F minor

F minor
Relative key A major
Parallel key F major
Dominant key C minor
Subdominant B minor
Component pitches
F, G, A, B, C, D, E, F
F natural minor scale ascending and descending.  Play 
F harmonic minor scale ascending and descending.  Play 
F melodic minor scale ascending and descending.  Play 

F minor is a minor scale based on F, consisting of the pitches F, G, A, B, C, D, and E. The harmonic minor raises the E to E. Its key signature has four flats.

Its relative major is A-flat major, and its parallel major is F major.

Two famous pieces in the key of F minor are Beethoven's Appassionata Sonata, and Haydn's Symphony No. 49 in F minor, La Passione.

Glenn Gould once said if he could be any key, he would be F minor, because "it's rather dour, halfway between complex and stable, between upright and lascivious, between gray and highly tinted...There is a certain obliqueness."[1]

Helmholtz once described F minor as harrowing and melancholy. Schubart described this key as "Deep depression, funereal lament, groans of misery and longing for the grave."

Notable compositions

E-sharp minor

E minor
Relative key G major
enharmonic: A major
Parallel key E major
enharmonic: F major
Dominant key B minor
enharmonic: C minor
Subdominant A minor
enharmonic: B minor
Enharmonic F minor
Component pitches
E, F, G, A, B, C, D, E

E-sharp minor is a theoretical key based on the musical note E-sharp (E) and consisting of the pitches E, F, G, A, B, C and D. In the harmonic minor, the D is raised to D. Its key signature has six sharps and one double sharp.

Its relative major is G♯ major, usually replaced by A♭ major, while its parallel major is E♯ major, usually replaced by F major, due to the presence of 4 double-sharps in the E♯ major scale causing it to be one of the more impractical key signatures in music to use. Although E♯ minor is usually notated as F minor, it could be used on a local level, such as a brief passage in Johann Sebastian Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1, Prelude and Fugue No. 3 in C-sharp major. (E minor is the mediant minor key of C major.)

See also


  1. Cathering Meng, Tonight's the Night (Apostrophe Books, 2007): 21

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