D-flat minor


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

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

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 (ed.). Musical Semiotics in Growth. Indiana University Press. pp. 14–15. ISBN 0253329493.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: editors list (link)
  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