I have sadly opined about the almost total obliteration of E major. The other day I heard the Finale of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto start a semitone higher than its written key i.e. in E major rather than E flat major. But hearing music in the lost key when it is the wrong key is no compensation.

But all is not lost (yet). I have stumbled upon a circumstance in which E major has been preserved (for the present). I was listening to the first movement of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor – partly listening while working in the kitchen. After a spell of culinary concentration, I tuned once again into the music as it slowed to the recapitulation of the gentle second subject. Here Mendelssohn switches from E minor to E major. And E major it was as the clarinet played the lovely theme above the pedal violin E, and so it remained till the music changes back to E minor through to the movement’s end.

So it seems that when E major arises from an E minor ambience, my key sense is not affected (yet). Good news! I must try the New World symphony and its second subject recapitulations in the second and final movements to see if this hypothesis holds. I hope it does.