Why is the circle of fifths progression (1 – 4 – 7 – 3 – 6 – 2 – 5 – 1) so common?



Asked by: Edwin Hernandez

What is the circle of fifths progression?





A circle of fifths progression is one where the roots of the chords are related to each other specifically by ascending 4ths or descending 5ths. Circle of fifths progressions are considered to be harmonically very strong, in the sense that they pull our ear toward one chord being the tonic, or key chord.

What is the principle behind the circle of fifths?

In music theory, the circle of fifths is a way of organizing the 12 chromatic pitches as a sequence of perfect fifths. If C is chosen as a starting point, the sequence is: C, G, D, A, E, B (=C♭), F♯ (=G♭), C♯ (=D♭), A♭, E♭, B♭, F. Continuing the pattern from F returns the sequence to its starting point of C.

What are the most common chord progressions?

The I–V–vi–IV progression is a common chord progression popular across several genres of music. It involves the I, V, vi, and IV chords of any particular musical scale.



Rotations include:

  • I–V–vi–IV : C–G–Am–F (optimistic)
  • V–vi–IV–I : G–Am–F–C.
  • vi–IV–I–V : Am–F–C–G (pessimistic)
  • IV–I–V–vi : F–C–G–Am.


What musical interval is used in the circle of fifths?





The circle of fifths is a way to organize all twelve pitches so that they are equal distances from one another. Grab a piece of staff paper and let’s go! First, you need to understand the perfect fifth. The interval of a perfect fifth is 7 semitones.

Why is the circle of fifths organized by 5?

It’s called the circle of fifths because each key is arranged a fifth interval away from the next on the circle. The circle of fifths is a way to visualize the twelve musical keys and put them in a convenient order.

What is a fifth progression?

The circle of fifths progression ( I – IV – vii – iii – vi – ii – V – I ) was a stalwart of the Baroque era in music. You will find many examples of this progression in the music of Bach, Handel, and Vivaldi, especially in minor ( i – iv – VII – III – VI – ii – V – i ) with the subtonic VII (see Definition 7.3.

What is the easiest way to memorize the circle of fifths?

So the right half we remember with the sentence. Charlie gets drunk and eats butterflies. And the left half we use charlie finds beads where the word bead is spelled out b-e-a-d.

How do you use the circle of fifths chord progressions?

So one little tip that i can give you to make this even more simple is each chord movement that you're going to do. Takes one semitone movement jump. And one full tone movement jump.



How do you teach the circle of fifths?

Down by a fifth you wind up on f. So f is the next note. And then from f you get b flat. Same kind of thing you got to be got to be careful there f to b flat.

Why is it called the circle of fifths and fourths?

This sequence seen from left to right has fifth intervals. The same sequence, when seen from right to left, has fourth intervals. In other words, the circle of fifths is the inverted cycle of fourths and vice versa.

Why are intervals important in music?

Intervals shape the music we listen to every day. The way a melody sounds and the structure of a chord are all dictated by music intervals. It’s not only key in understanding how they work throughout music, but how to name intervals in music by ear.



Why is circle of fourths important?

The most obvious benefit of knowing the Cycle of Fourths is that you’ll be able to instantly translate between major key, key signature, and relative minor key. You’ll also be able to recognize familiar bits of chord progressions when the roots move in fourths.

What is the difference between the circle of fifths and the Circle of Fourths?

While the cycle of fifths moves clockwise (from left to right), if you move counter-clockwise (from right to left) then you have the cycle of fourths. Chords move around in the cycle of fourths. It’s the way music flows. Almost any song you come across has consecutive chords that move around the cycle of fourths.

What does a number with a circle mean in music?

Those are string numbers. It’s fairly standard convention, at least as far as I’ve seen, to put a circle around string numbers. So in measure 2—the first occurrence of that notation—you’d play the E on the 2nd string, 5th fret, and the C on the 3rd string, 5th fret. Follow this answer to receive notifications.

How do you memorize chord scales?

Learn a couple chords. And just practice those chords whether you're learning okay this is c.



How do musicians learn so many songs?

How can their brains hold on to this much information? Musicians can memorize many songs for a performance through massive repetition and by having a deep understanding of how the chords, melodies, and lyrics all work together in unison. This is especially true if the musician was involved in the songwriting process.

Do guitarists memorize songs?

Any guitar player who’s learned some new songs only to find they struggle to play the ones they were working on a few weeks back from memory knows this! It’s not a limitation of the brain’s capacity for information, but simply that the musician hasn’t memorised the song the right way to begin with.