|Relative key||B major
enharmonic: C♭ major
|Parallel key||G♯ major
enharmonic: A♭ major
|Dominant key||D♯ minor
enharmonic: E♭ minor
|G♯, A♯, B, C♯, D♯, E, F♯, G♯|
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 F 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 B.
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.
In a few scores, the sharp A in the bass clef is written on the top line.
Well-known compositions in this key
- Albert Schweitzer, (1935). J. S. Bach. Volume 1. New York: Macmillan Publishers.
- A. Morris, "Symphonies, Numbers and Keys" in Bob's Poetry Magazine, III.3, 2006.
|The table indicates the number of sharps or flats in each scale. Minor scales are written in lower case.|