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C major

C major (or the key of C) is a major scale based on C, with the pitches C, D, E, F, G, A, and B. C major is one of the most common key signatures used in western music. Its key signature has no flats and no sharps. Its relative minor is A minor and its parallel minor is C minor.

The C major scale is:

: { override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f elative c' { clef treble key c major ime 7/4 c4 d e f g a b c b a g f e d c2 } } On the piano, the C major scale can be played by playing the white keys starting on C.

Compositions

Twenty of Joseph Haydn's 104 symphonies are in C major, making it his second most-used key, second only to D major. Of the 134 symphonies mistakenly attributed to Haydn that H. C. Robbins Landon lists in his catalog, 33 are in C major, more than any other key. Before the invention of the valves, Haydn did not write trumpet and timpani parts in his symphonies, except those in C major. Landon writes that it wasn't "until 1774 that Haydn uses trumpets and timpani in a key other than C major... and then only sparingly." Most of Haydn's symphonies in C major are labelled "festive" and are of a primarily celebratory mood. (See also List of symphonies in C major.)

Many masses and settings of Te Deum in the Classical era were in C major. Mozart wrote most of his masses in C major and so did Haydn.

Of Franz Schubert's two symphonies in the key, the first is nicknamed the "Little C major" and the second the "Great C major".

Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" is written in the key of C major.

Many musicians have pointed out that every musical key conjures up specific feelings. This idea is further explored in a radio program called The Signature Series. American popular songwriter Bob Dylan claimed the key of C major to "be the key of strength, but also the key of regret." Sibelius's Symphony No. 7 is in C major and that key was of great importance in his previous symphonies.

Examples

  • Josquin des Prez
  • "Ave Maria ... Virgo serena"
  • Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C major, BWV 564
  • Cello Suite No. 3, BWV 1009
  • Joseph Haydn
  • Cello Concerto No. 1 (1761–65)
  • Symphony No. 7, Le Midi (1761)
  • Symphony No. 60, Il distratto (1774)
  • Symphony No. 82, The Bear (1786)
  • String Quartet No. 32, The Bird (1781)
  • String Quartet No. 62, Emperor (1797–98)
  • Mass No. 10, Missa in tempore belli (1796)
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • 12 Variations in C major on the French song "Ah, vous dirai-je, Maman", KV 265
  • Concerto for flute and harp, KV 299/297c
  • Piano Concerto No. 8, KV 246 ("Lutzow")
  • Piano Concerto No. 13, KV 415
  • Piano Concerto No. 21, KV 467
  • Piano Concerto No. 25, KV 503
  • Piano Sonata No. 1, KV 279
  • Piano Sonata No. 7, KV 309
  • Piano Sonata No. 10, KV 330
  • Piano Sonata No. 16, KV 545
  • String Quartet No. 19, KV 465 ("Dissonance")
  • Symphony No. 16, KV 128
  • Symphony No. 22, KV 162
  • Symphony No. 28, KV 200
  • Symphony No. 34, KV 338
  • Symphony No. 36, KV 425 ("Linz")
  • Symphony No. 41, KV 551 ("Jupiter")
  • Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Piano Sonata No. 3, Op. 2, No. 3
  • Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 15
  • Symphony No. 1, Op. 21
  • Rondo Op. 51 No. 1
  • Piano Sonata No. 21, Op. 53 ("Waldstein")
  • Triple Concerto for violin, cello, and piano in C major, Op. 56 (1803)
  • Mass in C major, Op. 86
  • Franz Schubert
  • Wanderer Fantasy, Op. 15 D. 760
  • Symphony No. 6 (Little)
  • Symphony No. 9, D. 944 ("Great")
  • String Quintet in C major, D. 956
  • Felix Mendelssohn
  • Wedding March from A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • Frédéric Chopin
  • Introduction and Polonaise brillante for cello and piano, Op. 3
  • Etude Op. 10 No. 1 "Waterfall"
  • Etude Op. 10 No. 7 "Toccata"
  • Mazurka Op. 67 No. 3
  • Robert Schumann
  • Toccata, Op. 7
  • Fantasie in C, Op. 17
  • Arabeske, Op. 18
  • Symphony No. 2, Op. 61
  • Georges Bizet
  • Symphony in C
  • Jean Sibelius
  • Symphony No. 3, Op. 52 (1907)
  • Symphony No. 7, Op. 105 (1924)
  • Maurice Ravel
  • Boléro
  • Igor Stravinsky
  • Symphony in C (1940)
  • Sergei Prokofiev
  • Piano Concerto No. 3, Op. 26 (1921)
  • Symphony No. 4 (original version), Op. 47 (1930)
  • Symphony No. 4 (revised version), Op. 112 (1947)
  • Dmitri Shostakovich
  • Symphony No. 7, Op. 60 ("Leningrad")
  • Terry Riley
  • In C