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    Key signatures with five or more sharps or flats

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    George
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    Key signatures with five or more sharps or flats

    Post  George on Wed 20 Dec 2017, 18:29

    A moment ago, I enjoyed listening to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Marche slave, Op. 31 (the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Herbert von Karajan) on my laptop. The piece is usually known by its French title; in English it might well be called Slavonic March in B-flat minor.


    The key of B-flat minor has five flats. Someone who is just beginning to learn to read music may well find keys containing lots of sharps or flats rather daunting. I think I am correct in saying that the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart himself did not write a single work in a key with more than four sharps or flats.


    The major keys with five or more sharps/flats are B major, D-flat major, F-sharp major and G-flat major. The keys of C-sharp major and C-flat major are also theoretically possible, but are extremely rarely (if ever) used in practice. For example, Frédéric Chopin’s Fantaisie-impromptu, which is in C-sharp minor, has a middle section that ought to be in the tonic major – except that it is in D-flat major instead. The four sharps of the minor key are cancelled and replaced not by seven sharps but by five flats for the major key.


    The minor keys with five or more sharps/flats are G-sharp minor, B-flat minor, D-sharp minor and E-flat minor. Again there are also A-sharp minor and A-flat minor, which exist in theory but are almost never used.



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    Sylvia

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    Re: Key signatures with five or more sharps or flats

    Post  Sylvia on Fri 22 Dec 2017, 08:25

    A moment ago, a rendition by pianist Peter Hill of J. S. Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in B-flat minor, BWV 891 (№ 22 in Book II of The Well-tempered Clavier) was played in “Breakfast” on BBC Radio 3 (presented by Petroc Tralawny).
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    George
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    Re: Key signatures with five or more sharps or flats

    Post  George on Fri 22 Dec 2017, 08:28

    One will be able to listen to the Prelude and Fugue in B major, BWV 892 (№ 23 in Book II of The Well-tempered Clavier) tomorrow.



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    Re: Key signatures with five or more sharps or flats

    Post  Sylvia on Fri 22 Dec 2017, 08:34

    Yesterday, I enjoyed listening to a waltz in D-flat major by Frédéric Chopin on Radio 3, between “Breakfast” with Petroc Trelawny and “Essential Classics” with Suzy Klein. No, not the Minute Waltz, but a posthumous one, Op. 70 № 3, performed by Arthur Rubinstein.
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    Re: Key signatures with five or more sharps or flats

    Post  George on Fri 22 Dec 2017, 09:02

    A little dance? (6,5)

    Answer: MINUTE WALTZ.


    The Valse du petit chien – better known in English as the “Minute Waltz” – Op. 64 № 1, is also in D-flat major.

    Camille Bourniquel, one of Chopin’s biographers, reminds the reader that Chopin got the inspiration for this waltz as he was watching a small dog chase its tail, which prompted the composer to name the piece Valse du petit chien, meaning “The Little Dog Waltz”.

    Wikipedia.



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    Re: Key signatures with five or more sharps or flats

    Post  Sylvia on Mon 08 Jan 2018, 07:50

    An étude in B-flat minor by Alexander Scriabin has just been played on “Breakfast” with Petroc Trelawny; the pianist is Alexis Weissenberg, who died on this day (January 8) six years ago.
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    Re: Key signatures with five or more sharps or flats

    Post  George on Mon 08 Jan 2018, 13:35

    The slow movement of Joseph Haydn’s String Quartet in D major, Op. 76 № 5 (Hob. III:79), to which I have just enjoyed listening (performed by the Kuijken String Quartet) on my laptop, has a slow movement in F-sharp major!




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    Re: Key signatures with five or more sharps or flats

    Post  Sylvia on Sat 20 Jan 2018, 10:02

    Well-known works in F-sharp major include Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Sonata № 24, Op. 78, and Frédéric Chopin’s Barcarolle, Op. 60.
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    Re: Key signatures with five or more sharps or flats

    Post  George on Sat 20 Jan 2018, 10:12

    A moment ago, I enjoyed listening to Haydn’s String Quartet in F major, Op. 77 № 2 (Hob. III:82), played by the Quatuor Mosaïques, on my laptop – one of his mature quartets, in which the minuet & trio movement precedes the slow one. The minuet is the home key – but the trio is in D-flat major! Although I cannot distinguish absolute pitch by ear, I knew there was something interesting afoot when I heard a bridge passage linking the end of the trio to the minuet reprise – something Haydn also used in his Symphonies № 99 and № 104, in which the trio is in a key somewhat remote from that of the minuet. So I looked up the score at IMSLP – et voilà.



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    Re: Key signatures with five or more sharps or flats

    Post  Sylvia on Fri 26 Jan 2018, 04:45

    Chopin’s Mazurkas, Op. 33 (Yulianna Avdeeva on piano) are now being played in “Through the Night” with Jonathan Swain on Radio 3. № 1 (of 4) in the set is in the rare key of G-sharp minor!
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    Re: Key signatures with five or more sharps or flats

    Post  George on Tue 06 Feb 2018, 04:57

    Antonín Dvořák’s Nocturne in B major for string orchestra, Op. 40, was played a moment ago in “Through the Night” with John Shea, Jan Stanienda conducting the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra.



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    Re: Key signatures with five or more sharps or flats

    Post  Sylvia on Wed 07 Feb 2018, 04:33

    A moment ago, pianist Rian de Waal played Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody № 6 in D-flat major in “Through the Night” with John Shea.

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