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Key Signatures - G Major and E Minor MEMBER LESSON
Published: 2011-09-12 Updated: 2011-09-14 00:00:00 • 3287

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Key Signatures - G Major and E Minor

Sometimes called the "people's key", is one of the most frequently-employed keys across classical and popular music.

by Curt Sheller, Curt Sheller Publications

G major (or the key of G) is a major scale based on G, with the pitches G, A, B, C, D, E, and F#. Its key signature has one sharp, F#.

Its relative minor is E minor, and its parallel minor is G minor.

G major, sometimes called the "people's key", is one of the most frequently-employed keys across classical and popular music. This is in part because of its relative ease of playing on both keyboard and string instruments: its scale comprises only one black note on the keyboard, all of a guitar’s six strings can be played open in G, half of the strings on the mandolin and violin/fiddle are in the G chord when open, and the banjo is usually tuned to open G. It is the key stipulated by Queen Elizabeth II to be used for “God Save the Queen” in Canada. The music to the American national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner, was originally written in G major. Though it is now usually sung in A-flat or B-flat major, some people, most notably humorist and commentator Garrison Keillor, are campaigning to return the song to its original key; they argue that the song is already very difficult to sing on account of its range (one and a half octaves), and the modern standard key makes it still more difficult.


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