B-flat major

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B major
B-flat-major g-minor.svg
Relative key G minor
Parallel key B minor
Dominant key F major
Subdominant E major
Component pitches
B, C, D, E, F, G, A

In music theory, B 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 minor.

The B major scale is:

\relative c' { 
  \clef treble \key bes \major \time 7/4 \hide Staff.TimeSignature bes4 c d es f g a bes a g f es d c bes2

Many transposing instruments are pitched in B major, including the clarinet, trumpet, tenor saxophone, and soprano saxophone. As a result, B major is a popular key for concert band compositions.

In Nordic, Baltic, Western and Southern Slavic (except Bulgarian) languages, Hungarian, German and most Central and Northern European languages, the pitch B is sometimes 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 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