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F sharp minor has F# G# A B C# D E and finally ending on F# again I know chord progressions follow as Major minor minor major major minor diminished But my g# minor triad goes G# B D# but D sharp doesn’t exist in the f sharp minor scale so what am i doing wrong?

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    "what am I doing wrong": assuming that chords must be built only with notes that are found in the diatonic scale. In other words, the answer to the question given in the title is "no," but that's too short for an answer.
    – phoog
    Feb 15, 2023 at 18:57

4 Answers 4

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Caught out by the fact that there are several different minor scales!

There are the natural, harmonic and melodic minors. And chords are different depending on which is used. In fact, in F♯ minor, the notes are F♯, G♯, A, B, C♯, D, D♯, E, E♯,(yes, E♯, not F), when all three scales are included. So there's your elusive D♯!

D♯ belongs to the rising melodic minor scale in Classical terms; in the melodic minor scale in jazz terms. The scale you referenced is the natural minor.

So - simple answer - NO. The key signature for minor keys is somewhat misleading - only specifically referring to the notes found in the relative natural minor.

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  • I would note that historically the three types of minor scale were invented after the fact to explain the fact that chords were frequently built using both the minor and major sixths and sevenths above the tonic. This happened for a number of reasons of which none was "because there are three kinds of minor scale" (because at the time there weren't; they hadn't yet been invented). The approach of starting with the scale and seeing what chords are available is of limited use. Still, for someone who is taking that approach, this is the right answer.
    – phoog
    Feb 15, 2023 at 18:56
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In MAJOR scales:
the major chords are on the 415 notes.
the minor chords are on the 263.
the diminished chord is on the 7.

In (natural) MINOR scales:
the MINOR chords are on the 415 notes.
the diminished chord is on the 2.
the MAJOR chords are on the 637.
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The chord pattern you've described — major, minor, minor, major, major, minor, diminished — applies to major scales. The pattern for (natural) minor scales is minor, diminished, major, minor, minor, major, major.

So, yes, triads within a key signature are built following the key signature, with the exceptions @Tim noted regarding melodic and harmonic minor.

For a complete listing of minor-scale triads given the different types of minor scales, see Triads derived from the different types of minor scales.

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  • OP listed chords in order using relative major of A.
    – Tim
    Sep 18, 2022 at 14:28
  • @Tim Yes, I know what OP did. That, I believe, is the mistake. Had OP listed the chords in the "correct" order, it would have been clear that the ii chord should be diminished rather than minor.
    – Aaron
    Sep 18, 2022 at 14:29
  • I see where you've answered it from. We both answered, in different ways, I believe. Although I really don't know which 'minor' in the list OP started with, writing it starting with major.. But both G#m and G#o are available.
    – Tim
    Sep 18, 2022 at 15:30
  • @Tim exactly, which is why I referenced both your answer, which makes the multiple availability clear, as well as the linked question, which adds even more explicit detail.
    – Aaron
    Sep 18, 2022 at 16:01
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Do the notes of triads created from key signatures stay within that signature

Well, exactly as you word it "yes." If you are only using the tones of the key signature to make the triad, the chords will all be within that key signature.

However, if you worded it more like...

Does music with a key signature always use chord created from only the tone of the key signature?

...the answer is "no."

Tones from outside the key signature are called chromatic and are used all the time. Usually chromatic tones are used according to a number of conventions, but that is really a topic to learn more completely through the study of a good, college level harmony textbook.

F sharp minor has F# G# A B C# D E and finally ending on F# again I know chord progressions follow as Major minor minor major major minor diminished But my g# minor triad goes G# B D# but D sharp doesn’t exist in the f sharp minor scale so what am i doing wrong?

This... Major minor minor major major minor diminished is the pattern of diatonic triads in a major key.

In a minor key the pattern is... Minor diminished major minor minor major major. I hasten to add that pattern is normally extended with a diminished triad on the leading tone one half step below the tonic and a major triad on the dominant scale degree, among others.

You can play G#m as the chord rooted on G# in the key F# minor if you want, but that chord when diatonic to the key signature of F# minor will be G#dim.

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