Key Signatures

1. Listing of Major and Minor Keys

(see below for ways to determine these keys)

Key Signature with No Flats or Sharps

C major/A minor key signature

C major
A minor

Key Signatures with Flats

F major/D minor key signature

F major
D minor

Bb major/G minor key signature

Bb major
G minor

Eb major/C minor key signature

Eb major
C minor

Ab major/F minor key signature

Ab major
F minor

Db major/Bb minor key signature

Db major
Bb minor

Gb major/Eb minor key signature

Gb major
Eb minor

Cb major/Ab minor key signature

Cb major
Ab minor

Key Signatures with Sharps

E major/E minor key signature

G major
E minor

D major/B minor key signature

D major
B minor

Eb major/C minor key signature

A major
F# minor

E major/C# minor key signature

E major
C# minor

B major/G# minor key signature

B major
G# minor

F# major/D# minor key signature

F# major
D# minor

C# major/A# minor Key Signature

C# major
A# minor

2. Methods of Reading Key Signatures

Easy Way to Determine Keys for Flats

  1. Memorize that one flat is F major/D minor.
  2. For key signatures that have two or more flats:
    • Determine the letter name of the second flat from the right. That is the major key.
    • Go down a third and that letter name will be the minor key.
    • NOTE: Make sure to check if the notes are flatted by the key signature.

Determining Flat Keys

Easy Way to Determine Keys for Sharps

  1. Go up a second from the last sharp to the right. That will be the major key.
  2. Go down a third and that letter name will be the minor key.
  3. NOTE: Make sure to check if the notes are sharped by the key signature.

Determing Sharp Keys

Using the Circle of Fifths to Determine Keys

See this article elsewhere on the website: The Awesome Power of the Circle of Fifths

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