Interactive Circle of Fifths Chart, with Minor Circle of Fifths

    ✨ An interactive circle of fifths chart, a very useful music theory tool to help visualize scales, notes, chords and keys as well as the relationship between them.

    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).

    When going counter-clockwise on the circle, we get a circle of fourths. For example, the interval between the key of C and the key of F is a fourth.

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

    Major Circle of fifths (Ionian mode)

    D A E B b F # D b A b E b B b G C F a d g c f e b f # c # g # d # b b tonic dominant subdominant supertonic submediant mediant leading tone I IV V ii vi iii vii° B F# C# G# D # B b F # C # G E A D C F Bb Eb Ab G D A E B F # Db mediant subtonic submediant subdominant tonic dominant supertonic III VI VII iv i v ii°

    💡 The outermost section on the circle 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, keys and key signatures 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 at the 7th scale degree. For example, the key of C has no sharps, while the key of G (the key one fifth apart from C in a clockwise direction) has one sharp at the 7th scale degree. Similarly, going counter-clockwise, each successive key gets an additional flat.

    It's also interesting to note that going counter-clockwise we get a circle of fourth. This means that the circle of fifths also contains within it the circle of fourths, when going around it in the other direction.


    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 an awesome video by Brian from Zombie Guitar that makes the circle of fifths and its applications 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.

    Circle of fifths with major and minor keys adgcfebDAEBGCF mini circle of fifths