|Relative key||D major|
|Parallel key||B major|
|Notes in this scale|
|B, C♯, D, E, F♯, G, A, B|
In Baroque times, people thought that B minor was the key of passive suffering. Christian Friedrich Daniel Schubart (1739-1791) said that it was a key that was complaining gently and quietly, something that matches Bach's use of the key in the St. John's Passion. By Beethoven's time, B minor had changed in people's minds: Francesco Galeazzi wrote that B minor was not suitable for music in good taste, and Beethoven labelled a B minor melodic idea in one of his sketchbooks as a "black key". The chord was famously used as the first chord in Pink Floyd's 1979 hit "Comfortably Numb". The second movement of Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez, one of the most famous compositions for the classical guitar, is in B minor.
It is a common key used in rock, folk, country and other guitarist-based styles because a guitar is naturally tuned so that all the open strings are notes in B minor.
Well-known Classical pieces in this key[edit | change source]
- Violin Concerto No. 3 (Saint-Saëns) - Camille Saint-Saëns
- Mass in B Minor - Johann Sebastian Bach
- Piano Sonata in B minor - Franz Liszt
- Piano Sonata No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 58 - Frédéric Chopin
- Waltz Opus 69 No. 2 in B Minor - Frédéric Chopin
- Violin Concerto No. 2 in B Minor (La Campanella) - Niccolò Paganini
- Symphony No. 8 in B minor - Franz Schubert
- Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Op. 74 (Pathetique) - Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
- E lucevan le stelle from Tosca - Giacomo Puccini
- Cello Concerto in B minor - Antonín Dvořák
- Concerto for 4 Violins and Cello, RV 580 (Concerto No. 10 from L'estro Armonico) - Antonio Vivaldi
References[edit | change source]
- Xinh's JS Bach B-Minor Mass Balance. Retrieved January 20, 2007.
- Michael C. Tusa, "Beethoven's "C-Minor Mood": Some Thoughts on the Structural Implications of Key Choice" in Beethoven Forum 2, Christoph Reynolds, ed. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press (1993): 2 - 3, n. 5
- Ibid, 2, n. 3
Diatonic Scales and Keys
|The table shows the number of sharps or flats in each scale. Minor scales are written in lower case.|