C-sharp minor

C-sharp minor
C minor
Relative key E major
Parallel key C major
enharmonic: D major
Component pitches
C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C

C-sharp minor or C minor is a minor scale based on C, with the pitches C, D, E, F, G, A, and B. Its key signature consists of four sharps (see below: Scales and keys).

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

Changes needed for the melodic and harmonic versions of the scale are written in with accidentals as necessary.

Classical music in this key

There are only two known symphonies in the 18th century written in this key. One of them is by Joseph Martin Kraus, but he appears to have found the key difficult since he later rewrote it in C minor. Even in the following two centuries C-sharp minor symphonies remained rare. Two notable examples are Mahler's Symphony No. 5 (though only the first movement is in C-sharp minor, and the finale is actually in D major[1]) and Prokofiev's Symphony No. 7. Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No. 2 is also in C-sharp minor.

This key occurs more often in piano literature, however, from the 18th Century onwards. Domenico Scarlatti wrote just two keyboard sonatas in C-sharp minor, K. 246 and K. 247. But after Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, the key became more frequent in the piano repertoire. Beethoven himself used this key again in the outer movements of his String Quartet No. 14 (Op. 131, 1826). Even so, Johannes Brahms still felt the need to rewrite his C-sharp minor Piano Quartet in C minor, which was published as Piano Quartet No. 3 in C minor, Op. 60.

Frédéric Chopin often wrote in this key: examples include the Fantaisie-Impromptu, Scherzo No. 3 (Op. 39), and nocturnes No. 7 (Op. 27, No. 1) and No. 20 (Lento con gran espressione). Another very famous example of a work in C-sharp minor is Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C-sharp minor (Op. 3, No. 2).

Piano concertos written in C-sharp minor include Erich Wolfgang Korngold's Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, Op. 17, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Piano Concerto, and others by Ferdinand Ries, Xaver Scharwenka, Amy Beach, Miriam Hyde and Issay Dobrowen. Dmitri Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No. 2 is in C-sharp minor.

Jules Van Nuffel wrote his psalm setting In convertendo Dominus for choir and organ in C-sharp minor.

Notable songs in C-sharp minor


  1. ^ Constantin Floros, translated by Vernon Wicker: Gustav Mahler: The Symphonies (Portland, Oregon: Amadeus Press, 1985) p. 141 "the choice of key of the movements (C-sharp minor – A minor – D major – F major – D major);"
  2. ^ "Just Dance" sheetmusic sample
  3. ^ "Oops!... I Did It Again" sheetmusic sample
  4. ^ [1]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • D-sharp minor — See also: E flat minor D♯ minor Relative key F♯ major enharmonic …   Wikipedia

  • A-sharp minor — Infobox Scale scale name=Amusic|sharp minor relative=Cmusic|sharp major parallel=Amusic|sharp major (Bmusic|flat major) enharmonic=Bmusic|flat minor first pitch=A# second pitch=Bmusic|sharp third pitch=Cmusic|sharp fourth pitch=Dmusic|sharp fifth …   Wikipedia

  • G-sharp minor — Infobox Scale scale name=Gmusic|sharp minor relative=B major parallel=Gmusic|sharp major enharmonic: Amusic|flat major enharmonic=Amusic|flat minor first pitch=Gmusic|sharp second pitch=Amusic|sharp third pitch=B fourth pitch=Cmusic|sharp fifth… …   Wikipedia

  • F-sharp minor — Infobox Scale scale name=Fmusic|sharp minor relative=A major parallel=Fmusic|sharp major first pitch=Fmusic|sharp second pitch=Gmusic|sharp third pitch=A fourth pitch=B fifth pitch=Cmusic|sharp sixth pitch=D seventh pitch=EF sharp minor is a… …   Wikipedia

  • a-sharp minor — ˈ ̷ ̷ˌ ̷ ̷ˈ ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷ noun Usage: usually capitalized A : the minor musical key having a signature of seven sharps …   Useful english dictionary

  • c-sharp minor — ˈ ̷ ̷ˌ ̷ ̷ˈ ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷ noun Usage: usually capitalized C : the minor musical key having a signature of four sharps …   Useful english dictionary

  • d-sharp minor — ˈ ̷ ̷ˌ ̷ ̷ˈ ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷ noun Usage: usually capitalized D : the minor musical key having a signature of six sharps …   Useful english dictionary

  • f-sharp minor — ˈ ̷ ̷ˌ ̷ ̷ˈ ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷ noun Usage: usually capitalized F : the minor musical key having a signature of three sharps …   Useful english dictionary

  • g-sharp minor — ˈ ̷ ̷ˌ ̷ ̷ˈ ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷ noun Usage: usually capitalized G : the minor musical key having a signature of five sharps …   Useful english dictionary

  • Nocturne in C-sharp minor, Op. posth. (Chopin) — Opening bars of Nocturne 20. Nocturne No. 20 in C sharp minor, Op. posth., Lento con gran espressione, Op. P 1, No. 16, KKIVa/16, is a solo piano piece composed by Frédéric Chopin in 1830. Chopin dedicated this work to his older sister, Ludwika… …   Wikipedia

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.