F-sharp minor is a minor scale based on F sharp. Its key signature has three sharps.
Its relative major is A major.
Many people think it is a melancholy and gloomy key. Harry Farjeon says that F sharp minor is "light red", and that it is the key Mendelssohn uses when he is being passionate. Johann Mattheson wrote that 'F♯ minor, although it leads to great distress, nevertheless is more languid and love-sick than lethal. Moreover, it has something abandoned, singular, and misanthropic about it.'
Very few symphonies are written in this key. Haydn's Farewell Symphony is one famous example. George Frederick Bristow and Dora Pejačević also wrote symphonies in this key.
Many piano pieces have been written in F-sharp minor. Mozart's only composition in this key is the second movement to his Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major. 2 of Chopin's 52 mazurkas, and 1 of his nocturnes are in this key, though he seems to have liked the related key C-sharp minor better. Scriabin's Piano Sonata No. 3 is also in this key, and the 3rd movement of Beethoven's "Hammerklavier" Piano Sonata is too.
Both Reger's and Tippett's second string quartets are in this key, and so is Shostakovich's seventh string quartet.
Diatonic Scales and Keys
|The table shows the number of sharps or flats in each scale. Minor scales are written in lower case.
- A. Morris, "Symphonies, Numbers And Keys" in Bob's Poetry Magazine, III.3, 2006.