Music theory > Lessons > Pitch of sounds > Scales > Closely related keys

Closely related keys

Definition of closely related keys

Any key will have 5 closely-related keys. A closely-related key is a key that differs from a given key by at most one sharp or one flat.


Closely related keys are the most commonly used for modulations.

How to find closely related keys?


There are 3 methods to find closely related keys of a given key:

#1 Subtracting and adding one accidental
#2 With the circle of fifths
#3 With scale degrees

Finding closely related keys by subtracting and adding one accidental

Here we will learn how to find closely related keys by subtracting and adding one accidental:

For this example, we will try to find all 5 closely related keys of B flat Major

First of all you must find the key signature of B flat Major, if you have read the article about key signature, you already know that B flat Major has 2 flats as key signature.

B flat Major scale:
B flat major scale

Step #1: Finding the key signature of B flat Major:

closely related keys of B flat Major


Step #2: Subtracting and adding one accidental:

You can add and subtract one accidental or add a perfect fifth and subtract a perfect fifth, it is the same)
closely related keys of B flat Major


Step #3: Find the relative minor keys:

closely related keys of B flat Major

Conclusion:

Closely related keys of B flat Major are:
* F Major
* E flat Major
* D minor
* G minor
* C minor


Another example with C Major:

closely related keys of C Major

Closely related keys of C Major are:
* G Major
* F Major
* E minor
* A minor
* D minor

Finding closely related keys with the circle of fifths

You can find the closely related keys with the circle of fifths:

Example with B flat Major:

closely related keys of B flat Major with the circle of fifths

Closely related keys of B flat Major are neighbors keys on circle of fifths.

Conclusion:

Closely related keys of B flat Major are:
* F Major
* E flat Major
* D minor
* G minor
* C minor

Finding closely related keys with scale degrees

You can find the closely related keys with scale degrees.

On a Major scale, some degrees of the scales refers to all closely related keys of the given key:

degree I: main Major key
degree II: closely related minor key
degree III: closely related minor key
degree IV: closely related Major key
degree V: closely related Major key
degree VI: closely related minor key

Example with C Major key

degree I: C (main Major key)
degree II: D (closely related minor key)
degree III: E (closely related minor key)
degree IV: F (closely related Major key)
degree V: G (closely related Major key)
degree VI: A (closely related minor key)

closely related keys of C Major key

Another example with F Major:

closely related keys of F Major key

Complete list of closely related keys


Closely related keys of C Major : F Major, G Major, D minor, A minor, E minor
Closely related keys of G Major : C Major, D Major, A minor, E minor, B minor
Closely related keys of D Major : G Major, A Major, E minor, B minor, F sharp minor
Closely related keys of A Major : D Major, E Major, B minor, F sharp minor, C sharp minor
Closely related keys of E Major : A Major, B Major, F sharp minor, C sharp minor, G sharp minor
Closely related keys of C flat Major : G flat Major, F flat Major, E flat minor, A flat minor, D flat minor
Closely related keys of B Major : E Major, F sharp Major, C sharp minor, G sharp minor, D sharp minor
Closely related keys of G flat Major : D flat Major, C flat Major, B flat minor, E flat minor, A flat minor
Closely related keys of F sharp Major : C sharp Major, B Major, A sharp minor, D sharp minor, G sharp minor
Closely related keys of D flat Major : A flat Major, G flat Major, F minor, B flat minor, E flat minor
Closely related keys of C sharp Major : G sharp Major, F sharp Major, E sharp minor, A sharp minor, D sharp minor
Closely related keys of A flat Major : E flat Major, D flat Major, C minor, F minor, B flat minor
Closely related keys of E flat Major : B flat Major, A flat Major, G minor, C minor, F minor
Closely related keys of B flat Major : F Major, E flat Major, D minor, G minor, C minor
Closely related keys of F Major : C Major, B flat Major, G minor, D minor, A minor

Closely related keys of A minor : D minor, E minor, F Major, C Major, G Major
Closely related keys of E minor : A minor, B minor, C Major, G Major, D Major
Closely related keys of B minor : E minor, F sharp minor, G Major, D Major, A Major
Closely related keys of F sharp minor : B minor, C sharp minor, D Major, A Major, E Major
Closely related keys of C sharp minor : F sharp minor, G sharp minor, A Major, E Major, B Major
Closely related keys of G sharp minor : C sharp minor, D sharp minor, E Major, B Major, F sharp Major
Closely related keys of A flat minor : E flat minor, D flat minor, G flat Major, C flat Major, F flat Major
Closely related keys of D sharp minor : G sharp minor, A sharp minor, C sharp Major, F sharp Major, B Major
Closely related keys of E flat minor : A flat minor, B flat minor, D flat Major, G flat Major, C flat Major
Closely related keys of A sharp minor : D sharp minor, E sharp minor, F sharp Major, C sharp Major, G sharp Major
Closely related keys of B flat minor : E flat minor, F minor, A flat Major, D flat Major, G flat Major
Closely related keys of F minor : B flat minor, C minor, E flat Major, A flat Major, D flat Major
Closely related keys of C minor : F minor, G minor, B flat Major, E flat Major, A flat Major
Closely related keys of G minor : C minor, D minor, F Major, B flat Major, E flat Major
Closely related keys of D minor : G minor, A minor, C Major, F Major, B flat Major

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