|Relative key||E♭ minor
enharmonic: D♯ minor
|Parallel key||G♭ minor
enharmonic: F♯ minor
|Dominant key||D♭ major|
|G♭, A♭, B♭, C♭, D♭, E♭, F, G♭|
Rarely chosen as the main key for orchestral works, G-flat major is more often used as a main key for piano works, such as the impromptus of Chopin and Schubert. It is the predominant key of Maurice Ravel's Introduction and Allegro for harp, flute, clarinet and string quartet.
Austrian composer Gustav Mahler was fond of using G-flat major in key passages of his symphonies; examples include: The choral entry during the finale of his Second Symphony, during the first movement of his Third Symphony, the modulatory section of the Adagietto from his Fifth Symphony, and during the Rondo-Finale of his Seventh Symphony. Mahler's Tenth Symphony was composed in the enharmonic key of F-sharp major.
The key is more often found in piano music, as the use of all five black keys allows an easier conformity to the player's hands, despite the numerous accidentals. German composer Franz Schubert chose the key for his third impromptu from his first collection of impromptus (1827). The Polish composer Frédéric Chopin wrote two etudes in the key of G-flat major: Étude Op. 10, No. 5 "Black Key" and Étude Op. 25, No. 9 "Butterfly". French composer Claude Debussy used the key for one of his most popular compositions, "La fille aux cheveux de lin," his eighth prélude from his Préludes, Book I (1909-1910).
- Mahler, Gustav. Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2 in Full Score, Dover, ISBN 0-486-25473-9 (1987) p. 354.
- Mahler, Gustav. Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4 in Full Score, Dover, ISBN 0-486-26166-2 (1989), p. 53.
- Mahler, Gustav. Symphonies Nos. 5 and 6 in Full Score, Dover, ISBN 0-486-26888-8 (1991), p. 175.
- Mahler, Gustav. Symphony No. 7 in Full Score, Dover, ISBN 0-486-27339-3 (1992), p. 223.
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.|