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D-flat minor

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D minor
Relative key F major
Parallel key D major
Notes in this scale
D, E, F, G, A, Bdouble flat, C, D

D-flat minor is a theoretical key based on the musical note D. Its key signature has seven flats and one double flat.[1]

Because it has so many flats, D minor is usually written as its enharmonic equivalent of C minor. For example, Mahler's thematic motif "der kleine Appell" ("call to order") from his Fourth and Fifth Symphonies is written in D minor in Symphony No.4, but in his Symphony No. 5 it is in C minor. In the Adagio of his Symphony No. 9 a solo bassoon theme appears first in D minor, but comes back two more times notated in C minor. The Adagio of Bruckner's Symphony No. 8, also has phrases that are tonally in D minor but written as C minor.[2][3][4][5]


  1. Thomas Busby (1840). "D Flat Minor". A dictionary of three thousand musical terms. revised by J.A. Hamilton. London: D'Almaine and Co.. p. 55.
  2. Ernst Levy (1985). A Theory of Harmony. SUNY Press. p. 62. ISBN 0873959930 .
  3. James L. Zychowicz (2005). "Structural Considerations". Mahler's Fourth Symphony. Oxford University Press. p. 28. ISBN 0198162065 .
  4. Eero Tarasti (1996). "Music history revisited". In Eero Tarasti, Paul Forsell, and Richard Littlefield. Musical Semiotics in Growth. Indiana University Press. pp. 14–15. ISBN 0253329493 .
  5. Theodor W. Adorno (1992). Mahler: A Musical Physiognomy. Translated by Edmund Jephcott. University of Chicago Press. pp. 165–166. ISBN 0226007693 .

Scales and keys