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Music Theory for Computer Musicians by Michael Hewitt

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Understanding Minor Keys

Learning about keys is best accomplished in a certain order. Otherwise, the task can seem too daunting. After learning about the key of C major, you should then learn about the relative minor key—A minor. This uses the same white-key scale as C major, the difference being that note A is the starting point (see Figure 9.1). Note A is consequently the tonic of that key.

Figure 9.1. Comparison of C major and A minor scales.

The key of A minor is called the relative minor of the key of C because it uses the same notes. The corollary to this is the key of C major, which is called the relative major of A minor. From this ...

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