The Circle of Fifths made clear

Watch on YouTube

Show annotations

Download is disabled.




Genre: Music

License: Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)

Family friendly? Yes

Wilson score: 0.9746

Rating: 4.9052 / 5

Engagement: 2.44%

Mark Newman

Subscribe | 34.8K

Shared June 27, 2015
In this video I explain Circle of Fifths and demonstrate some of its many uses in music composition. This video is part of a larger Podcast about Chords and Harmonies which is available to listen to or download from

The Circle of Fifths is a visual representation of the relationships between the 12 tones of the chromatic scale. It was invented by the Greek philosopher Pythagoras and is so called as it takes the form of a circle around which each of the 12 tones are laid out. As you move around the circle in a clockwise direction, the next tone you encounter will be a 5th above the tone before it.

The Circle of Fifths lies at the very foundation of western music theory and is therefore extremely useful as you can refer to it to help you find out things like, what key you are in. If you are in a major key it helps you find the relative minor key and visa versa. It tells you which chords are available in which key. It can even help you to transpose your music into a different key and move between keys within a song.