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Anonymous asked in Entertainment & MusicMusicOther - Music · 2 months ago

Is C# in a D Minor Scale?

1 Answer

  • 2 months ago

    Yes - but the important thing to remember is that while it is in the SCALE it isn't in the KEY.

    The relative major of D minor is F,  which has one flat in the key - Bb. So far so good. If we do the same thing that we do for major scales - play all naturals except for the accidentals giving us the notes D E F G A Bb C. We can only use those notes if we are going to stay in the key (it's important to remember that these "rules" were formulated centuries ago, we don't necessarily abide by them now). This means that the all important dominant - chord V - is A MINOR, not a nicer sounding A major. The key doesn't allow us the option of using C#, we HAVE to use a C natural, giving us ACE - A minor. 

    So why not just have a key signature of Bb and C#? Well then we don't get the option of using the relative major - we don't have a C. Now we have the decidedly weird F augmented instead, FAC#. We also can't use the dominant of the relative major (C) we have to use C# diminished - C#EG. You ALSO don't have a nice chord VI - you have a badly spelled chord vi (Bbm) This is by far the worse option, your "relative minor" sounds completely strange and very unlike the major.

    So what did theorists do? They fudged an answer, essentially saying "OK, use the same key signature as F so you can stay away from those horrible augmented and diminished chords most of the time, but if you want to use A instead of Am you can just put a C# in and that's fine". There was another compromise made with the notes of the melodic minor, giving us a sharp 6 to play with as well.

    The thing to remember is that the 7th note of the scale is *changed* by being sharpened - it is not in the key signature.

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