D-flat minor
{ \magnifyStaff #3/2 \omit Score.TimeSignature \key des \minor s16 \clef F \key des \minor s^"" }

Alternative notation
{ \magnifyStaff #3/2 \omit Score.TimeSignature \set Staff.keyAlterations = #`((6 . ,FLAT)(2 . ,FLAT)(5 . ,FLAT)(1 . ,FLAT)(4 . ,FLAT)(0 . ,FLAT)(3 . ,FLAT)(6 . ,DOUBLE-FLAT)) s^"" }
Relative keyF-flat major (theoretical)
enharmonic: E major
Parallel keyD-flat major
Dominant keyA-flat minor
SubdominantG-flat minor (theoretical)
enharmonic: F-sharp minor
EnharmonicC-sharp minor
Component pitches
D, E, F, G, A, Bdouble flat, C

D-flat minor is a theoretical key based on D, consisting of the pitches D, E, F, G, A, Bdouble flat, and C. Its key signature has one double flat and six flats. Its relative major is F-flat major, which is usually replaced by E major. Its parallel major is D-flat major. Its direct enharmonic equivalent, C-sharp minor, is normally used.

The D-flat natural minor scale is:

\omit Score.TimeSignature \relative c' {
  \key des \minor \time 7/4 des^"Natural minor scale" es fes ges aes beses ces des ces beses aes ges fes es des2
  \clef F \key des \minor
} }

Changes needed for the melodic and harmonic versions of the scale are written in with accidentals as necessary. The D-flat harmonic minor and melodic minor scales are:

\omit Score.TimeSignature \relative c' {
  \key des \minor \time 7/4 des^"Harmonic minor scale" es fes ges aes beses c des c beses aes ges fes es des2
} }
\omit Score.TimeSignature \relative c' {
  \accidentalStyle modern \key des \minor \time 7/4 des^"Melodic minor scale" es fes ges aes bes c des ces? beses? aes ges fes es des2
} }

D-flat minor is usually notated as the enharmonic key of C-sharp minor, as in the second and third measures of Amy Beach's Canticle of the Sun.[1] However, unusually, two of Verdi's most well-known operas, La traviata and Rigoletto, both end in D-flat minor (although written with the five-flat key signature of the parallel major). Mahler's thematic motif "der kleine Appell" ("call to order") from his Fourth and Fifth Symphonies uses both notations: in his Symphony No. 4 (first movement) it is in D-flat minor, but in his Symphony No. 5 it is in C-sharp minor. In the Adagio of his Symphony No. 9, a solo bassoon interpolation following the main theme appears first in D-flat minor, returning twice more notated in C-sharp minor. Likewise, in the Adagio of Bruckner's Symphony No. 8, phrases that are tonally in D-flat minor are notated as C-sharp minor.[2][3][4][5]

D-flat minor key signatures are used on Max Reger's On the Theory of Modulation on pp. 42–45.[6]

Scale degree chords

The scale-degree chords of D-flat minor are:


  1. ^ Amy Beach & Betty Buchanan (2006). The Canticle of the Sun. A-R Editions, Inc. p. xiii. ISBN 0-89579-583-3.
  2. ^ Ernst Levy (1985). A Theory of Harmony. SUNY Press. p. 62. ISBN 0-87395-993-0.
  3. ^ James L. Zychowicz (2005). "Structural Considerations". Mahler's Fourth Symphony. Oxford University Press. p. 28. ISBN 0-19-816206-5.
  4. ^ Eero Tarasti (1996). "Music history revisited". In Eero Tarasti; Paul Forsell; Richard Littlefield (eds.). Musical Semiotics in Growth. Indiana University Press. pp. 14–15. ISBN 0-253-32949-3.
  5. ^ Theodor W. Adorno (1992). Mahler: A Musical Physiognomy. Translated by Edmund Jephcott. University of Chicago Press. pp. 165–166. ISBN 0-226-00769-3.
  6. ^ Max Reger (1904). Supplement to the Theory of Modulation. Translated by John Bernhoff. Leipzig: C. F. Kahnt Nachfolger. pp. 42–45.