The internet is a fantastic resource to use in order to understand the importance of this subject.
Most music teachers are quite late introducing the concepts of chords, chord progressions and how they relate. The Circle of Fifths is fundamental to the fuller learning about music is constructed, regardless of what instrument is played.
It’s always been an important aspect of tutoring my students, and therefore I was somewhat surprised the other day when TalkRadio host Mike Graham held a 10 minute segment on the subject of the Circle of Fifths, rather than the normal discussions about politics, corona-virus and other topical subjects of the day. His guest speaker was Chris Walters a Music Education Officer with the Musicians Union.
Rather than me trying to spell out my understanding of the subject, which would in any case take hundreds of words, I thought that it might be a good idea to add his 10-minute discussion in this posting. If you’re new to the subject I’m sure that you’ll find it useful.
I’ve also added a few links to YouTube, with other explanations of the subject matter.
You may wonder how singer-songwriters and composers are able to construct new music out of thin air. Well, the Circle of Fifths is probably in-bred in these musicians whether formally taught (unlikely) or organically embedded in their musical lexicon as a result of listening and playing over the many years of their development.
Being aware of the relationships of notes, the construction chords and the way in which chords are related to form a ‘listenable’ progression of melody will most certainly enhance a musician’s ability.
It doesn’t matter which instrument you play, however multi-timbrel instruments such as the piano, organ, accordion and guitar are able to play chords; whereas single note instruments such a flute, trumpet, violin, saxophone will need a succession of notes (an arpeggio) to create the feeling of a chord.
If you’ve not come across the Circle of Fifths before, or maybe you were confused by what you were told, have a listen to the following extract from the radio programme, and maybe explore some of the other following links.
It might be the missing ‘link’ that could take you to a new desired level of musical creativity, or simply to a new free-ranging fluency in your music.
Here are a couple of useful links ……
Wikipedia – Circle_of_Fifths
Click here for another useful YouTube videos on The Circle of Fifths