G-sharp minor

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

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

The G-sharp natural minor scale is:

\relative c'' { 
  \clef treble \key gis \minor \time 7/4 \hide Staff.TimeSignature gis4^\markup "Natural minor scale" ais b cis dis e fis gis fis e dis cis b ais gis2 \bar "||"
  \clef bass \key gis \minor
}

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

\relative c'' { 
  \clef treble \key gis \minor \time 7/4 \hide Staff.TimeSignature gis4^\markup "Harmonic minor scale" ais b cis dis e fisis gis fisis e dis cis b ais gis2
}
\relative c'' { 
  \clef treble \key gis \minor \time 7/4 \hide Staff.TimeSignature gis4^\markup "Melodic minor scale (ascending and descending)" ais b cis dis eis fisis gis fis! e! dis cis b ais gis2
}

Its relative major is B major. Its parallel major, G major, is usually replaced by its enharmonic equivalent of A major, since G-sharp major features an Fdouble sharp in the key signature and A-flat major only has four flats, making it rare for G♯ major to be used. A minor, its enharmonic, 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.)

Music in G-sharp minor[edit]

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, who actually seemed to prefer writing in it. It is also found in the second movement in Shostakovitch's 8th String quartet. If G-sharp minor is used, composers generally write B 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 can be used instead, giving a transposed key of the enharmonic G minor, rather than Fdouble 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.[citation needed]

Few symphonies are written in G minor; among them are Nikolai Myaskovsky's 17th Symphony, Christopher Schlegel's 5th Symphony, Elliot Goldenthal's Symphony in G-sharp minor (2014) and an abandoned work of juvenilia by Marc Blitzstein.

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

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