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C-sharp 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.

C-sharp minor
E-major c-sharp-minor.svg
Relative keyE major
Parallel keyC-sharp major
enharmonic: D-flat major
Dominant keyG-sharp minor
SubdominantF-sharp minor
Component pitches
C, D, E, F, G, A, B

The C-sharp natural minor scale is:

\override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f
\relative c' {
  \clef treble \key cis \minor \time 7/4 cis4^\markup "Natural minor scale" dis e fis gis a b cis b a gis fis e dis cis2
  \clef bass \key cis \minor
} }

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

\override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f
\relative c' {
  \clef treble \key cis \minor \time 7/4
  cis4^\markup "Harmonic minor scale" dis e fis gis a bis cis bis a gis fis e dis cis2
} }
\override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f
\relative c' {
  \clef treble \key cis \minor \time 7/4
  cis4^\markup "Melodic minor scale (ascending and descending)" dis e fis gis ais bis cis b! a! gis fis e dis cis2
} }

Its relative major is E major. Its parallel major, C-sharp major, is usually replaced by D-flat major, since C-sharp major, which contains seven sharps, is not normally used. Its enharmonic equivalent, D-flat minor, having eight flats, including the Bdouble flat, has a similar problem. Therefore, C-sharp minor is often used as the parallel minor for D-flat major. (The same enharmonic situation occurs with the keys of A-flat major and G-sharp minor.)

Classical music in this keyEdit

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 the first movement of Mahler's Symphony No. 5[1] and Prokofiev's Symphony No. 7.

This key occurs more often in piano literature 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 Piano Sonata No. 14 (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.

Alkan composed the second movement (Adagio) for Concerto for Solo Piano in C-sharp minor.

Frédéric Chopin often wrote in this key: examples include the Fantaisie-Impromptu, Étude Op. 25, No. 7, Scherzo No. 3 (Op. 39), Waltz Op. 64, No. 2, and Nocturnes No. 7 (Op. 27, No. 1) and No. 20 (Lento con gran espressione). More examples of works in C-sharp minor include Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C-sharp minor (Op. 3, No. 2), Scriabin's Étude in C-sharp minor, Op. 2, No. 1 (Scriabin), Franz Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, and Tchaikovsky's Piano Sonata in C-sharp minor.

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 songsEdit


  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. ^ Benjamin, Levin; Lukasz, Gottwald; Nathaniel, Ruess; Kesha, Sebert; Henry, Walter; Kesha (2012-10-31). "Die Young". Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  3. ^ "All That She Wants", sheet music sample
  4. ^ The Beatles "Because" sheet music sample
  5. ^ "Skinny Love" sheet music sample – Note: The original version of the song by Bon Iver is not in C-sharp minor, but rather in A minor.
  6. ^ "Lullaby" – The Cure, sheet music sample
  7. ^ "The Look of Love" – Dusty Springfield, sheet music sample
  8. ^ Amir, Saraf. "La Bouche "Be My Lover" Sheet Music". Retrieved 2015-06-10.
  9. ^ "Just Dance" sheet music sample
  10. ^ "Love You Like a Love Song" sheet music sample
  11. ^
  12. ^ "No Quarter" sheet music sample
  13. ^ "La Isla Bonita" sheet music sample
  14. ^ "California Dreamin'" sheet music sample
  15. ^ "Maps" sheet music sample
  16. ^ "Who Can It Be Now?" sheet music sample
  17. ^ "Thriller" sheet music sample
  18. ^ "Anaconda" sheet music sample
  19. ^ "Counting Stars" sheet music sample
  20. ^ "Crush" sheet music sample
  21. ^ "Jolene" sheet music sample
  22. ^
  23. ^ chord analysis
  24. ^ "Oops!... I Did It Again" sheetmusic sample
  25. ^ "Womanizer" sheet music sample
  26. ^ "Drive By" sheet music sample
  27. ^
  28. ^ Ed, Sheeran. "Ed Sheeran "Shape of You" Sheet Music in C# Minor (transposable)". Retrieved 2017-01-18.
  29. ^ "No" sheet music sample
  30. ^ "Feel It Still" sheet music sample
  31. ^ "Levels" sheet music sample
  32. ^ "DNA" sheet music sample
  33. ^ Desmond, Child; Robi, Rosa; Ricky, Martin (1999-09-13). "Livin' la Vida Loca". Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^

External linksEdit