B-flat major

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B-flat major
B-flat-major g-minor.svg
Relative keyG minor
Parallel keyB-flat minor
Dominant keyF major
SubdominantE-flat major
Component pitches
B, C, D, E, F, G, A

In music theory, B-flat major is a major scale based on B, with pitches B, C, D, E, F, G, and A. Its key signature has two flats. Its relative minor is G minor and its parallel minor is B-flat minor (not enharmonically A-sharp minor).

The B-flat major scale is:

\override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f
\relative c' {
  \clef treble \key bes \major \time 7/4 bes4 c d es f g a bes a g f es d c bes2
  \clef bass \key bes \major
} }

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 one of the most popular keys for concert band compositions.

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

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

Notable classical compositions[edit]


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

External links[edit]

Media related to B-flat major at Wikimedia Commons