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Importance of the Circle of Fifths

Importance of the Circle of Fifths

cycle of fifths

Discover the significance of the Circle of Fifths in music theory.

Uncover why this powerful tool holds immense importance and learn how it can enhance your understanding of key relationships, chord progressions, and harmonic patterns.

Dive into the captivating world of the Circle of Fifths and unlock new realms of musical knowledge and creativity!

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Importance of the Circle of Fifths

Video Transcript

One minute Theory with Ari

Let’s talk about the cycle of fifths for a moment. So many people simply think of it as a tool to organize your sharps and your flats and your majors and your minors. Don’t call it A sharp major, call it B flat major and that’s all nice and good.

It’s such a great ear training tool and it’s such a great practice tool. For example, if you simply play through the cycle to the left: C to the F to the B flat to the E flat to the A flat to the D flat and so forth… you are playing descending fifths. And you hear how this has such a pulling quality to it because it sounds like a mini resolve each time. It’s like 5-1, 5-1, 5-1, 5-1, 5-1, 5-1, 5-1 all right. So it sounds like gravity and you’re falling down the stairs and you simply can’t stop.

Songs that do that are for example, Fly Me to the Moon or Autumn Leaves. Now if you go the other way see that the G to the D to the A to the E to the B, then you hear this much more uplifting quality and a song that does that for example, is Hotel California.

Now in songs you often stay within one key versus in the cycle you’re really changing keys but what I just said is still true for the bass movement.

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