D-sharp minor

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

D minor is a minor scale based on D, consisting of the pitches D, E, F, G, A, B, and C. Its key signature has six sharps.

Its relative major is F major (or enharmonically G major), and its parallel major is D major, usually replaced by E major, since D major's two double-sharps makes it generally impractical to use. The enharmonic equivalent of D minor is E minor, a key signature with six flats.

The D-sharp natural minor scale is:

\relative c' { 
  \clef treble \key dis \minor \time 7/4 \hide Staff.TimeSignature dis4^\markup "Natural minor scale" eis fis gis ais b cis dis cis b ais gis fis eis dis2
  \clef bass \key dis \minor

Changes needed for the melodic and harmonic versions of the scale are written in with accidentals as necessary. The D-sharp harmonic minor and melodic minor scales are:

\relative c' { 
  \clef treble \key dis \minor \time 7/4 \hide Staff.TimeSignature dis4^\markup "Harmonic minor scale" eis fis gis ais b cisis dis cisis b ais gis fis eis dis2
\relative c' { 
  \clef treble \key dis \minor \time 7/4 \hide Staff.TimeSignature dis4^\markup "Melodic minor scale (ascending and descending)" eis fis gis ais bis cisis dis cis! b! ais gis fis eis dis2

Music in D-sharp minor[edit]

D minor is infrequently used as the principal key of pieces in the Classical era. More common is notation in E minor, which is a relatively manageable key for many brass instruments and woodwinds.

The most famous work in this key is Scriabin's Etude Op. 8, No. 12. Scriabin's Piano Sonata No. 5 is also arguably in D-sharp minor, but it is far from clear.

From Bach's Das Wohltemperierte Klavier, the eighth fugue from Book 1 and the eighth prelude and fugue from Book 2 are in D-sharp minor; both fugues end with a Picardy third, requiring an Fdouble sharp in the final D-sharp major chord.

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 E-sharp major.

The hymn "O Sacrum Convivium" by Olivier Messiaen (1937) is in D-sharp minor.

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 wind instruments be notated in F minor, rather than E-sharp minor (or G instruments used instead, giving a transposed key of G-sharp minor), and D instruments in D minor instead of Cdouble sharp minor, in order to avoid double sharps in key signatures. Meanwhile, the E horns would have parts written with a B minor key signature.

External links[edit]