|Relative key||D♭ minor
enharmonic: C♯ minor
|Parallel key||F♭ minor
enharmonic: E minor
|Dominant key||C♭ major
enharmonic: B major
enharmonic: A major
|F♭, G♭, A♭, B, C♭, D♭, E♭, F♭|
Its relative minor is D♭ minor, usually replaced by C♯ minor (see reason below) and its parallel minor is F♭ minor, usually replaced by E minor, since F♭ minor's four double-flats make it generally impractical to use.
Although F♭ major is usually notated as its enharmonic equivalent of E major, because E major has 4 sharps only as opposed to F-flat major's 8 flats (including the B), part of Richard Strauss' Metamorphosen uses F♭ major, which one commentator has called "a bitter enharmonic parody" of the earlier manifestations of E major in the piece. Beethoven also used F♭ major in his Piano Sonata No. 31, op. 110. In the first movement's exposition, the transitional passage between the first and second subjects consists of arpeggiated figuration beginning in A♭ major and modulating to the dominant key of E♭ major. In the recapitulation, the key for this passage is changed to bring the second subject back in A♭ major: the transitional passage appears in a key that would theoretically be F♭ major, but which is notated in E major, presumably because Beethoven judged this easier to read - this key being a major third below the key of the earlier appearance of this passage.
Another example of F♭ major being notated as E major can be found in the Adagio of Haydn's Trio No. 27 in A-flat major. The Finale of Bruckner's Symphony No. 4 employs enharmonic E for F♭, but its Coda employs F♭ directly, with a phrygian cadence through F♭ onto the tonic.
The climax that occurs in the middle of Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings resolves to F♭ major.
- Nicolas Slonimsky (1960). The Road to Music. New York: Dodd, Mead, & Co. p. 16.
- Bryan Randolph Gilliam (1998). Richard Strauss: New Perspectives on the Composer and His Work. Duke University Press. p. 237. ISBN 0-8223-2114-9.
- Donald Betts (2005). "Beethoven's Piano Sonata Opus 110". The Inner Voice.
- James Arnold Hepokoski and Warren Darcy (2006). Elements of Sonata Theory: Norms, Types, and Deformations in the Late-Eighteenth-Century Sonata. Oxford University Press. p. 326. ISBN 0-19-514640-9.
- Julian Horton (2004). Bruckner's Symphonies: Analysis, Reception and Cultural Politics. Cambridge University Press. p. 127. ISBN 0-521-82354-4.
- "Ewald: Quintet No 4 in Ab, op 8". Ensemble Publications. Ensemble Publications. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
Scales and keys
|Diatonic scales and keys|
|The table indicates the number of sharps or flats in each scale. Minor scales are written in lower case.|