G-sharp minor

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G minor
B-major g-sharp-minor.svg
Relative key B major
Parallel key G major
enharmonic: A major
Dominant key D minor
Subdominant C minor
Enharmonic A minor
Component pitches
G, A, B, C, D, E, F
G-sharp natural minor scale ascending and descending. About this sound Play 
G-sharp harmonic minor scale ascending and descending. About this sound Play 
G-sharp melodic minor scale ascending and descending. About this sound Play 

G-sharp minor is a minor scale based on G, consisting of the pitches G, A, B, C, D, E, and F. For the harmonic minor, the F is raised to Fdouble sharp (enharmonic G). Its key signature has five sharps.

Its relative major is B major. Its parallel major, G♯ major, is usually replaced by its enharmonic equivalent of A♭ major, since G major features an Fdouble sharp in the key signature and A♭ major only has four flats, making it rare for G♯ major to be used. A♭ minor, with seven flats, has a similar problem, thus G minor is often used as the parallel minor for A major. The same enharmonic situation occurs with the keys of D major and C minor, with C major having seven sharps and D minor having eight flats, including the Bdouble flat.

Despite the key rarely being used in orchestral music other than to modulate, it is not entirely uncommon in keyboard music, as in Piano Sonata No. 2 by Alexander Scriabin. It can also found in the second movement in Shostakovitch's 8th String quartet. If G-sharp minor is used, composers generally write B-flat wind instruments in the enharmonic B-flat minor, rather than A-sharp minor to facilitate reading the music (or A instruments used instead, giving a transposed key of B minor). Where available, Instruments in D-flat can be used instead, giving a transposed key of the enharmonic G minor, rather than F-double-sharp minor, while the E horns would have parts written in the key of E minor.

In a few scores, the sharp A in the bass clef is written on the top line.

Well-known compositions in this key[edit]

Few symphonies are written in G minor; among them are Nikolai Myaskovsky's 17th Symphony, Christopher Schlegel's 5th Symphony and an abandoned work of juvenilia by Marc Blitzstein.

Johann Sebastian Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier No. 18: Prelude and Fugue in G-sharp minor, Books 1 (1722) and 2 (1744),[1] are among the works in this key.

Chopin composed a Polonaise in G-Sharp Minor, opus posthumous in 1822. His Étude No. 6 is in G-sharp minor as well.

Modest Mussorgsky's "The Old Castle" from Pictures at an Exhibition is based on a G-sharp minor drone.

Lizst's La campanella from his Grandes études de Paganini is in G-Sharp minor.

The second movement, Hommage à Rameau, from Debussy's Images, is in G-sharp minor.

"Scarbo", the third movement from Ravels piano suite Gaspard de la nuit, is in G-sharp minor.

"Montréal", the fifth and final song on Automatic Writing by experimental rock group Ataxia, is in G-sharp minor.

"Passionfruit", the third song on Drake's album More Life, is in G-sharp minor.

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ Albert Schweitzer, (1935). J. S. Bach. Volume 1. New York: Macmillan Publishers.

Sources

  • A. Morris, "Symphonies, Numbers and Keys" in Bob's Poetry Magazine, III.3, 2006.