Lesson 16 - Introduction to the Circle of Fifths
1. IntroductionIn this lesson, you will get familiar with the Circle of Fifths (Circle of 5ths), also known as the Circle of Keys. What is this Circle of Fifths? The Circle of Fifths is a circle that has all 12 keys of the piano written on it. The Circle of Fifths is useful for many things in music such as improvisation and writing music.
2. The Circle of FifthsLet's take a look at the Circle of Fifths. Each of the 12 keys is represented in this circle.
3. Properties of the Circle of FifthsThere are many interesting properties for the Circle of Fifths. Let's take a look at some of them.
The Circle of Fifths helps identify the three primary chords in any key.
In the lesson "Three Primary Chords" in the chords section of beginner, you learned about a set of three primary chords that could be used to play 1000's of songs. You also learned that there is a set of three primary chords in each of the 12 keys. You learned that in the Key of C, the three primary chords were C, F, and G. Well look at the Circle of Fifths. If you look at C, it is surrounded by F and G! So to find the three primary chords in any key, just look at any key in the Circle of Fifths, and the two letters surrounding that key will complete the three primary chords in that key. For example, in the key of A, the three primary chords are A, D, and E. In the key of Bb, the three primary chords are Bb, Eb, and F.
The keys of the Circle of Fifths moves up by a perfect 5th in the clock wise direction.
The keys of the Circle of Fifths move up by a perfect 5th in the clockwise direction. Take a look at C. If you move clockwise, the next key is G. G is a perfect 5th above C. Every single move clockwise on the circle of Fifths moves the key up by a perfect 5th.
4. ConclusionYou should now be familiar with the Circle of Fifths. One interesting property of the Circle of Fifths is that the primary chords appear next to each other on the Circle of Fifths. You will learn more about the Circle of Fifths in lessons to come.
Use Virtual Piano Keyboard below to practice what you have learned in Lessons 12 thru 16
Click to Install Flash Plugin if you cannot view our Virtual Piano below, or animation demos in Lesson 12, Lesson 13, Lesson 14, Lesson 15, or Lesson 16.
See Instructions for using Z-Board
Lesson 12 - 12 Keys of Music
Lesson 13 - Major Scale
Lesson 14 - Intervals
Lesson 15 - Chords of the Major Scale
Lesson 16 - Circle of Fifths
Lesson 10 - Three Primary Chords
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Learn how to play C Major Scale
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Lesson 13 - How to Play C Major Scale | How to play all Major Scales
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Lesson 2 - Names of White Keys
Lesson 3 - Names of Black Keys
Lesson 4 - Piano Grand Staff
Lesson 8 - Learn to play "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"
Lesson 9 - Major Chords
Lesson 18-Double Chord Pattern
Lesson 22-Whole Tone Scale
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Use the virtual piano keyboard below to practice what you've learned in the "Piano Basics" Section - Piano Layout. You can play this Virtual Piano Z-Board in two ways:
1. For playing melodies with the right hand
Use computer mouse to click directly on any key (note highlighted in RED) to play that note, or2. For playing chords with the left hand
Press on any corresponding button (key highlighted in BLUE) on your computer keyboard to play that particular note (this feature is used when playing chords - you have to first click on the virtual piano once to activate this feature)
e.g. Press "Shift" on the computer
keyboard to play "C" note,
Press "S" to play "E" note, and so on.
To play C Major Chord (C-E-G) -
Hold down "Shift"-"S"-"F" keys on
the computer keyboard at the same time. See sample below:
Access Major Chord chart
Play on Z-Board using the mouse to click directly Press these keys on the computer keyboard __________ __________ __________ C chord C - E - G Shift - S - F G chord G - B - D F - B - N F chord F - A - C D - G - Sp Dm chord D - F - A A - D - G
Access the "Piano Basics" section to learn the layout of piano keyboard. Learn how to read music - Music Notations. Next - Use this interactive Z-Board to practice playing easy popular songs.
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50 Free Piano Lessons | Piano Layout | Learn Major Chords
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