|Relative key||G♭ major
enharmonic: F♯ major
|Parallel key||E♭ major|
|Dominant key||B♭ minor|
enharmonic: G♯ minor
|E♭, F, G♭, A♭, B♭, C♭, D♭, E♭|
Its relative major is G♭ major (or enharmonically F♯ major) and its parallel major is E♭ major. Its enharmonic equivalent is D♯ minor. Changes needed for the melodic and harmonic versions of the scale are written in with accidentals as necessary.
This key is often popular with jazz or blues influenced keyboard players as, using all the black keys along with the F, it allows for an easily playable blues scale.
In classical music
Despite the key rarely being used in orchestral music other than to modulate, it is encountered in a small fraction of keyboard music, and has been most popular in Russian pieces. For orchestration of piano music, some theorists recommend transposing to D minor or E minor.
In Book 1 of The Well-Tempered Clavier by Johann Sebastian Bach, Prelude No. 8 is written in E-flat minor while the following fugue is written in D-sharp minor. In Book 2, both movements are in D-sharp minor.
Beethoven applied E-flat minor to the slow introduction in the sixth (last) movement of his Septet Op. 20.
One of the few symphonies written in this key is Prokofiev's Symphony No. 6, where none of these three movements ends in E-flat minor. A few other less well-known composers also wrote symphonies in this key, such as Andrei Eshpai, Jānis Ivanovs (fourth symphony Sinfonia Atlantida, 1941), Ovchinnikov and Nikolai Myaskovsky. Aram Khachaturian wrote his Toccata in E-flat minor while studying under Myaskovsky.
Sergei Rachmaninoff's Elegie, Op. 3, No. 1, is in E-flat minor, as is his Étude-Tableau, Op. 39, No. 5. These pieces are noted for being dark and mysterious (a characteristic of this key), as shown even in the later jazz compositions "'Round Midnight" and "Take Five", which are also in the key.
Oskar Böhme's Trumpet Sextet, Op. 30 is written in E-flat minor.
Alexseevich Shatrov's waltz, On the Hills of Manchuria, about the loss of Russia in the Russo-Japanese war, is written in E-flat minor. As mentioned, E-flat minor is common in Russian pieces. On the Hills of Manchuria is perhaps the most notable example.
The extended orchestral introduction to part 2 of Gustav Mahler's Eighth Symphony is in E-flat minor, as is the dark orchestral introduction to Beethoven's only oratorio, Christ on the Mount of Olives.
- A. Morris, "Symphonies, Numbers And Keys" in Bob's Poetry Magazine, III.3, 2006.
- Media related to E-flat minor at Wikimedia Commons
|Diatonic scales and keys|
|The table indicates the number of sharps or flats in each scale. Minor scales are written in lower case.|