E major


E major

Infobox Scale


scale_name=E major
relative=Cmusic|sharpminor
parallel=E minor
first_pitch=E
second_pitch=Fmusic|sharp
third_pitch=Gmusic|sharp
fourth_pitch=A
fifth_pitch=B
sixth_pitch=Cmusic|sharp
seventh_pitch=Dmusic|sharp
: "Also see: E minor, or E-flat major." E major is a major scale based on E, with the pitches E, Fmusic|sharp, Gmusic|sharp, A, B, Cmusic|sharp, and Dmusic|sharp. Its key signature has four sharps ("see below:" Scales and keys).

Its relative minor is C-sharp minor, and its parallel minor is E minor.

Only two of Haydn's 104 symphonies are in E major, No. 12 and No. 29. Even in the 19th Century, symphonies in this key were rare, with Bruckner's Symphony No. 7 being one of very few examples. "The key of E major is frequently associated with music of contemplation." [Philip Barford, "Bruckner Symphonies" Seattle: University of Washington Press (1978): 52]

Two symphonies that begin in D minor and end in E major are Havergal Brian's Gothic Symphony and Nielsen's Symphony No. 4 in D minor.

More typically, however, some symphonies that begin in E minor switch to E major for the finale, such as Sergei Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Symphony no. 5 and Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. 10.

Johann Sebastian Bach composed a violin concerto in this key, Violin Concerto in E major.

Though it is a difficult key for wind instruments, it is acceptable for orchestral strings, and quite suitable for the guitar. If available, clarinets in A should be used instead of clarinets in B-flat; the A clarinets would be written in G major, while the B-flats would be written in F-sharp or G-flat major.

The bells of Big Ben (the Westminster Quarters) are tuned to the key of E major (the notes E, B, G-sharp and F-sharp).

References


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