G minor

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G minor
B-flat Major key signature.png
Relative key B major
Parallel key G major
Notes in this scale
G, A, B, C, D, E, F, G

G minor is a minor scale based on G.

Its relative major is B-flat major. G minor is one of two flat key signatures that needs a sharp for the seventh note (the other is D minor).

During the Baroque period, music in G minor was usually written with a one-flat key signature.

Mozart's use of G Minor[change | edit source]

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart thought that G minor was the most suitable key for showing 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. 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-flat alto.[2] G minor symphonies like Mozart's No. 25 often used E flat major for the slow movement, including Haydn's No. 39 and Vanhal's G minor symphony from before 1771 (Bryan Gm1).[3]

Famous classical music in G minor[change | edit source]

See also: List of symphonies in G minor.

Variations[change | edit source]

There are many variations of G minor.

Variation Description
G minor 7th a g minor chord containing G, Bb/A#, D, and F
G minor major 7th a G minor chord with a Major 7th.
G minor major a combination of G minor and G major.
G minor 6th a G minor chord with a Major 6th.
G minor 9th G minor 7th containing A.
G minor 2nd a G minor with Ab or G#.
G augmented minor the augmented version of G minor.
G diminished has C#/Db instead of D.
G minor 7th-5 G diminished with minor 7th.
G diminished 7th a G diminished with a major 6th.

References[change | edit source]

  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