enharmonic: B♭ minor
|Parallel key||C♯ minor|
enharmonic: A♭ major
enharmonic: G♭ major
|C♯, D♯, E♯, F♯, G♯, A♯, B♯|
The C♯ major scale is:
A harp tuned to C♯ major has all its pedals in the bottom position. Because all the strings are then pinched and shortened, this is the least resonant key for the instrument.
Although most composers prefer to use the enharmonic equivalent D♭ major, since it only contains five flats as opposed to C♯ major's seven sharps, Johann Sebastian Bach chose C♯ major for Prelude and Fugue No. 3 in both books of the Well-Tempered Clavier, and Charles-Valentin Alkan chose C♯ major for Etude Op. 35 No. 9 "Contrapunctus" in "12 etudes in all the major keys, Op. 35". In Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6, Franz Liszt takes the unusual step of changing key from D♭ major to C♯ major near the beginning of the piece. Maurice Ravel selected C♯ major as the tonic key of "Ondine" from his piano suite Gaspard de la nuit. Erich Wolfgang Korngold composed his Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, Op. 17, in the key of C♯ major.
In a few scores, 7-sharp key signatures in the bass clef are written with the sharp either for the A or for the A and the B on the top line.
|The table indicates the number of sharps or flats in each scale. Minor scales are written in lower case.|