G major

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G major
G-major e-minor.svg
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 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]

Notable examples from the Classical period include:

In popular culture[edit]

G major 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.[citation needed] Though it is now usually sung in A-flat or B-flat major,[citation needed] 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. God Defend New Zealand/Aotearoa was originally composed by John Joseph Woods in A-flat major, but after becoming New Zealand's national anthem in 1977 was rearranged into G major to better suit general and massed singing.[6]

See also[edit]


  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, point 10. Archived March 25, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "Sing the national anthem—and try it in the key of G" by Garrison Keillor, A Prairie Home Companion, 2 July 2004
  6. ^ "Musical score for God Defend New Zealand". Ministry of Culture and Heritage / Manatū Taonga. Retrieved 10 May 2016. 

External links[edit]

  • Media related to G major at Wikimedia Commons