F-sharp major

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F-sharp major
F-sharp-major d-sharp-minor.svg
Relative keyD minor
enharmonic: E minor
Parallel keyF minor
Dominant keyC major
enharmonic: D major
SubdominantB major
EnharmonicG major
Component pitches
F, G, A, B, C, D, E

F major (or the key of F) is a major scale based on F, consisting of the pitches F, G, A, B, C, D, and E. Its key signature has six sharps[1].

The F-sharp major scale is:

\override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f
\relative c' {
  \clef treble \key fis \major \time 7/4 fis4 gis ais b cis dis eis fis eis dis cis b ais gis fis2

} }

The direct enharmonic equivalent of F major is G major, a key signature with six flats. Its relative minor is D minor (or enharmonically E minor) and its parallel minor is F minor.

Music in F major[edit]

F is the key of the minuet in Joseph Haydn's "Farewell" Symphony, of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 24, Op. 78, of Chopin's Barcarolle, of Verdi's "Va Pensiero" from Nabucco, of Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, of Mahler's unfinished Tenth Symphony, of Erich Korngold's Symphony Op. 40, of Scriabin's Fourth Sonata. The key was the favorite tonality of Olivier Messiaen, who used it repeatedly throughout his work to express his most exciting or transcendent moods, most notably in the Turangalîla-Symphonie.

In writing music for transposing instruments in B or E, it is preferable to use G rather than the F key signature. If F major must absolutely be used, one should take care that B wind instruments be notated in A major, rather than G major (or A instruments used instead, giving a transposed key of A major), D instruments in F major instead of E major, in order to avoid double sharps in key signatures. Also, G instruments in C major instead of B major, to avoid triple sharps in key signatures for E wind instruments.

Like G major, this key is rarely used in orchestral music, other than in passing. It is more common in piano music, such as the sonatas of Scriabin and Grieg's Lyric Pieces.


  1. ^ Frederic Woodman Root (1874). The Song Era: A Book of Instruction and Music for Elementary and Advanced Singing Classes, Choirs, Institutes and Conventions. John Church. p. 9.

External links[edit]