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Topic: Circle of fifths
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AuthorTopic:   Circle of fifths
Anonymous
Anonymous Poster

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posted: 5/10/2004 at 9:10:05 PM ET
What is the circle of fifths and how do you read it?

ni3tzsch3
Registered User

From:
York, PA

Registered:
4/9/2004
posted: 5/11/2004 at 12:58:56 AM ET
I'm just beginning to learn this stuff myself but here goes an attempt at an explanation.

The circle of fifths is a short-hand method to figure how many sharps or flats are in a particular key signature.

The method:
Starting with the key of C, for every perfect fifth you move up, you add a sharp. So the key of G (a perfect fifth up from C) has one sharp. The key of D (a perfect fifth up from G) has two sharps...and so on.

It also works the other way for flats.

You can diagram this in a circle for quick reference.

Anonymous
Anonymous Poster

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posted: 5/27/2004 at 2:42:54 PM ET
Or, if you want to play it on the snare drum, the pattern is like this...

Right Hand- Hit 18 times
Left Hand - Hit 18 times
(Repear that one more time)
Right Hand- 8 times
Left Hand - 8 times
This will end on your right hand.

Anonymous
Anonymous Poster

From Internet Network:
66.38.75.x

posted: 5/27/2004 at 2:43:37 PM ET
Or, if you want to play it on the snare drum, the pattern is like this...

Right Hand- Hit 18 times
Left Hand - Hit 18 times
(Repear that one more time)
Right Hand- 8 times
Left Hand - 8 times
(repeat this again)
This will end on your right hand.

rusty636
Registered User

Registered:
6/15/2004
posted: 6/15/2004 at 7:43:23 PM ET

quote:
Or, if you want to play it on the snare drum, the pattern is like this...

Right Hand- Hit 18 times
Left Hand - Hit 18 times
(Repear that one more time)
Right Hand- 8 times
Left Hand - 8 times
(repeat this again)
This will end on your right hand.

piano_improv_
online

Registered User

From:
Tacoma, WA

Registered:
6/21/2004
posted: 6/21/2004 at 1:51:12 PM ET
It's called a "circle" because with the temperament we now use (Well-Tempered, as in the Well-Tempered Clavier), if you keep moving up or down a fifth, you'll eventually come back to note you started with.

Thus:

C:G:A:E:B:F#:C# or D-flat:A-flat:E-flat:B-flat:F:C

MrRon
Registered User

From:
Silver Spring, MD

Registered:
6/24/2004
posted: 6/24/2004 at 5:29:12 PM ET
The Circle (CYCLE) of Fifths

The circle of fifths is an arrangement of all twelve notes of the chromatic scale, each note a fifth lower or a fourth higher than the preceding one.

Each chord name always leads clockwise to another chord which is a perfect fifth below. (Some people prefer a counter clockwise order.)

One thing to remember is that the progression is to a root tone a perfect 5th below is identical to a perfect 4th above. The C goes to F which is a perfect 4th higher, or a perfect 5th lower.

You will find the circle extremely valuable for playing by ear, composing your own songs, improvising and understanding music theory even better.

How to Play Piano Like a PRO!
http://www.mrronsmusic.com

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