B-flat Major
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B-flat Major
B-flat major
B-flat-major g-minor.svg
Relative key G minor
Parallel key B? minor
Dominant key F major
Subdominant E? major
Component pitches
B?, C, D, E?, F, G, A

In music theory, B-flat major is a major scale based on B?. The pitches B?, C, D, E?, F, G, and A are all part of the B-flat major scale. Its key signature has two flats.

B? major's relative minor is G minor, and its parallel minor is B? minor.

Many transposing instruments are pitched in B-flat major, including the clarinet, trumpet, tenor saxophone, and soprano saxophone. As a result, B-flat major is a popular key for concert band compositions.

\transpose c bes \relative c' \new Staff \with { \remove "Time_signature_engraver" \remove "Bar_engraver" } { \key c \major  c d e f | g a b c | b a g f | e d c }

In Nordic, Baltic, Western and Southern Slavic (except Bulgarian) languages, Hungarian, German and most Central and Northern European languages, the pitch B is sometimes called "H" (while B-flat is called "B".)


Joseph Haydn's Symphony No. 98 is credited as the first symphony he (or anyone else) wrote in that key in which he included trumpet and timpani parts. Actually, his brother Michael Haydn had written one such symphony earlier, No. 36, though Joseph Haydn still gets credit for writing the timpani part at actual pitch with an F major key signature (instead of transposing with a C major key signature), a procedure that made sense since he limited that instrument to the tonic and dominant pitches.[1] Many editions of the work, however, use no key signature and specify the instrument as "Timpani in B-flat-F".

Five of Mozart's piano concertos are in B-flat major.

Notable classical compositions


  1. ^ H. C. Robbins Landon, Haydn Symphonies, London: British Broadcasting Corporation (1966): 57

External links

Media related to B-flat major at Wikimedia Commons

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