B major

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

B major (or the key of B) is a major scale based on B. The pitches B, C, D, E, F, G, and A are all part of the B major scale. Its key signature has five sharps. Its relative minor is G-sharp minor, its parallel minor is B minor, and its enharmonic equivalent is C-flat major.

The B major scale is:

\override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f
\relative c' {
  \clef treble \key b \major \time 7/4 b4 cis dis e fis gis ais b ais gis fis e dis cis b2
} }

Although B major is usually thought of as a remote key (due to its distance from C major in the circle of fifths and its fairly large number of sharps), Frédéric Chopin regarded its scale as the easiest of all to play, as its black notes fit the natural positions of the fingers well; as a consequence he often assigned it first to beginning piano students, leaving the scale of C major until last because he considered it the hardest of all scales to play completely evenly (because of its complete lack of black notes).[1]

Few large-scale works in B major exist: these include Joseph Haydn's Symphony No. 46. The aria "La donna è mobile" from Verdi's opera Rigoletto is in the key, as is the "Flower Duet" from Lakmé. Johannes Brahms's Piano Trio No. 1, Op. 8 is in B major, though the piece ends in B minor. Brahms also wrote the slow movement to his Second Symphony in B major, as well as the fourth and last piece of the Ballades, Op. 10. The Tuileries movement from Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition is in the key. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony in B minor ends in B major.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Eigeldinger, Jean-Jacques and Shohet, Naomi. Chopin: Pianist and Teacher: As Seen by His Pupils. Cambridge University Press, 1988, p. 34

External links[edit]

  • Media related to B major at Wikimedia Commons