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Circle of Fifths


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#1 Will Barrow

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 01:22 PM

Hey Alex Brink and everyone,
The circle of 5ths does indeed tie into the 1-4-5 concept.You'll notice on the circle of 5ths diagram that Mystery has provided[thanx again for that!]that in any given key, 1[let's say C-at the top of the diagram]has to its left 4[F-if we're in the key of C].and to its right 5[G-since we're in C].
An even more crucial aspect of 1-4-5 is developing the ability to HEAR 1-4-5 in a given key....how each chord SOUNDS in relation to the key you're in.This is fundamental to being able to pick out chords by ear.Once you get a handle on 1-4-5,you're better able to hear the basic minor chords in a key-6 minor,2 minor and 3 minor.Once you can recognize the sound of these 6 chords in a key,you understand the fundamental harmony of thousands of tunes-especially in the reallms of folk,rock,pop,blues and R&B.When you're figuring out simple tunes by ear,remember to hum the bass notes that undergird the chord structure-that makes i easier to hear the roots of these chords.Have fun!
Will

#2 Mystery

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Posted 31 October 2008 - 04:37 AM

Hello again AlexBrink and Other L&MP Students,

When examining the Circle of Fifths diagram, don't forget that F# is the same as Gb, C# is the same as Db, G# is the same as Ab, and D# is the same as Eb. Those four identities (among others of a similar nature) are the most important to remember. It would be wise to enter those four identitiies where only the "sharped" notation is shown in the inner circle of the Circle of Fifths diagram I posted earlier.

For those particular four identities, the "flatted" names, rather than the "sharped" names, are most often used when stating the Key of a piece of music. For example, one would use Ab rather than G# when naming the Key of music written in the "equivalent" Keys of Ab or G#. Note that the Key Signatures are different for those "equivalent" Keys!

I hope this information will help you as you work through the L&MP Course. It certainly was a challenge for me to write!

Happy 88s,

Mystery

P.S.: Constructive feedback is always greatly appreciated.

#3 Mystery

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 06:00 PM

Hi AlexBrink,

A few months have passed since your post in this forum topic area, but you may still be interested in some additional information on the Circle of Fifths and how it can be useful in forming and understanding I-IV-V chord sequences.

Here's that Circle:

Posted Image

In the outer ring of the Circle, pick any key [F]. The three notes of the associated Major Triad [F-A-C] are shown in the adjacent segment of the next interior ring of the Circle. Back in the outer ring, the IV note [Bb] is located one segment counterclockwise (CCW) from the starting key [F]. In that same outer ring, the V note [C] is one segment clockwise (CW) of the starting key [F]. For each of those IV [Bb] and V [C] notes, the associated Major Triad [Bb-D-F; and C-E-G] is shown in the adjacent segment of the next interior ring of the Circle.

Note: The red-coloured, square-bracketed entries in the previous paragraph provide one example of the described use of the Circle of Fifths.

The I-IV-V chord (or note) sequence is one of several that provide pleasant progressions and is often found in music.

Also note that the Circle of Fifths provides other useful information, so it merits some study and can be helpful in learning to understand the structure and harmonies within music. For example, the Relative Minor Triad (which is based on the VI note in any key) to any Major Triad can be formed by simply replacing the V note in the Major Triad with a VI note. So, for example, beginning with a Bb Major Triad (in any position/inversion: Root Position=Bb-D-F; or 1st Inversion=D-F-Bb; or 2nd Inversion=F-Bb-D), form the Relative Minor Triad by changing the V note (here, the F) to a VI note (here, a G), which will produce the Relative Minor Triad Gm (in position/inversion: 1st Inversion=Bb-D-G; or 2nd Inversion=D-G-Bb; or Root Position=G-Bb-D; respectively).

I hope this information is beneficial to you and everyone else in the L&MP Course.

Happy 88s,

Mystery

#4 markb

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 09:02 PM

Hi Alex,

Obviously I'm not Will, and I haven't progressed past session 7, but the book "How to Play Piano Despite Years of Lessons" has a very good discussion of the circle of fifths and how it's used in various styles of popular music. Essentially, depending on the style, a song starts on a particular degree of the circle, jumps away from that degree, and eventually works back to the original in a pretty set progression. (That's a very poor synopsis.)

Hopefully Will or someone else can expand on this or Google circle of fifths. Of course, you could make the author of the cited book very happy by buying it.

Mark

#5 AlexBrink

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 02:02 PM

Hi Will

I was just wondering how the Circle of Fifths ties into your 1-4-5 idea.

Both my dad and grandad have been urging me to play piano for years (and I've now missed my chance having moved on with life and thus no longer live with my folks), and they seem to be part of the Circle of Fifths religion.

I now finally (congrats, you have managed to keep me interested for longer than they ever managed - and loving it) I understand how it all ties together.

So my query is simply whether this method (circle of fifths) is any good and if it is indeed similar to your 1-4-5 idea (PS: I'm only on Lesson 8 now and haven't looked ahead at all).

Thank you for a wonderful course, but more importantly, the ability to chat to you and fellow learners.

Greeting from a sunny South Africa.

Regards,

Alex

#6 JoeD

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 07:02 AM

I made two "circle of fifths" charts and an explanation on how it works that people here might like to have.
Just click on the link under my name to get a copy.
Hope it helps some people.
Joe
Fat Fingers Joe

#7 Yusuf105

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 08:19 AM

Hi Joe & Mystery
Thanks for that.
It got me interested enough to have a look at the circle of fifths again.
Last time I looked,(some time ago) I couldn't get my head round it.
Perhaps this time I will be more successful.

Hi Will
Nice to hear from you again.Hope all is well.
YUSUF
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#8 susanexpress01

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 07:20 AM

Good post,i learn lot here.

#9 chuckaltair

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 04:23 AM

Hi AlexBrink,


A few months have passed since your post in this forum topic area, but you may still be interested in some additional information on the Circle of Fifths and how it can be useful in forming and understanding I-IV-V chord sequences.


Here's that Circle:


Posted Image


In the outer ring of the Circle, pick any key [F]. The three notes of the associated Major Triad [F-A-C] are shown in the adjacent segment of the next interior ring of the Circle. Back in the outer ring, the IV note [Bb] is located one segment counterclockwise (CCW) from the starting key [F]. In that same outer ring, the V note [C] is one segment clockwise (CW) of the starting key [F]. For each of those IV [Bb] and V [C] notes, the associated Major Triad [Bb-D-F; and C-E-G] is shown in the adjacent segment of the next interior ring of the Circle.


Note: The red-coloured, square-bracketed entries in the previous paragraph provide one example of the described use of the Circle of Fifths.


The I-IV-V chord (or note) sequence is one of several that provide pleasant progressions and is often found in music.


Also note that the Circle of Fifths provides other useful information, so it merits some study and can be helpful in learning to understand the structure and harmonies within music. For example, the Relative Minor Triad (which is based on the VI note in any key) to any Major Triad can be formed by simply replacing the V note in the Major Triad with a VI note. So, for example, beginning with a Bb Major Triad (in any position/inversion: Root Position=Bb-D-F; or 1st Inversion=D-F-Bb; or 2nd Inversion=F-Bb-D), form the Relative Minor Triad by changing the V note (here, the F) to a VI note (here, a G), which will produce the Relative Minor Triad Gm (in position/inversion: 1st Inversion=Bb-D-G; or 2nd Inversion=D-G-Bb; or Root Position=G-Bb-D; respectively).


I hope this information is beneficial to you and everyone else in the L&MP Course.


Happy 88s,


Mystery



Hi Mystery,

Do you know of a plastic circle of fifths used as a sort of hand "slide rule" that can be used with the circle of fifths to facilitate its use? Years ago in my "flying" days we used such a hand held device to compute windage and navigation problems while flying. It would be nice to find device such as that to put in our pockets, and have it located nearby for use while playing the piano.

Thanks Chuck...

#10 Mystery

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 06:35 AM

Hello Chuck,

Hi Mystery,

Do you know of a plastic circle of fifths used as a sort of hand "slide rule" that can be used with the circle of fifths to facilitate its use? Years ago in my "flying" days we used such a hand held device to compute windage and navigation problems while flying. It would be nice to find device such as that to put in our pockets, and have it located nearby for use while playing the piano.

Thanks Chuck...

Although the product is certainly not pocket-sized and is not exactly what you're looking for, you may find "The Chord Wheel" to be a very useful tool worth acquiring.

Click here to access information about that product.

If it interests you, shop around for the best price for that product which is available from many retailers (online and in-store).

Make mellifluous music!

Mystery


#11 chuckaltair

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 12:48 AM

Hello Chuck,


Hi Mystery,

Do you know of a plastic circle of fifths used as a sort of hand "slide rule" that can be used with the circle of fifths to facilitate its use? Years ago in my "flying" days we used such a hand held device to compute windage and navigation problems while flying. It would be nice to find device such as that to put in our pockets, and have it located nearby for use while playing the piano.

Thanks Chuck...

Although the product is certainly not pocket-sized and is not exactly what you're looking for, you may find "The Chord Wheel" to be a very useful tool worth acquiring.

Click here to access information about that product.

If it interests you, shop around for the best price for that product which is available from many retailers (online and in-store).

Make mellifluous music!

Mystery



#12 chuckaltair

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 12:49 AM

Thanks Mystery, I'll check it out.

Chuck...

#13 sekeri

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 10:29 PM

I know that we use the circle of fifths for remembering how many sharps or flats are in each key. Or for chord substitution, determining the best transition, modulation to another key.
But this is a eeally really helpful information on circle of fifths. Thank you!

#14 cntryblues

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 11:50 PM







These seemed to explain things pretty interesting.... :pianodancer:

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