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|Relative key||F♯ major
enharmonic: G♭ major
|Parallel key||D♯ major
enharmonic: E♭ major
|Dominant key||A♯ major
enharmonic: B♭ major / A♯ minor
|D♯, E♯, F♯, G♯, A♯, B, C♯, D♯|
D-sharp minor or D♯ minor is a minor scale based on D-sharp, consisting of the pitches D♯, E♯, F♯, G♯, A♯, B, and C♯. For the harmonic minor, the C♯ is raised to C. Its key signature has six sharps (see below: Scales and keys).
E-flat minor is its direct enharmonic equivalent. Its relative major is F-sharp major, and its parallel major is D-sharp major, usually replaced by E-flat major, since D-sharp major, which would contain nine sharps, is not normally used.
Music written in this key is considered exceedingly difficult to read, leading to infrequent use of D-sharp minor as the principal key center of pieces in the Classical era. More common is notation in E-flat minor, which is a relatively manageable key for many brass instruments and woodwinds.
In addition to the Bach mentioned above, the most famous work in this key is Scriabin's famous Etude Op. 8, No. 12. The Russian composer Lyapunov wrote the second étude of his Op. 11 set in the key, and also fifteen years later his Variations on a Russian Theme, Op. 49. In addition, his early Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 4 was in the enharmonic key of E-flat minor. The second movement from Charles-Valentin Alkan's Grande sonate 'Les quatre âges', subtitled Quasi-Faust, is also in D-sharp minor (but ends in F-sharp major), and modulates into even sharper keys along the way, some even being theoretical keys, such as G-sharp major and A-sharp major.
In a few scores, 6-sharp key signatures in the bass clef are written with the sharp for the A on the top line.
Despite the key rarely being used in orchestral music other than to modulate, it is not entirely uncommon in keyboard music. For orchestration of piano music, some theorists recommend transposing the music to D minor or E minor. If D-sharp minor must absolutely be used, one should take care that B-flat wind instruments be notated in F minor, rather than E-sharp minor (or A instruments used instead, giving a transposed key of F-sharp minor), and E-flat instruments in C minor instead of B-sharp minor, as key signatures do not use double sharps.
Scales and keys
|Diatonic scales and keys|
|The table indicates the number of sharps or flats in each scale. Minor scales are written in lower case.|