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Discussion Starter #1
Forgive me if this is a stupid question, or posted in the wrong place - but I am a late bloomer: 60 next month and first picked up an alto 5 years ago.
My query is that I was recently watching something online when the key of a piece was identified as G#minor. I immediately thought of it as Abminor. I have for a long time thought in terms of 12 scales as Ab A Bb B C C# D Eb E F F# G. I don't now know why I chose this selection of flats and sharps and I don't really remember how I came to dismiss the G# A# Db D# or Gb. I can read a score written in A# for example without too much of problem, but I am playing much more by ear than reading scores so I suppose the question is should I be more disciplined about 'thinking' of playing in both the enharmonics?
Hope this makes sense to someone!

Paul
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Think about the number of sharps and flats. G# major is not very nice with 8 sharps (6 sharps and a double sharp), however G# minor is totally reasonable, 5 sharps compared to the 7 flats of Ab minor.

In other words, we thing of the relative minor of B major (G#minor) as opposed to the relative minor of Cb major (Ab minor)

Even worse would be Db minor (relative minor of Fb major). This would have 8 flate ( 6 flates and a double flat) so we use C# minor which has 4 sharps as relative minor of E major)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks very much Pete, I really appreciate it. I made the mistake of thinking in terms of the same 12 keys for both major and minor scales, instead of realising that C# for example is a better choice for a minor scale while Db is a better choice for a major scale.
 

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Thanks very much Pete, I really appreciate it. I made the mistake of thinking in terms of the same 12 keys for both major and minor scales, instead of realising that C# for example is a better choice for a minor scale while Db is a better choice for a major scale.
Remember, the reason why "C# for example is a better choice for a minor scale" is because its relative major is E (4 sharps)! The nomenclature of every major key is already ascribed, so, each relative minor key (3 semitones down) is always the same key signature. Cheers...
 
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