C-sharp major

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C major
C-sharp-major a-sharp-minor.svg
Relative key A minor
enharmonic: B minor
Parallel key C minor
Dominant key G major
enharmonic: A major
Subdominant F major
enharmonic: G major
Enharmonic D major
Component pitches
C, D, E, F, G, A, B

C major (or the key of C) is a major scale based on C, consisting of the pitches C, D, E, F, G, A, and B. It is enharmonically equivalent to D major. Its key signature has seven sharps.

The C major scale is:

\relative c' { 
  \clef treble \key cis \major \time 7/4 \hide Staff.TimeSignature cis4 dis eis fis gis ais bis cis bis ais gis fis eis dis cis2

Its relative minor is A minor (or enharmonically B minor) and its parallel minor is C minor.


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.

Louis Vierne used C major for the "Dona nobis pacem" of the Agnus Dei of his Messe Solennelle in C minor.

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