Interactive Circle of Fifths Chart

    ✨ An interactive circle of fifths chart to help you visualize notes, chords and keys. As the name implies, in the circle of fifths (aka wheel of fifths), each note/key on the wheel is separated by a fifth. You can click the toggle to switch between the major circle of fifths (Ionian mode) and the minor circle of fifths (Aeolian mode).

    Click on any of the 12 keys to select the tonic.

    Major Circle of 5ths (Ionian mode)

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    💡 The outermost section represents the scale degrees along with their roman numeral representation, the large circle represent the 12 keys in the selected mode (Major/Ionian or Minor/Aeolian) and the inner circle represents the relative keys.

    Learning more about the circle of fifths

    The circle of fifths chart comes in handy for visualizing notes, chords and keys and is a great all around music theory visual reference tool. It helps in building chords as, for example, in a triad the 3rd note is always a fifth away (perfect fifth) from the root note (tonal).

    It also helps to see keys that harmonize well with a selected key, which can help with music composition. Keys that are adjacent to another key in the circle of 5ths are closely related and will usually harmonize well. In fact, keys that are a fifth apart only differ by one note, having 6 notes in common.

    The circle of fifths also helps to determine the key signature of a given key. Starting from the key of C (or the key of A on the minor circle of 5ths) and going clockwise, each successive key gets an additional sharp. Going counter-clockwise, each successive key gets an additional flat.

    For a circle of fifths that also includes the 7 modes of the major scale, I recommend this circle of 5ths by Rand Scullard.

    If you're interested in learning more about the circle of fifths in general, here's a very detailed post from Musical U, and here's a video that makes it quite simple to grasp.

    piano samples

    The piano samples used for this circle of 5ths tool are from “Salamander Grand Piano V3” by Alexander Holm, licensed under CC BY 3.0.

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