In this lesson we will take a look at notes and chords in the key of B flat. On your instrument, this key is the same as A sharp, in terms of the piano keys to be played. But the key of A sharp is hardly used because of notation difficulties caused by the need for a double sharp. It’s a theoretical key.
A Sharp Major Scale: A#, B#, C##, D#, E#, F##, G##
Let’s talk about the B flat major scale. Like every other major scale, this scale follows the formula, root note, whole tone, whole tone, half tone, whole tone, whole tone, whole tone, half tone. The notes of the Bb major scale are therefore, Bb C D Eb F G A.
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Bb major consists of two flats, Bb and Eb. Its relative minor is G minor.
Now that we know the notes of the Bb major scale, let’s take a look at the chords. Firstly, each chord is based on one of the notes in the major scale. In other words, each note is a root note for one of the chords in the key of B flat. To come up with these chords, we follow the sequence, major minor minor major major minor diminished.
Therefore, the chords in the key of B flat are Bbmaj, Cmin, Dmin, Ebmaj, Fmaj, G maj and Adim. These are three note chords or triads, but we can also form four note extended chords based on the B flat major scale. These chords are Bmaj7, Cmin7, Dmin7, Ebmaj7, F7, Gmin7 and Am7b5.
Let’s list all of these chords according to Roman numerals. Roman numerals indicate the position of each of these chords. Capital letters are for the major chords. These capital letters are I, IV and V. Small letters are for minor and diminished chords. These small letters are ii, iii, vi and vii°.
- Chord I – Bb major (and Bb major seventh)
- Chord ii – C minor (and C minor seventh)
- Chord iii – D minor (and D minor seventh)
- Chord IV – E flat major (and E flat major seventh)
- chord V – F major (and F dominant seventh)
- Chord vi – G minor (and G minor seventh)
- Chord vii° – A diminished (and A minor seventh flat five)
Piano Chords In The Key Of B Flat Major
The following diagram shows you all the basic piano chords in the key of B flat as discussed above.
What are the notes of these chords?
Let’s start with the triads.
- B flat major (Bb – D – F)
- C minor (C – Eb – G)
- D minor (D – F – A)
- E flat major (Eb – G – Bb)
- F major – (F – A – C)
- G minor – (G – Bb – D)
- A diminished – (A – C – Eb)
And now, the four note chords.
- Bb major seventh (Bb – D – F – A)
- C minor seventh (C – Eb – G – Bb)
- D minor seventh (D – F – A – C)
- Eb major seventh (Eb – G – Bb – D)
- F dominant seventh – (F – A – C – Eb)
- G minor seventh – (G – Bb – D – F)
- A minor seventh flat five – (A – C – Eb – G)
The following is a list of common chord progressions in the key of Bb major.
- Chord progression 1: I – IV – V (Bb – Eb – F)
- Chord progression 2: I – vi – IV – V (Bb – Gm – Eb – F)
- Chord progression 3: ii – V – I (Cm7 – F7 – Bbmaj7)
Let’s now take a look at the B flat key signature. Check out the diagram below. It includes the key signature as well as the Bb major scale on the treble and bass clef.
Here’s another diagram. This one shows the keys that correspond to the notes of the B flat major scale on piano.
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