Neha Patil (Editor)

A major

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Relative key  F♯ minor
Dominant key  E major
Parallel key  A minor
Subdominant  D major
A major

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

Its relative minor is F-sharp minor and its parallel minor is A minor. The key of A major is the only key where a Neapolitan sixth chord on 2 ^ requires both a flat and a natural accidental.

In the treble, alto, and bass clefs, the G in the key signature is placed higher than C. However, in the tenor clef, it would require a ledger line and so G is placed lower than C.

Although not as rare in the symphonic literature as sharper keys, examples of symphonies in A major are not as numerous as for D major or G major. Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, Bruckner's Symphony No. 6 and Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 4 comprise a nearly complete list of symphonies in this key in the Romantic era. Mozart's Clarinet Concerto and Clarinet Quintet are both in A major, and generally Mozart was more likely to use clarinets in A major than in any other key besides E-flat major. Moreover, the climax part of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto (Tchaikovsky) is also A major.

A major is often thought of as the simplest key for violin and other orchestra instruments and beginning violin students' first pieces are usually simple ones in this key.

A major occurs frequently in chamber music. Franz Schubert's Piano Quintet known as the Trout Quintet and Antonín Dvořák's Piano Quintet No. 2 are both in A major. Johannes Brahms, César Franck, and Gabriel Fauré wrote violin sonatas in A major. In connection to Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata, Peter Cropper said that A major "is the fullest sounding key for the violin."

According to Christian Friedrich Daniel Schubart, A major is a key suitable for "declarations of innocent love, ... hope of seeing one's beloved again when parting; youthful cheerfulness and trust in God."

For orchestral works in A major, the timpani are typically set to A and E a fifth apart, rather than a fourth apart as for most other keys. Hector Berlioz complained about the custom of his day in which timpani tuned to A and E a fifth apart were notated C and G a fourth apart, a custom which survived as late as the music of Franz Berwald.

Notable compositions in A major

  • Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major, K. 219 – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Symphony No. 29 in A Major, K. 201 – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488 – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Clarinet Concerto in A major, K. 622 – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92 – Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Piano Sonata No. 2 Op. 2/2 – Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Piano Sonata No. 28 Op. 101 – Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Violin Sonata No. 6 Op. 30/1 – Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Violin Sonata No. 9, Op. 47 – Ludwig van Beethoven
  • String quartet No. 5, Op. 18/5 – Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Trout Quintet – Franz Schubert
  • Piano Sonata in A major, D 664 – Franz Schubert
  • Polonaise, Op. 40/1 "Military" – Frédéric Chopin
  • Symphony No. 4 in A major, Op. 90 "Italian" – Felix Mendelssohn
  • Piano Concerto No. 2 in A major, S.125 – Franz Liszt
  • Serenade No. 2 Op. 16 – Johannes Brahms
  • Violin Sonata No. 2 in A major "Thun", Op. 100 – Johannes Brahms
  • Piano Quartet No. 2, Op. 26 – Johannes Brahms
  • Violin Sonata – César Franck
  • Symphony No. 6 in A major – Anton Bruckner
  • Piano Sonata No. 6 in A major, Op. 82 – Sergei Prokofiev
  • String Quartet No. 2 in A major, Op. 68 – Dmitri Shostakovich
  • Symphony No. 15 in A major, Op. 141 – Dmitri Shostakovich
  • References

    A major Wikipedia

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