Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician

Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World) our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps and more.

Free Shipping on Jansen Artist Piano Benches
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
Who's Online
81 registered (Albunea, Andrei Kuznetsov, ando, AndrewJCW, augustm, AprilE, 23 invisible), 953 Guests and 6 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#1666754 - 04/26/11 09:14 AM KEY E MINOR AND G MAJOR
SOGNO Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/12/09
Posts: 3
Hi all,
If this sounds like a stupid question please excuse me as I am really only an amateur pianist.
I became interested in doing Chopin's E minor Op.72/1 nocturne after hearing it. This is the first time that I will try and do a piece of music in the key of E minor. When I downloaded the sheet music for this piece I noticed for the first time that a piece in E minor will have the same accidentals as that of G major meaning the all too common F sharp.
I find this a bit difficult to understand. Can someone please explain this to me? Although I can very clearly hear the difference of the E minor key to that of the G major I still have not been able to tell "WHAT IT IS THAT REALLY MAKES THE DIFFERENCE". I really would like to know. Please help.

(ad 800) Ritmuller
Ritmuller Presents
#1666758 - 04/26/11 09:22 AM Re: KEY E MINOR AND G MAJOR [Re: SOGNO]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 23208
Loc: Oakland
You should ask this in the Pianists Corner.
Semipro Tech

#1666762 - 04/26/11 09:27 AM Re: KEY E MINOR AND G MAJOR [Re: SOGNO]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10657
Loc: Williamsburg, VA

You should ask this on the Teachers Forum. The Piano Forum is about pianos themselves, not the music.

But to answer your question (somewhat), every key signature does double duty as a major and a minor. The difference between major and minor involves the relationship between the notes of the scale. The first and third tones of G major (G and B) form a major third. The first and third of E minor (E and G) form a minor third. The key signature of the minor is the same as the major key that starts on the third tone of the minor scale. For E minor, the third tone is G, which has one sharp.

#1666819 - 04/26/11 11:15 AM Re: KEY E MINOR AND G MAJOR [Re: SOGNO]
the nosy ape Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/10/08
Posts: 767
Loc: Westford, MA
I assume that you are asking why E miinor and G major sound different even though they have the same key signature. It has to do with which notes you start and stop on, or the tonal center. As an example let us look at no sharps or flats. If you start on C and play each succeeding ascending white key until the next C you will play a C major scale. If you start on A it would be an A natural minor scale, and would have a very different character from C major. If you were to start on D you would get a scale that starts out sounding minor, since the third scale degree is a minor third, but would then sound different towards the end. Starting on a different note is termed a "mode". Each of the modes has a name. I know all the names but I forget which ones are which. Western European music traditionally operated mostly in the major and minor modes, so when people talk about modal music they are referring to using a scale mode other than major or minor. I hope this helps.

(ad) Hailun Piano
Hailun Pianos
#1667032 - 04/26/11 05:15 PM Re: KEY E MINOR AND G MAJOR [Re: SOGNO]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5315
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
As long as this thread is here, I'll add my two cents.

SOGNO, do a Google search and consider buying a college music theory text book. You don't need to read the entire book, just spend your time learning the first three or four chapters. Once you know that information forwards and backwards you'll have much more enjoyment in the music you play.

mp3\wav files

AvantGrand N3, CP5

#1667037 - 04/26/11 05:21 PM Re: KEY E MINOR AND G MAJOR [Re: SOGNO]
David-G Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/17/06
Posts: 1306
Loc: London

The major and minor keys come in pairs with the same key signature. But as nosy ape has explained, C major is not paired with C minor, but with A minor. And the same with G major and E minor. The pairs are three semitones apart.

By the way, welcome to the forums! Don't worry overmuch about which forum is the "correct one". You will soon get the feel of this.

#1667085 - 04/26/11 06:16 PM Re: KEY E MINOR AND G MAJOR [Re: SOGNO]
calis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/01/11
Posts: 34
Since I haven't seen anyone mention this terminology...

SOGNO... EVERY Major Key has a RELATIVE Minor Key which begins on the 6th degree of the major scale. C Major's relative minor is A Minor. D Major's relative minor is B Minor. Et cetera. Et cetera.

E Minor is the relative minor of G Major. Identical notes. Different starting point.

As mentioned, if you are interested in this sort of musical knowledge, I would recommend picking up an introductory music theory book as a good starting point.

Hope that helps!




Moderator:  Ken Knapp, Piano World, Rickster 
the Forums & Piano World

Trying Something New with Search
(ad) Yamaha CP4 or CP40 Free Bag
Buy a CP4 or CP40 Get a Free Bag
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ads) PD - WNG - MH
Ad (the Piano Store)
the Piano Store - Restored Steinway Pianos
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
New Topics - Multiple Forums
December Piano Bar
by Inlanding
12/02/15 12:09 AM
Kawai MP7 USB/MIDI and High Resolution MIDI Velocity.
by Fer De Armas
12/01/15 07:59 PM
Question about a cadence exercice----
by piano_primo_1
12/01/15 07:16 PM
Chopin op 25 12, how many months to play at tempo?
by rov
12/01/15 04:54 PM
Sheet music on the 18th century
by Young Musician
12/01/15 04:22 PM
What's Hot!!
Posting Pictures on the Forums
Forums Rules & Help
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
Forum Stats
81,629 Registered Members
44 Forums
168,738 Topics
2,471,767 Posts

Most users ever online: 15,252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |

copyright 1997 - 2015 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission