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.

C major
Relative keyA minor
Parallel keyC minor
Dominant keyG major
SubdominantF major
Component pitches
C, D, E, F, G, A, B

The C major scale is:

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.[1] (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.[2]

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."[3] Ralph Vaughan Williams was impressed by Sibelius's Symphony No. 7 in C major and remarked that only Sibelius could make the key sound fresh. However, C major was a key of great importance in Sibelius's previous symphonies.[4]

Examples

Notable Songs

See also

References

  1. H. C. Robbins Landon, The Symphonies of Joseph Haydn. London: Universal Edition & Rockliff (1955): 227. "In the course of composing his first symphonies, the tonality of C major became indelibly impressed on Haydn's mind as the key of pomp, the key of C alto horns, trumpets and timpani, the vehicle for composing brilliant and festive music, although at least during this period [the 1760s] he did not always reserve the tonality of C major for this particular kind of symphony: Nos. 2, 7 and 9, and possibly Nos. 25 and 30 ... are C major symphonies without the psychological manifestations inherent in most of the later works in this key. For the rest, however, the C major path is astonishingly clear; it can be traced from its inception, in Nos. 20, 32 and 37, through No. 33 and the more mature Nos. 38 and 41 to its synthesis in the Maria Theresia (No. 48) and No. 56. It continues with No. 50 and proceeds through Nos. 60, 63, 69, 82 and 90, reaching its final culmination in No. 97."
  2. James Webster & Georg Feder, The New Grove Haydn. New York: Macmillan (2002): 55. "The Missa in tempora belli ... in C features the bright, trumpet-dominated sound typical of masses in this key."
  3. Jonathan Cott, ed. (2017). Bob Dylan: The Essential Interviews. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 237. ISBN 1501173197. OCLC 975135582.
  4. Philip Coad, "Sibelius" in A Guide to the Symphony edited by Robert Layton. Oxford University Press. Sibelius's Seventh "is in C major, and a look back at the previous four symphonies [by Sibelius] will reveal how great the domination of C major has been [in his music]. It is the key of the Third, the relative major of the Fourth and the important 'neutral agent' in its Finale, the key which first forces away the tonic in the Fifth's Finale, and the principal opposition the key of the brass in the Sixth. Although it is now the tonic key, C major is also strongly associated with brass in the Seventh Symphony."
  5. "Heaven by Bryan Adams; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  6. "Straight from the Heart by Bryan Adams; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  7. "1-2-3 by Len Barry; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  8. "Can't Buy Me Love by The Beatles; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  9. "Hello, Goodbye by The Beatles; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  10. "Jive Talkin' by Bee Gees; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  11. "Old Days by Chicago; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  12. "Down on the Corner by Creedence Clearwater Revival; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  13. "I'll Tumble 4 Ya by Culture Club; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  14. "Walkin' After Midnight by Patsy Cline; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  15. "A Teenager in Love by Dion & The Belmonts; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  16. "This Magic Moment by The Drifters; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  17. "The Name Game by Shirley Ellis; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  18. "Wild Child by Enya; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  19. "Glamorous by Fergie; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  20. "Superman (It's Not Easy) by Culture Club; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  21. "Baby Now That I've Found You by The Foundations; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  22. "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) by The Four Tops; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  23. "Forget You by CeeLo Green; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  24. "I'm into Something Good by Herman's Hermits; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  25. "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter by Herman's Hermits; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  26. "There's a Kind of Hush by Herman's Hermits; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  27. "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me by Billy Joel; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  28. "Piano Man by Billy Joel; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  29. "Daniel by Elton John; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  30. "Come Away with Me by Norah Jones; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  31. https://tunebat.com/Info/Ride-Lana-Del-Rey/7yFMhCJOsH7khgpdnyrZAZ
  32. "Imagine by John Lennon; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  33. "I Love You Always Forever by Donna Lewis; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  34. "The Power of Love by Huey Lewis and the News; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  35. "Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  36. "True Colors by Cyndi Lauper; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  37. "I Will Follow Him by Little Peggy March; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  38. "Do You Believe in Magic by The Lovin' Spoonful; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  39. "Right Here Waiting by Richard Marx; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  40. "Silly Love Songs by Paul McCartney & Wings; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  41. "I Melt with You by Modern English; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  42. "Born Free by Matt Monro; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  43. "Poor Little Fool by Ricky Nelson; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  44. "Sister Christian by Night Ranger; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  45. "Love Train by The O'Jays; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  46. "The Night Chicago Died by Paper Lace; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  47. "Sesame Street Theme by Joe Raposo; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  48. "Somewhere Out There by Linda Ronstadt & James Ingram; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  49. "Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  50. "Won't You Be My Neighbor? by Fred Rogers; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  51. "Truly Madly Deeply by Savage Garden; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  52. "Will You Love Me Tomorrow by The Shirelles; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  53. "Peace Train by Cat Stevens; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  54. "Come Sail Away by Styx; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  55. "Where Did Our Love Go by The Supremes; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  56. "Wipe Out by The Surfaris; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  57. "Ain't Too Proud to Beg by The Temptations; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  58. "Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me) by The Temptations; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  59. "My Girl by The Temptations; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  60. "Take Me Out to the Ball Game by Albert Von Tilzer; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  61. "Can't Stop the Feeling! by Justin Timberlake; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  62. "La Bamba by Ritchie Valens; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  63. "Jump by Van Halen; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  64. "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go by Wham!; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  65. "Lean on Me by Bill Withers; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 4 December 2019.

Further reading

  • Media related to C major at Wikimedia Commons
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