G minor

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G minor
B-flat-major g-minor.svg
Relative key B major
Parallel key G major
Dominant key D minor
Subdominant C minor
Component pitches
G, A, B, C, D, E, F

G minor is a minor scale based on G, consisting of the pitches G, A, B, C, D, E, and F. Its key signature has two flats, its relative major is B major and its parallel major is G major.

The G natural minor scale is:

\relative c'' { 
  \clef treble \key g \minor \time 7/4 \hide Staff.TimeSignature g4^\markup "G natural minor scale" a bes c d es f g f es d c bes a2

Changes needed for the melodic and harmonic versions of the scale are written in with accidentals as necessary, the G harmonic minor and melodic minor scales are:

\relative c'' { 
  \clef treble \key g \minor \time 7/4 \hide Staff.TimeSignature g4^\markup "G harmonic minor scale" a bes c d es fis g fis es d c bes a2
\relative c'' { 
  \clef treble \key g \minor \time 7/4 \hide Staff.TimeSignature g4^\markup "G melodic minor scale (ascending and descending)" a bes c d e fis g f! es! d c bes a2

Mozart's use of G minor[edit]

G minor has been considered the key through which Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart best expressed sadness and tragedy,[1] and many of his minor key works are in G minor, such as the Piano Quartet No. 1 and the String Quintet in G minor. Though Mozart touched on various minor keys in his symphonies, G minor is the only minor key he used as a main key for his numbered symphonies (No. 25, and the famous No. 40). In the Classical period, symphonies in G minor almost always used four horns, two in G and two in B alto.[2] Another convention of G minor symphonies observed in Mozart's No. 25 was the choice of E major for the slow movement, with other examples including Haydn's No. 39 and Johann Baptist Wanhal's G-minor symphony from before 1771 (Bryan Gm1).[3]

Notable works in G minor[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hellmut Federhofer, foreword to the Bärenreiter Urtext of Mozart's Piano Quartet in G minor. "G-Moll war für Mozart zeitlebens die Schicksaltonart, die ihm für den Ausdruck des Schmerzes und der Tragik am geeignetsten erschien." ("G minor was, for Mozart, the most suitable fate-key throughout his life for the expression of pain and tragedy.")(
  2. ^ H. C. Robbins Landon, Mozart and Vienna. New York: Schirmer Books (1991): 48. "Writing for four horns was a regular part of the Sturm und Drang G minor equipment." Robbins Landon also notes that Mozart's No. 40 was first intended to have four horns.
  3. ^ James Hepokoski og Warren Darcy, Elements of Sonata Theory (Oxford University Press: 2006) p. 328

External links[edit]

  • Media related to G minor at Wikimedia Commons