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G-sharp minor
B-major g-sharp-minor.svg
Relative keyB major
Parallel keyG-sharp major (theoretical)
→enharmonic A-flat major
Dominant keyD-sharp minor
SubdominantC-sharp minor
EnharmonicA-flat minor
Component pitches
G, A, B, C, D, E, F

G-sharp minor is a minor scale based on G, consisting of the pitches G, A, B, C, D, E, and F. Its key signature has five sharps.

Its relative major is B major. Its parallel major, G-sharp major, is usually replaced by its enharmonic equivalent of A-flat major, since G-sharp major has an F

double sharp
in its key signature, making it impractical to use. A-flat minor, its enharmonic, with seven flats, has a similar problem, thus G-sharp minor is often used as the parallel minor for A-flat major. (The same enharmonic situation occurs with the keys of D-flat major and C-sharp minor).

The G-sharp natural minor scale is:

 {
\override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f
\relative c'' {
  \clef treble \key gis \minor \time 7/4 gis4^\markup "Natural minor scale" ais b cis dis e fis gis fis e dis cis b ais gis2
  \clef bass \key gis \minor
} }

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

 {
\override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f
\relative c'' {
  \clef treble \key gis \minor \time 7/4
  gis4^\markup "Harmonic minor scale" ais b cis dis e fisis gis fisis e dis cis b ais gis2
} }
 {
\override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f
\relative c'' {
  \clef treble \key gis \minor \time 7/4
  gis4^\markup "Melodic minor scale (ascending and descending)" ais b cis dis eis fisis gis fis! e! dis cis b ais gis2
} }

Music in G-sharp minor

See also: List of symphonies in G-sharp minor

Despite the key rarely being used in orchestral music other than to modulate, it is not entirely uncommon in keyboard music, as in Piano Sonata No. 2 by Alexander Scriabin, who actually seemed to prefer writing in it. Dmitri Shostakovich used the key in the second movement of his 8th String Quartet, and the slow fourth movement of his 8th Symphony is also in this key. If G-sharp minor is used is orchestral music, composers generally write B wind instruments in the enharmonic B-flat minor, rather than A-sharp minor to facilitate reading the music (or A instruments used instead, giving a transposed key of B minor).

Few symphonies are written in G-sharp minor; among them are Nikolai Myaskovsky's 17th Symphony, Elliot Goldenthal's Symphony in G-sharp minor (2014) and an abandoned work of juvenilia by Marc Blitzstein.

Frédéric Chopin composed a Polonaise in G-sharp minor, Op. posth., in 1822. His Étude No. 6 and his 12th prelude from the 24 Preludes, Op. 28, are in G-sharp minor as well.

Modest Mussorgsky wrote the movements, "The Old Castle" and "Bydło" (Cattle), from Pictures at an Exhibition in G-sharp minor.

Liszt's "La campanella" from his Grandes études de Paganini is in G-sharp minor.

Alexander Scriabin's Second Piano Sonata "Sonata-Fantasy", Op. 19, is in G-sharp minor.

Maurice Ravel's "Scarbo" from Gaspard de la nuit (1908), is in G-sharp minor.

Sibelius wrote the slow movement of his Third Symphony in G-sharp minor.

See also