G major

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"G (scale)" redirects here. For the model railway scale, see G scale.
G major
Relative key E minor
Parallel key G minor
Dominant key D major
Subdominant C major
Component pitches
G, A, B, C, D, E, F, G
G major chord, root in red (About this sound Play ). Note that the root is doubled at the octave.

G major (or the key of G) is a major scale based on G, with the pitches G, A, B, C, D, E, and F. Its key signature has one sharp, F.

Ascending and descending G major scale. (About this sound Play in just intonation )

G major's relative minor is E minor, and its parallel minor is G minor.

For orchestral works in G major, the timpani are typically set to G and D, a fifth apart, rather than a fourth apart as for most other keys.[citation needed]

Notable compositions[edit]

Baroque period[edit]

Classical era[edit]

Cultural references[edit]

G sometimes called the 'people's key',[citation needed] is one of the most frequently-employed keys across classical and popular music. This is in part because of its relative ease of playing on both keyboard and string instruments: its scale includes only one black note on the keyboard, all of a guitar's six strings can be played open in G, half of the strings on the mandolin and violin/fiddle are in the G chord when open, and the banjo is usually tuned to open G. It is the key stipulated by Queen Elizabeth II to be used for "God Save the Queen" in Canada.[4] The music to the American national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner", was originally written in G major. Though it is now usually sung in A-flat or B-flat major, some people, most notably humorist and commentator Garrison Keillor, are campaigning[5] to return the song to its original key; they argue that the song is already very difficult to sing on account of its range (one and a half octaves), and the modern standard key makes it still more difficult.


  1. ^ Mellers, Wilfred (8 April 1991), "Modernism's Child", The New Republic 204 (14): 38–40 
  2. ^ Alfred Einstein, Mozart, His Character, His Work, Chapter 10, "Mozart's Choice Of Keys"
  3. ^ Why I hate the Goldberg Variations
  4. ^ Department of National Defence: The Honours, Flags and Heritage Structure of the Canadian Forces; p. 7–2
  5. ^ http://prairiehome.publicradio.org/features/deskofgk/2004/07/02_starspangled.shtml

External links[edit]

  • Media related to G major at Wikimedia Commons