Complete Major and Minor Keys Chart

I keep coming across major and minor key charts but have never seen a complete key chart for the Major and associated Relative minor keys. Some seem to believe that there are only 12 Major keys when in fact there are 15 and with their 15 Relative minor keys that is a total of 30 key signatures.
Granted we very rarely will see keys using 5, 6, or 7 sharps or flats, but if you do here is a chart I put together showing them all.

The chart is arranged starting with C Major at the top with it’s Relative minor next and so on.
It progresses clockwise around the circle of 5ths/4ths until arriving back at the C Major location.

Hope this of use to someone other than myself :slightly_smiling_face:

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Yup, super handy, thanks

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I might be reading this incorrectly, or missing something, but the chord designations appear to apply only to the major scales. The overall chart is still helpful, but that part does not appear to be accurate for the minor keys.

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Some good explanations to key signatures in this thread, it kind of addresses why that is. If I am understanding what you are saying.

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Minor scales follow a Tone, Semitone, Tone, Tone, Semitone, Tone, Tone sequence.
Which one of the minor scales is not following this sequence?

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Sorry, I meant the chord designations at the top, which are for major only (I, ii, iii, etc.). Might be missing something, though.

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You were right I had the IV and V steps labelled incorrectly, the should both be Major.

Take a look at it now and let me know if that is what you were referring to.

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I hadn’t even looked too closely at the IV and V, but I was referring to the entire minor progression, which is not represented: so A minor should be a(i), b(dim), c(III), d(iv), e(v), f(VI), g(VII). Not saying they need to be in there, but someone looking at the chart who is not familiar with the difference might get confused.

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Be they Major or minor keys the quality of the degrees of separation for the scales are Both labelled the same way, starting from the root.

So chords in the scale of Am would be:
A Bm Cm D E Fm Gdiminished

Looking at your Bdim in the key of Am I think you are confusing the Am scale with C Major scale, in which case the B is a diminished chord, but its quality does not carry over to the Am scale where the B is the second degree of the scale and would be a minor chord. In other words, both scales have the same notes but they start on a different root note.

If you can point me to a place that says different I would be more than happy to check it out.

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Hey @eric.kiser @howard @Vik @Gio @JT can someone tell me if I am off base here — Please

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Or me. I’m not sure. Could be looking at it incorrectly.

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Using this as a reference, it appears that I was correct: Chords in the key of A minor

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Unless I’m also misunderstanding this, I think @JimP is onto something here. From the B2B course extras diatonic chords reference.

image

image

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That’s why I asked for help from the gurus.
Why are there two V chords listed in your Am listing?

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Good question. Unfortunately I am not a guru so I couldn’t say.

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I think Josh mentions this in B2B. Got this wording from Study Bass: In minor keys, however, there is a frequent harmonic “adjustment” made where the minor v chord of the natural minor scale is changed into a major triad or dominant 7th chord. The v chord becomes a V chord.

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The diatonic chords starting at any of the roots of the modes are different based on the scale interval the mode starts at fronm the corresponding major scale.

Think about this as a sanity check - for each of the diatonic chords for a scale, all of the notes in the triad must exist in the scale.

Josh’s charts are correct (of course, though I am unsure where that extra V on the minor chart comes from - unless it’s a nice resolution for a minor progression or something).

The triad pattern for a major scale (starting at the root note) is -

MmmMMmd

and for a minor scale (which starts at the sixth interval of the corresponding major scale) it is:

mdMmmMM

This pattern rotates through all the modes. So, for example, for Dorian, which starts on the second position, the diatonic chords are:

mmMMmdM

This is actually really key (pun intended) and fundamental to chord progressions in any of the modes. Much like the scale intervals are the only thing that really matters for each of the scales, the chord pattern for a key is really what matters for moving around in progressions.

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hey y’all.

@JimP identified the diatonic chords in a minor key correctly.
A minor and C major share a key signature.
The root notes and chord qualities all line up and will be the same - the only thing that changes are the numerals.

Warning - I get a bit Theory Wonky here. I love this stuff. Hope it is illuminating.

The reason that there are 2 different V chords listen in the minor key is because…

There is no leading tone in the natural minor mode.
Meaning, scale degree seven in a minor key (G in the key of a minor) is a whole step away from A.

In the major mode, the leading tone (scale degree 7) is a half step away from the root. That half step momentum/tension is what drives the majority of western harmony. The leading tone (and the harmony that it produces) is what drives the ear back home.

Because the natural minor mode didn’t have that, composers just forced it.
They used the G# (in the key of a minor) so that they could drive the ear into the a, and make a feel like home.
The most common way this is done is with the 5 chord.
In the key of a minor, the 5 chord is E.
The naturally occurring chord in the key signature is an E minor chord, but that chord doesn’t create a bunch tension and push the ear back to A.
So.
They pushed the G into a G# and created a major triad on the E. If you build a 7 chord there (better for creating tensions and pushing for a more satisfying resolution) you’d get an E7 chord.

That switch from the G to the G# was done for the effect of making A minor feel like home - like the perfect resolution for the music.

It’s not in the key signature, but has to be done in order for the mechanics of western classical music theory and harmony to work.

Because of this change, people called a minor scale with a G# (instead of a G) a harmonic minor scale. The harmonic minor scale is a completely abstract construct generated by looking at this altered approach to the HARMONY of the minor key.

Composers couldn’t handle the melodic leap from a b6 to a major7. It sounded abominable to the ears of 17th & 18th century Europe.
Composers couldn’t do it.
So… they changed scale degree 6 in their melodies so that they didn’t have to deal with that real cool (to my ears) 1.5 step leap from b6 to 7.

The scale created by analyzing this melodic choice (motivated solely by the inability of old-time composers to hear the ‘exotic’ sound of the b6-major7 leap as good) is called the melodic minor scale.
It’s another abstract concept generated from looking at the melodic movements of Classical music composers through the ages.

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Ahh, super interesting, thanks!

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You were correct regarding the minor keys.
I have adjusted the chart in the OP to remove the degree qualities.
All should be OK with it now.

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