- Also see: E minor, or E-flat major.
E major is a major scale with a base note of E. Its key signature has four sharps. Its relative minor is C-sharp minor.
E major is hard for wind instruments to play. It is quite good for violin, because two of the open strings are A and E, the tonic and subdominant. Other orchestral string instruments can play well in it, and it is also good for the guitar. When writing in E major, clarinets in A should be used instead of clarinets in B-flat to make it easier to play. This is because clarinets are transposing instruments.
Symphonies in E major are quite rare, but the key is often used for concertos. One of them is Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto.
Ascending and descending E-major
The bells of the Clock Tower in London's Palace of Westminster are tuned to the key of E major.
Diatonic Scales and Keys
|The table shows the number of sharps or flats in each scale. Minor scales are written in lower case.