If C minor were a person, who would he be?
Here's how the Signature Series works:
1. Select a musical key.
2. Gather the most famous melodies composed in that key.
3. Mash up.
4. Meet the person behind the key.
To get to know C minor, click on the orange play button.
Follow along with the pop-up comments to find out what composition is playing.
C minor: The Tortured Genius
Also known as:
C minors you might know:
Ludwig van Beethoven.
The notes: C - D - E♭ - F - G - A♭ - B♮ - C.
Number of flats: three.
Relative major: E-flat major.
What they said about C minor in the 18th and 19th centuries:
"A tragic key, fit to express grand misadventures, deaths of heroes, and grand but mournful, ominous and lugubrious actions." – Francesco Galeazzi, 1796
"Sounds in deep tones of misery; it proclaims rigid, numb grief. Fear and horror. Bitter lamenting. And despair." – J.A. Schrader, 1827
More C minor listening:
Symphony No. 1 by Johannes Brahms.
Symphony No. 8 by Dmitri Shostakovich.
The Canadian connection:
"The Floor" by Buck 65.
Editor's note: Historical quotes and translations from A History of Key Characteristics in the 18th and Early 19th Centuries, by Rita Steblin, UMI Research Press (1983).
The Signature Series on CBC Music
A major: The Will-o'-the-wisp
Beethoven's 32 Varations in C minor played by Murray Perahia