic forms of the scale have the same descending pattern).

C minor You need to add a key signature of three flats to make this a C minor scale starting on the tonic. Both the sixth and seventh notes of the scale are sharpened, i.e. raised a semitone – the key signature has A and B but the scale requires A and B – and therefore this is the ascending melodic form of the scale.

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