In today’s lesson, we’ll be focusing on the application of the circle of fourths and fifths.

The circle of fourths and fifths is popular among musicians and its importance cannot be denied because it’s used as a reference in a wide spectrum of topics in music.

Let’s discuss briefly on the circle of fourths and fifths before we get on with its application.

There are twelve musical notes:

…7 white notes (aka – “naturals”):

…and 5 black notes (aka – “accidentals”):

The *geometrical* representation of these notes in fourth and fifth intervals produces the circle of fourths. Take a look at all the notes:

…represented in a circle.

It is described as a circle of fourths and fifths because the interval between successive notes in the circle is in fourth and fifth intervals. So, it’s a circle of fourths and circle of fifths as well.

The circle:

…can be considered as fourths in the counter-clockwise direction. For example, from C (on the 12 o’clock position):

… to F (on the 11 o’clock position):

… to Bb (on the 10 o’clock position):

… to Eb (on the 9 o’clock position):

…are all fourth intervals.

Beyond learning about the circle of fourths and fifths lies the knowledge of its application.

Although there are several ways to apply the circle of fourths and fifths, we’ll be focusing on two ways it can be applied:

In the determination of

key-signatureIn the determination of

chord progression

Check it out!

From what you’ve learned in this lesson, I’m very certain that you’ll use the circle of fourths and fifths as a reference whenever topics like key-signature and chord progression are discussed.

In a subsequent lesson, we’ll be learning how to memorize the circle of fourths and fifths.

That’s all for now!

The following two tabs change content below.
#### Chuku Onyemachi

#### Latest posts by Chuku Onyemachi (see all)

Hello, I'm Chuku Onyemachi (aka - "Dr. Pokey") - a musicologist, pianist, author, clinician and Nigerian. I started teaching musicians in my neighbourhood in April 2005. Today, I'm humbled to work as a music consultant with HearandPlay Music Group for musicians in Africa and beyond.

- Ask Dr. Pokey: Do Gospel Musicians Need Suspended Chords? - November 28, 2018
- Passing Chords: Altered Chords And Dominant Seventh [b9] Chords - November 21, 2018
- Chord Analysis: The Minor Major Seventh Chord - November 14, 2018