Circle of Fifths Diagram in Music

Circle of Fifths Diagram in Music

Circle of FiCircle of Fifths Diagram in Music

The circle of fifths diagram in music is above.  It represents all 12 major and all 12 minor key signatures in Western music.

To begin, notice that all of the sharp key signatures are on the right hand side of the circle. 

All of the flat key signatures are on the left hand side of the circle.

Key Signature on the Circle of Fifths

The circle of fifths is named this because each key signature is exactly an interval of a fifth apart.

For example, the first key signature of C Major at the top of the circle is C Major.

As you move to the right of C Major the next key signature is G Major. G Major is exactly the distance of five notes or one fifth above C Major.  The same rule applies to all of the minor key signatures located in lighter letters on the inside of the circle.

 Key Signatures in Music

 1.All 12 Major Key Signatures in music  are represented in the circle graphic above  by the BOLD letters on the outside of the circle.

There are 12 major key signatures.  These include:

C Major, G Major, D Major, A Major, E Major, B Major, F-Sharp Major, F Major, B-Flat Major, E-Flat Major, A-Flat Major and D-Flat Major.

2.  There are 12 minor keys are represented by the lighter letters within the circle.

These 12 minor key signatures in music  include:

a minor, e minor, b minor, f-sharp minor, c-sharp minor, g-sharp minor, d-sharp minor, d minor, g minor, c minor, f minor and b-flat minor.

 Music Theory

What does all of this music theory mean to the beginning music student?  Here is a simple explanation about the circle of fifths.

Each key signature is unique due to the number of sharps or flats. These sharps or flats are placed next to the treble and bass clef.

Viewing the key signatures below it is easy to see the progression of the sharp signatures from C Major with no sharps to C-sharp major with seven sharps.

Circle of Fifths Diagram in Music

Notice how the BOLD letters C, G, D, A, E, and B Major on the outside area of the Circle of Fifths Diagram at the top of this page. This coordinates with all of the Major Sharp Key Signatures as seen just above this paragraph.

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