|Relative key||F♯ major|
|Parallel key||D♯ major|
|Notes in this scale|
|D♯, E♯, F♯, G♯, A♯, B, C♯, D♯|
E-flat minor is its enharmonic equivalent. Its relative major is F-sharp major, and its parallel major is D-sharp major. This is usually replaced by E-flat major, because D-sharp major's two double sharps make it impractical to use.
Since D-sharp minor and its enharmonic equivalent both have key signatures of six accidentals, neither one is clearly used instead of the other. For example, using the melodic minor version of D-sharp minor on the harp is very difficult. The B-pedal can be set to the sharp position, but there is no double-sharp position to set the C-pedal at. In Book I of The Well-Tempered Clavier, Bach chose to write the eighth prelude in E-flat minor but the accompanying fugue in D-sharp minor. (In Book II, Bach wrote both the eighth Prelude and Fugue in D-sharp minor.)
Music written in this key is considered very difficult to read, which means that little music was written mainly in this key in the Classical era. E-flat minor is easier for many brass instruments and woodwinds.
The most famous work in this key is Scriabin's famous Etude Op. 8, No. 12. Russian composer Lyapunov must also have liked the key because he wrote the second etude of his Op. 11 set in the key, and also fifteen years later his Variations on a Russian Theme, Op. 49. His early Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 4 was also in the enharmonic key of E-flat minor.
In a few scores, 6-sharp key signatures in the bass clef are written with the sharp for the A on the top line. This is not done often, because it is different from the treble clef.
This key is not used often in orchestral music, but is used more in keyboard music. When arranging this piano music for orchestra, some people recommend transposing the music to D minor or E minor. If D-sharp minor must be used, B-flat wind instruments should have their parts written in F minor, rather than E-sharp minor.
Scales and keys[change | change source]
Diatonic Scales and Keys
|The table shows the number of sharps or flats in each scale. Minor scales are written in lower case.|