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More stuff about the circle of 5ths

GUEST,josepp 24 Mar 12 - 01:35 PM
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Subject: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 24 Mar 12 - 01:35 PM

Yeah, more stuff about the goddamn circle of 5ths so shut yer bloody, fookin' pieholes!

The circle of 5ths has tremendous uses and I lay no claim that I know every way in which it is or can be used. I'm sure some people here have forgotten more ways to use it than I'll ever learn but I like to surf the net and find blogs, websites and such where people find their own uses and cool relationships just by screwing around with it.

I'll repeat a few things I've posted previously that, for no reason, sparked HUGE arguments and angry responses. Hopefully, we can avoid the ranting that seems to typify so much of online communication these days. First thing--how to draw a circle of 5ths without memorizing a thing.

1. Draw a circle and make it as accurate as you can--a lopsided bloop won't do. Use a compass or trace around a plate or something.

2. Now put 12 marks on the circle as though it were a clockface. One mark where each number would be. Again, be as precise as you can. If it helps, the marks should be 30 degrees of arc apart from one another.

3. Now, you can choose any letter from A to G and start at any mark you want. But since all the circles of 5ths that you see have C at the 12 o'clock position, we'll do the same. So place "C" at the 12 o'clock position.

4. Now, draw a line (it's better if the line is imaginary but whatever makes you happier) from the 12 o'clock position to the 6 o'clock position. What note goes at 6 o'clock? We don't know, empirically speaking. What we can do, though, is mark the two notes that flank C which are B and Db (that's D-flat). These will go on either side of the 6 o'clock position and just go clockwise, lower note to higher note--B at the 5 o'clock position and Db at the 7 o'clock position. So fill those two spots in with those notes.

5. Now you have two more notes to work with. Pick one--let's just pick B at the 5 o'clock position. Again, go to the opposite side of the circle, which is the 11 o'clock position. We don't know which note goes there so we'll determine what two notes flank B which are Bb and C. Now C is already filled in at the 12 o'clock position so fill in Bb at the 10 o'clock position.

6. Now just keep going around the circle like this until you fill in all 12 marks. Now you may ask why we use Bb in step 5 instead A# (A-sharp). We want to use only flats BUT you can use sharps. It's just easier to keep the "black key" notes flats. The exception is at the 6 o'clock position where F# is often preferred over Gb and we'll go over examples. But enharmonic equivalents are just different designations for the same note and either can be used if you are so inclined. But when you are done, it should look something like this:

http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&safe=off&biw=1041&bih=398&gbv=2&tbm=isch&tbnid=kqLfcDp94cyXYM:&imgrefurl=http://www.hearandpl [this URL sets of malware warnings, so I'm going to unlink it - visit this URL at your own risk - Joe Offer]

Now, you notice this circle has minors written on it. The notes were filled in represent major scales but every major scale has an equivalent minor. How do we know what it is? Drop back a minor 3rd interval (or 3 half-steps) from the major scale note designation. Take C major: 3 half-steps back is A (C down to B to Bb to A). So the equivalent minor scale of C major is A minor. Using the circle of 5ths, we can find the minor by moving clockwise up 3 letters. Look at the circle and demonstrate for yourself. Another way find the minor is to for a 90-degree angle clockwise on the chart.

It helps to have a keyboard in front of you to count up and down the half-steps.

Lastly, I want to make clear that I am talking STANDARD Western music theory here. I don't care about quarter-tones and all that crap.

Draw the circle as outlined above many times until it comes easily to you. The circle of 5ths doesn't do you a lot of good if you don't know it by heart. Also all the little ways of using it that I'll talk about won't make much sense if you don't know the layout of the circle.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Mar 12 - 01:40 PM

Its easy for you to say that.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Barbara
Date: 24 Mar 12 - 01:40 PM

Clicking on the above link for the circle set off my malware protection system. JoeClones take note.
Blessings,

Barbara


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Jeri
Date: 24 Mar 12 - 01:48 PM

Here it is, I think: from www.hearandplay.com

Josepp's like was to a link found with a Google search, which involves a re-direct.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Barbara
Date: 24 Mar 12 - 01:57 PM

Yep, no problems this time. Thanks, Jeri.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 24 Mar 12 - 03:10 PM

On the link I gave to the circle (which may set off some malware alarms but it's an ok link), you may have noted that it has the number of sharps and flats noted in parentheses. What does that mean?

Most every scale has certain notes that will either sharped or flatted. The reason is because if we don't sharp or flat the notes, the scale will be out of tune. That doesn't mean that note will ALWAYS be played that way in that scale. Sometimes, it will be played natural and will be specially designated for that purpose but it is otherwise to be played flat or sharp depending on the scale.

The scale degrees are simply numbered 1-8 with 1 and 8 being a full octave (12 half-steps). So the D major scale has two sharps according to that chart. Why? Let's lay it out: D (1), E (2), F# (3), G (4), A (5), B (6), C# (7) and D' (8). Notice that there are half-steps between 3 and 4 and also between 7 and 8. The rest are whole steps. That's how a major scale is laid out. So in D major, there are two sharps—F# and C#.

Now the equivalent minor of D major is B minor (remember, we move up three note designations clockwise on the circle). Why do we tie it to D major? Because it uses the same notes. The difference is that while a major scale has half-steps at 3 and 4 and also at 7 and 8, the minor scale has half-steps at 2 and 3 and also at 5 and 6. Let's lay it out: B (1), C# (2), D (3), E (4), F# (5), G (6), A (7) and B' (8). Notice that B minor has the exact same notes sharped in its scale—F# and C#.

Now you may ask why we go from B to C# in the above example. Why not to C? Because at 1 and 2, we need a whole step. B to C is a half-step. If you look at a keyboard, you'll see that between B and C there is no intervening black key. The same is true of E and F. A white key and black key next to each other is a half-step. But if there is no black key, then the two white keys at the point are a half-step apart. All the other white keys are whole steps apart.

Let's try another scale: Eb major which has three flats according to that chart. Which notes in that scale are flatted? Eb (1), F (2), G (3), Ab (4), Bb (5), C (6), D (7) and Eb' (8). So there are our flats in Eb major—Eb, Ab, Db.

Now we count up three notes on the circle clockwise to get the equivalent minor of Eb major and we see it is C minor. It should have the same notes as Eb major. Let's see: C (1), D (2), Eb (3), F (4), G (5), Ab (6), Bb (7) and C' (8). Once again, the same flats—Bb, Eb and Ab.

So to keep from having to write flats in front of every B, E and A in a piece, we use a key signature.

The order of the sharps in the key signature is FCGDAEB while the order of the flats in the key signature is BEADGCF so one is simply the reverse of the other. The thing to keep in mind is that if, say, D is flatted in the key signature then so are B, E and A. D will never be flatted by itself. The only note that can be flatted by itself in the key signature is B and this order must always be followed. Same goes for the sharps. If A is sharped in the key signature, then so are F, C, G and D. Only F can be sharped by iself. The reason is that, once again, the scale would be out of key if we didn't do this.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 24 Mar 12 - 03:15 PM

Circle of 5ths showing key signatures:


http://playtheaxe.com/theory/lesson09/circle_of_fifths.gif


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 24 Mar 12 - 03:27 PM

Sorry, something got screwed up in my post:

"Let's try another scale: Eb major which has three flats according to that chart. Which notes in that scale are flatted? Eb (1), F (2), G (3), Ab (4), Bb (5), C (6), D (7) and Eb' (8). So there are our flats in Eb major—Eb, Ab, Db."

Of course that should read Bb, Eb and Ab. Sorry for any confusion.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 24 Mar 12 - 03:52 PM

So how can we use the circle to notate the key signature? We know that C major has no key signature and that G on the clockwise side has one sharp and that F on the anticlockwise side has one flat and that it goes in sequence, e.g. D major has two sharps, A major has three sharps, Bb major has two flats, Eb major has three flats and so on.

I showed how to figure out which notes are sharped and flatted for each scale by plotting it out. But can we shortcut the process by using the Circle? Yes, we can!

To determine the flats, drop back two notes on the circle counterclockwise. G major gets one sharp so drop back two spaces on the circle to F major and that is the note that gets sharped in G major. Or you can draw a line from G to the center of the circle and go back 60 degrees counterclockwise. Moving to D major, which has two sharps, drop back 60 degrees to C and that is the next sharp so D major has two sharps—F and C. And so on. Remember that the sharps and flats accumulate so add the ones previous.

For flats, we look at the note on the opposite side of the circle. So the note opposite F is B so that is the note that gets flatted in F major. Or we can drop back (or move forward) 180 degrees to find the flats. The next note of the circle is Bb and will get two flats. We already know that one will be B and the other is 180 from Bb which is E so Bb major is flatted at B and E. And so on.

Remember sharps and flats accumulate and always follow a specific order and it bears repeating: The order of the sharps in the key signature is FCGDAEB while the order of the flats in the key signature is BEADGCF so one is simply the reverse of the other.

And I would like to add that you can go around the circle in either direction but the clockwise direction is counting in 5ths. The counterclockwise direction is counting in 4ths. 4ths and 5ths are simply inverses of each other and 99% of all music is dependent on them. As one writer put it--the 4th and 5th are the twin pillars of music (he must have been a Freemason).


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Don Firth
Date: 24 Mar 12 - 04:32 PM

I bought my first guitar ($9.95 plus $5.00 for a fiberboard case) back in 1952 or '53. I was very lucky with this guitar in a number of ways. The first was that the bloody thing was actually playable! The intonation was on, the frets were accurately placed, and the action was low and soft. It did, however, sound a bit like it was made of apple-crate wood, which it was. The salesman threw in a free pick, which I never used.

The second lucky thing was that the salesman tossed in a free copy of Nick Manoloff's Spanish Guitar Method, which included a handy-dandy patented Nick Manoloff Chord Wheel.

CLICKY

(Click on the images and they increase in size. The second image is the backside of the bottom disk of the chord wheel, for quick reference.)

Two cardboard disks attached with a metal eyelet, with "windows" in the top one. Dial a key and it tells you what chords are available in that key.

I got curious, so I peeked behind the top disk (they were suffiently flexible) and lo! I got my first lesson in music theory. The chords were arranged in what I learned later was the "Circle of Fifths." It not only gives you chord families, it also shows how the keys are related to each other.

It merits a great deal of serious study.

I have absorbed all this, reinforced by two years of music theory study at the U. of Washington, and another two years at the Cornish College of the Arts (a sort of conservatory). The Chord Wheel and the Circle of Fifths are not the be-all and end-all of music theory, but knowing the Circle of Fifths is a tremendous help in learning chords and chord relationships, and it's a very important aspect of music theory. I no longer need to use the Chord Wheel (it's all in my head), but I still have it around here somewhere.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 Mar 12 - 06:02 PM

Drawing accurate circles is irrelevant to the concept, and there is VERY little music where it matters that the circle closes. A ladder of fifths is more appropriate for traditional music - also it doesn't require that you use equal temperament.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Don Firth
Date: 24 Mar 12 - 06:13 PM

Just out of curiosity, Jack, why is a ladder of fifths more appropriate for traditional music than the more commonly used circle of fifths?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: theleveller
Date: 24 Mar 12 - 06:23 PM

My malware says there's a trojan in that link.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 24 Mar 12 - 07:34 PM

Which one? There's several links on here. It would slightly helpful to let us know which one.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 24 Mar 12 - 07:48 PM

As far as chord wheels go, the circle is tailor-made for sliding the halves around. Good look doing that with a ladder. The circle is helpful with chords, harmonies and bass lines and all for the same reason which we'll get to. Right now, I want to lay a bit of groundwork so that people who have to play catch-up have something to catch up to.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 Mar 12 - 08:23 PM

The ladder is more appropriate because traditional music doesn't modulate far, never goes round the circle, rarely uses the extreme keys and never presupposes equal temperament, which has to be assumed for the circle to close.

The ladder design is tailor-made for making slide rules. Something a bit like it is described in Athanasius Kircher's Musurgia Universalis of 1655 - a set of calculational "bones" designed for harmonizing tunes.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Josepp
Date: 24 Mar 12 - 08:54 PM

Example?


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 Mar 12 - 09:09 PM

There are 745 pages in the book and no search box for the online copies I've seen.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Chord Chunker
Date: 24 Mar 12 - 09:29 PM

Does traditional music modulate keys at all, Jack?

Certainly there are modern arrangements of traditional melodies that use modulations, and the chordal accompaniment to a melody with a Lydian scale could sound like it was modulating keys when harmonizing the #4th(using a D chord when playing in C Lydian),but a lot of traditional music is modal and doesn't even shift to a dominant, let alone moving to another key.

Feel free to put your 2p in josepp, or anyone-I just have a question, no answer;-)


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 24 Mar 12 - 09:36 PM

Some might wonder, "Since any major and its equivalent minor have the same key signature, how do we know when we look at a piece of sheet music whether it is major or minor?"

Well, often we can't just by looking at it. We need to hear the tonal center. Major scales generally lend themselves to happy, grand or sweet melodies. Minor scales generally sound sad, melancholy, haunting. But these descriptions can be deceiving because some songs are not overtly happy or sad sounding. I didn't realize that "Walk On By" by Dionne Warwick was in a minor scale until I absently picked out the scale on a bass guitar just to amuse myself and realized that it was a minor scale.

That's why a lot of classical pieces were titled like "Etude in D minor" and like that so that the scale mode was apparent.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Don Firth
Date: 24 Mar 12 - 10:07 PM

I can't see any advantage of a linear arrangement of keys and related chords over a circular (or cyclical) arrangement, just because the music being played may have limited perameters. The circular ('Circle of Fifths") arrangement shows the true relationship of keys and chords to music in general.

A linear arrangement implies limitations that don't exist.

More confusion for the innocents.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 24 Mar 12 - 10:31 PM

The ladder design is tailor-made for making slide rules ?????

Actually a circle is a much better choice for slide rules than a ladder. The real reason most people use them as slip-sticks is that the straight one is easier to carry and a little less likely to get bent, but definitely not because it works better.

John


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 Mar 12 - 06:25 AM

The circular ('Circle of Fifths") arrangement shows the true relationship of keys and chords to music in general.

It is only true that D flat is enharmonic to C sharp if you are playing stuff like Schoenberg's First Chamber Symphony (which does actually require that). The circular arrangement is making an assertion about tonal relationships that only applies to certain types of music.

Does traditional music modulate keys at all, Jack?

Just in the Shetland repertoire, "Da Slockit Licht", "St Anne's Reel" and "Miss Susan Cooper".

In the Scottish danceband repertoire there are a few dozen commonly played tunes that use the trick of modulating to the dominant and subdominant for whole sections - "The Bluebell Polka" includes an extra trick with a brief move to the dominant of the dominant.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Don Firth
Date: 25 Mar 12 - 02:01 PM

From a volume on music theory, discussing the matter of pure intonation versus equal temperament:
If we take the note Middle A, which by standard convention has a frequency of 440 Hz and we multiply that by the 12th root of two which is 1.05946, we will get a frequency of 466.16376151. That's many more decimal places than we really need . For all practical purposes we can round that off to two decimal places and say that the frequency is 466.16 Hz. So, if Middle A is 440, then Middle A# (or Bb) will be 466.16 Hz. Even if we rounded it off to the nearest whole number, or 466 Hz, it would still be sufficiently accurate to sound right.

Modern electronic tuning devices are usually accurate only to two decimal places, and theoretically perfectly accurate tuning is a physical impossibility anyhow [Emphasis mine--DF]. If in the mid-range of an instrument, the tuning is within ± 0.5 or a half cycle per second, it will be very good indeed.
It goes on to say that if one were to tune a fixed pitch instrument, such as a piano or organ—or a guitar—to pure intonation, it would be perfectly in tune in only one key, although one could play it in the two neighboring keys [on the Circle of Fifths] and it would be near enough in tune so that most people would not notice that it is not perfectly in tune.

To most musicians, the only time pure intonation might be a matter of importance is in unaccompanied vocal music in which close harmonies are desired, such as a capella choirs and barbershop quartets.

Most people simple do not hear the difference. In fact, most well trained musicians do not hear the difference. Most trained singers cannot make the delicate distinctions, especially if they have a slight natural vibrato in their voices, which most people do.

Four years of formal musical training in a university music department and in a music conservatory, plus years of private lessons in classical guitar, voice, and composition, and the subject has only come up a couple of times. And then, more as a historical curiousity rather than a matter of any serious concern.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 25 Mar 12 - 04:23 PM

/////It is only true that D flat is enharmonic to C sharp if you are playing stuff like Schoenberg's First Chamber Symphony (which does actually require that). The circular arrangement is making an assertion about tonal relationships that only applies to certain types of music./////

Urm...I would say that the vast majority of music requires that Db be enharmonic to C#. Anything you're going to use a piano or a guitar on is going to require that. I can't comment on Shetland music or anything Scottish--I have zero knowledge of non-American music outside of classical--but every music theory class and lesson I ever took assumes C# and Db are enharmonically equivalent. Anything that doesn't, well, sorry, but I did make clear in the opening post that we're not interested in that stuff here.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 Mar 12 - 04:54 PM

the only time pure intonation might be a matter of importance is in unaccompanied vocal music in which close harmonies are desired, such as a capella choirs and barbershop quartets.

It's essential to the sound of the nyckelharpa, the hammered dulcimer, the Cajun accordion, and almost all diatonic harmonicas (which are probably the commonest musical instrument on earth). These are not subtle effects: it stands out a mile if you don't have the predominant intervals tuned pure.


the vast majority of music requires that Db be enharmonic to C#. Anything you're going to use a piano or a guitar on is going to require that

And essentially zero percent of traditional music was conceived for the piano or for melodic playing on the guitar.

Just show me *one* traditional tune from anywhere and any age that uses enharmonicity.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Don Firth
Date: 25 Mar 12 - 05:36 PM

There is a large Scandinavian community in Seattle, and I know a couple of people who play the nyckelharpa. There are also a number of people around who play the hammered dulcimer. No Cajun accordions that I'm aware of, but lots of diatonic harmonicas and a couple of chromatic ones.

NONE of them are concerned with pure intonation, and there are a few self-taught folks who wouldn't know what you're talking about. It does not affect their ability to play and enjoy some very listenable music.

Jack, the point of this thread, as Josepp outlined it in the opening post, is to provide people who are a bit "iffy" on matters of which chords go with which keys--i.e., relative beginners or those without formal training—with an easy way of working it out. In his next-to-last paragraph he made it quite plain that dickering over "quarter-tones" was not to be part of the discussion.

I've done a great deal of teaching. And I know that one of the things that can really screw up a relative beginning student is to lumber them with a bunch of unnecessary historical minutiae before they fully understand the basics.

Let's not try to confuse the issue, okay?

Don Firth

P. S. I doubt very seriously that anyone, even with fairly acute hearing, is going to even notice a discrepancy of 38/10,000s of a cycle per second.

You're familiar with the fairy tale about "The Princess and the Pea?" The young woman was so refined and sensitive that she could feel a pea through a whole stack of twenty mattresses. The fact that she was so sensitive was proof that she was a genuine princess.

Can you imaging living with someone who is that sensitive?


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 Mar 12 - 06:27 PM

NONE of them are concerned with pure intonation

If you don't tune the sympathetic strings to pure intervals they don't work. The difference in power is enormous.

If the thirds on a mouth organ are tuned to equally tempered pitches it sounds crappy and feeble. Which is why they aren't made that way.


one of the things that can really screw up a relative beginning student is to lumber them with a bunch of unnecessary historical minutiae before they fully understand the basics

You and josepp are the ones introducing unnecessary theoretical clutter. The idea of closing the circle of fifths by 12-tone equal temperament has exactly as much rationale in traditional music as closing it by 19-tone, 31-tone or 53-tone ET, i.e. none whatever. For folk idioms, you simply don't need to know ET ever existed. It's a piece of 19th century art music theory which is great for understanding Wagner, Schoenberg and Duke Ellington, and completely pointless for anything far outside that range of idioms. (I just flipped through Rameau's "Treatise on Harmony" of 1722, the most influential music theory book of the 18th century; no mention of it there, which is not surprising since the first piece of music to use it in a nontrivial way wasn't written till 100 years later). It doesn't make you play any better, doesn't add any understanding of the music you're dealing with, and it seems it blocks off your perceptions so you can't even hear the sound of a mouth organ right.

On the other hand it does make some sense for people to understand ET if they're playing instruments that are such a disastrous misfit to traditional melody as the guitar - simply so they'll know when to just STFU with the out-of-tune noises that blur the overall harmony.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Don Firth
Date: 25 Mar 12 - 08:50 PM

More confusion for the innocents.

As I say, I've been at this awhile. I'm not making it up.

The Circle of Fifths is a standard teaching technique used in prestigious music schools such as Berklee, Juilliard, Cornish, and others. Also, many classic guitar technique books include a few pages about the Circle of Fifths, including, of course, a full explanation of chord and key relationships.

As to objections to the guitar or other small, portable fixed-pitch instruments being used to accompany traditional songs, I'm afraid taking issue with that is a bit like King Canute ordering the tide to recede.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 25 Mar 12 - 09:53 PM

////The idea of closing the circle of fifths by 12-tone equal temperament has exactly as much rationale in traditional music as closing it by 19-tone, 31-tone or 53-tone ET, i.e. none whatever.////

It sure does. They've built 31-tone keyboards and they've discovered that while it sweetens intervals currently a bit dissonant in 12-tone, it made other intervals even more dissonant, In fact, the perfect 5th becomes more dissonant in 19-tone and since it plays such an important role in music, we don't want to worsen it. Moreover, the keys had to be narrower otherwise the keyboard would be too long to play which makes it harder to play. They tried switching the positions of the black and white keys which would have been a good solution except keyboardists simply didn't like it. 19-tone is cumbersome and 31-tone would be even more so. They're harder to play, harder to build, harder to tune.

12-tone seems to be the limit that the human mind and body has a natural aptitude for. It allows us to modulate the diatonic scale through twelve keys and gives enough physical space to do it in. It works very well and the secret to understanding how to use it most effectively use it is the circle of 5ths. It's a beautiful scheme.

////For folk idioms, you simply don't need to know ET ever existed.////

That's like saying to understand alchemy you don't need to know a thing about chemistry. Or to understand the humors and the biles you don't need to know a thing about modern medicine. The truth is, your understanding of alchemy is deepened greatly with an understanding of chemistry. Understanding modern medicine helps us to appreciate what the old study of humors and biles was aiming for.

////It's a piece of 19th century art music theory which is great for understanding Wagner, Schoenberg and Duke Ellington, [and virtually any other artist you can possibly name--Josepp] and completely pointless for anything far outside that range of idioms. ////

Actually, 12-TET was aspired to in Bach's time, they just didn't have a way to gauge it precisely. And the man credited with coming up with the value of the square root of 2 as the measure of a half-step was a Chinese theoretician named Zhu Zaiyu in 1584 proving that 12-TET was being searched for long before the 19th century and outside of Europe. Going back to Ancient Greece, the god of music was Apollo who was also called Pythias. In Greek isopsephia, where each letter has a numerical value, Apollon adds up to 1059 and Pythias to 1061. The value of the square root of 2 is approximately 1.0595. Coincidence, no doubt.

////It doesn't make you play any better,////

Neither does taking lessons but I'd rather take lessons than learn on my own.

////doesn't add any understanding of the music you're dealing with,////

I flat out disagree with that. It adds a great deal of understanding of the music you're dealing with. It is the very secret of how to utilize that music in the most effective way.

////and it seems it blocks off your perceptions so you can't even hear the sound of a mouth organ right////

I agree with Don here. You're talking differences too minute for most people to care.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 25 Mar 12 - 11:05 PM

For those, who don't get what Jack Campin is getting at (and maybe I don't either), he's talking about music that existed before the technology of precisely measuring out the square root of 2 as the value of the semitone. Without that value, 12-TET (or 12-tone equal temperament) can't exist. In Bach's day, they used meantone and Kirnburger I, II III and so on. The musical scale is not a circle in its raw form, we have to "temper" it into a circle. Here's some background that may prove helpful:

Dodecatonic Scales

So if we want to be able to play diatonic scales with total modulation through various keys, we need to add the 7-note scale to the 5-note scale for a 12-note scale: C G D A E B F# C# G# D# A# F. Now we can play all pentatonic and diatonic scales. To get full modulation of the diatonic through all 12 keys would again require equal temperament. So we add another 5th, B#, which is the enharmonic equivalent of C. But since B# and C are the same tone, this scale must already be tempered, right? Wrong.

In an octave, C major in this case, the intervals and their ideal ratios are as follows:

1. C – Fundamental (1)
2. C# – Minor 2nd (15/16)
3. D – Major 2nd (8/9)
4. D# – Minor 3rd (5/6)
5. E – Major 3rd (4/5)
6. F – Perfect 4th (3/4)
7. F# – Tritone (5/7)
8. G – Perfect 5th (2/3)
9. G# – Minor 6th (5/8)
10. A – Major 6th (3/5)
11. A# – Minor 7th (5/9)
12. B – Major 7th (8/15)
13. C' – Octave (1/2)

If we could arrange these ratios throughout the octave, we'd have the prefect scale but that cannot happen. The true values are not precise but have some small amount of overrun. Pythagoras encountered it long ago in his attempts to construct a perfect scale and it became known as the Pythagorean comma. Mathematicians today prefer to call it a syntonic comma.

The Syntonic Comma

Now, if we form a circle of the C major octave where the full octave is 360 degrees exactly, then C=0 and 360, D=320 (360 x 8/9), E=288 (360 x 4/5), F=270 (360 x ¾), G=240 (360 x 2/3), A=216, B=192, and C'=180. From D to F is a minor 3rd (3 half-steps) with a ratio of 320/270 or 6.4/5.4 even though the true ratio should 6/5 or 324/270. So the actual difference is 324/320 or 81/80. That ratio is called the syntonic comma. From C to G is a perfect 5th of 360/240 or 3/2. However, if we were to measure a perfect 5th in the next octave from D to A or 320/216 ratio, we notice that it is an 80/54 ratio. A true perfect 5th would be 81/54 or 3/2 and so, again, we end up with a discrepancy of 81/80 (oddly, the reciprocal of this number is 0.987654321). The next octave after that would yield the major 6th (F-D) and the perfect 4th (A-D) also off by the syntonic comma. The comma is very noticeable and must be dispersed in some manner.

So even in a perfect 12-note scale, we must temper it to keep the octave at an exact 2:1 ratio because of the syntonic comma.

Methods of Dispersing the Comma

Method I

One way to disperse the comma is through adjusting the major 3rds in the octave. In a 12-tone octave, there are three major 3rds (4 half-steps x 3 = 12 half-steps). A true major 3rd has a 5:4 ratio, that is, if you shorten a string by 4/5 but retain the same tension, the string will play a major 3rd interval higher. If we start at middle C, our three major 3rds would be C-E, E-G#, Ab-C (remember that Ab is the enharmonic equivalent of G#). Since the octave interval must always be an exact 2:1 ratio, the Ab-C major 3rd will be a bit flat. Why?

Since a major 3rd is 4/5, then we would cube that ratio to obtain 64/125 for the full octave. But a full octave is 64/128 (1:2 ratio). Since 64/125 represents a longer string length than 1/2, the major 3rds will be noticeably flatter than in a true octave since a string's length is proportional to the pitch. The discrepancy is the ratio of 125/128 or 0.9765625, which is called a diesis. Each major 3rd interval in the octave must be sharpened slightly by a third of the diesis or about 0.3255208333.

Method II

We may also measure the minor 3rds in an octave of which there will be four. Using C major as an example and starting at middle C, our minor 3rds will be C-Eb, Eb-F#, F#-A and A-C'. Since a true minor 3rd would have 5/6 ratio, then the total value of an octave in minor 3rds is 5/6 raised to the power of 4 or 625/1296. The actual value of a full octave is 648/1296 or 1/2. Since the string length of an octave of minor 3rds is somewhat shorter than a true octave resulting in a higher pitch, the minor 3rds will be a bit sharp and must be uniformly flattened. So, the ratio of 648/625 or 1.0368 tells us the total difference in tone and so each minor 3rd interval must be flattened by a quarter of 1.0368 which is 0.2592. While other ratios are called a comma or diesis, this 648:625 ratio has never been named for some reason.

Method III

Suppose we measure the 5ths in an octave. There's only one 5th in an octave. Two 5ths will pass out of the octave. So, if we start measuring 5ths, we have to find a way to keep the tones within the octave. Once the 5th is out of the octave, its value must be halved to keep it within the octave. Starting at C, for example, the first 5th interval ends at G and we know that the ratio is 3/2 (or 2/3). The next 5th takes us to D and so we would square 3/2 to obtain 9/4 but that passes out of the octave (is greater than 2 and an octave must be exactly 2/1). So we multiply 9/4 by 1/2 to obtain 9/8, which is less than 2 and so is within the octave. Next, we jump up to A which is mathematically obtained by multiplying 9/8 by 3/2 or 27/16 which is within the octave. If we keep going through 5ths until we pass through all 12 semitones (after A, we go to E, B, F#, C#, G#, D#, A#, F and C) we end up with a final value of 262144/531441.

The true octave, however, would yield 262144/524288. Again, the actual length of the string would be somewhat shorter than the true octave string length and so would be sharp. Our differential is the ratio of 531441/524288 and is called the ditonic comma (not "diatonic"). The value of the ratio is approximately 1.01364327. So we would flatten our 5ths by 1.01364327/12 or about 0.08447. This is the method mentioned earlier for tempering the 12-tone scale.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 03:59 AM

For minutiae with which to confuse the novice, it may be noted that if you go around the circle in the direction of ascending notes it's a circle of fifths; but if you go around it "backwards" in the direction of descending notes it's a circle of fourths.

You can lose some students with the conundrum of how the distance between the end points of a fouth down plus a fifth up equals two fourths down or two fifths up, depending on which eye is crossed when you do it. By the time you explain that one, the semester's over and everyone quit the band and is trying out for the "futball" team, or just gave up and downed the fifth a said f***k the fourth.

John


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 04:31 AM

Jospepp, it's the Twelfth root of two, not the square root.
Square root of two is 1.41421.....
Twelfth root of two is the magic fret spacing factor 1.0595 (ish).

it's the number you have to multiply by itself 12 times to make two.
Space your frets, or pitches by that factor and by the time you have done it twelve times and you are half way between the nut and the bridge, and/or at double the original pitch.
That's why it works for a twelve tone equal temperament. 24th root of two would give you a quarter tone scale, A scale based on the square root of two would only contain two notes in the octave!
If you are going to base your music theory on mathematics, you must get the maths right!
Personally, I find all the circle of fifths concept something of a case of creating a mnemonic which is harder to remember than the thing it is meant to help you to learn, which is the scale relationships of notes and chords in the different keys.
Cheers
Dave


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 06:11 AM

he's talking about music that existed before the technology of precisely measuring out the square root of 2 as the value of the semitone.

Music that doesn't use that mathematics didn't go away after it was invented. And it took a long time before anybody could use the mathematical ideal of ET at all - the technology to measure irrational frequency ratios in practical situations didn't exist.


The idea of closing the circle of fifths by 12-tone equal temperament has exactly as much rationale in traditional music as closing it by 19-tone, 31-tone or 53-tone ET, i.e. none whatever.
It sure does. They've built 31-tone keyboards and they've discovered that while it sweetens intervals currently a bit dissonant in 12-tone, it made other intervals even more dissonant, In fact, the perfect 5th becomes more dissonant in 19-tone and since it plays such an important role in music, we don't want to worsen it.


19-tone ET is a very close match to one of the meantone temperaments commonly used in Baroque music. You don't need to have all those notes on your keyboard to use it; if you're staying on the flat side of the spectrum you can leave the sharps out, or put up with a badly out of tune enharmonic if it only occurs rarely.

53-tone ET is the standard framework used for Turkish art music, but again no instrument ever has all 53 available at once.


and it seems it blocks off your perceptions so you can't even hear the sound of a mouth organ right
I agree with Don here. You're talking differences too minute for most people to care.


These differences are not subtle. There is a reason why diatonic mouth organs sound much richer and louder when playing diatonic music than chromatic ones; the pure thirds ring out far more clearly than the muddied ET ones you get on a chromatic instrument. Which is why you don't do much chordal playing on a chromatic.

It seems the first commercially available ET instrument was the Broadwood piano as tuned by A.J. Hipkins in 1846, with Chopin's style in mind. And it would have been some time before there were enough piano tuners trained in his methods to keep a piano in ET after it left the factory, if it was a long way away. And the first use of a modulation right round the "circle", as far as I can see, is in a late Beethoven quartet from the 1820s. Concertina makers only started advertising ET tuning for some of their products in the late 19th century. ET is much more historically recent than most people think and has only been the a technology composers could count on since Schoenberg's lifetime.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 06:56 AM

A correction to that last post. While 19th century piano tuners thought they were tuning to equal temperament, they actually weren't, and the place where it went wrong was precisely at the "fifth" between G# and Eb, where the "circle" was supposed to close.

Willis Miller's dissertation

The guitar might have been more accurately ET at the time, but was a pretty rare instrument then and couldn't have been in tune with the piano.

He also points out that Rameau changed his mind and started advocating an inaccurate and unimplementable version of equal temperament after writing the "Treatise on Harmony". It was no surprise that this later work was completely ignored.

This sounds nice, doesn't it?

Chopin in unequal temperament


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 09:01 AM

instruments that are such a disastrous misfit to traditional melody as the guitar

What nonsense.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 11:53 AM

Thanks, Will.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 11:55 AM

Thanks, Dave. It is, indeed, the 12th root of 2. Jeesh, I was definitely up too late last night.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 12:23 PM

Jack, I'm tracking Don's statement about the Princess and the Pea. You're definitely a "purist" shall we say. I fail utterly to understand your statement about the guitar being disastrous to traditional melody. The guitar is popular for a reason and not because it sounds disastrous. You can play anything you want on a guitar if you're good and nobody is going to hear any big difference. A purist as you will dismiss it simply because it's a guitar.

Your earlier statements about traditional music not modulating and rarely even making it to the dominant only proves to me, as I interpret it, that they were aware of the limitations of the scale they were using. They knew spanning the octave was going to go out of tune and knew it was not a desirable thing. Again, I believe they would have tuned in 12-TET had it been available to them.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Don Firth
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 01:02 PM

You know, sports fans, if you just want to sing folk songs and ballads (or put tunes to dirty limericks), and accompany them on the guitar, ukulele,or autoharp, you don't really need to know any of this stuff. Just tune your instrument to a halfway decent pitch-pipe or an electronic tuner (preferable), do your thing, and let the nit-pickers go ahead and argue in the corner.

My first instruction on the guitar was from my girlfriend at the time, Claire, who had inherited her grandmother's old Washburn "Ladies' Model" parlor guitar (made 1898) and was teaching herself out of Guckert's Chords for Guitar without Notes or Teacher. Claire could read music, but she used the chord book because she was a college student and didn't have any spare money to spend on lessons. When I got my guitar (Regal "El Cheapo" model) I also bought the Guckert's chord book and the salesman tossed in the Nick Manoloff book and the Chord Wheel for free. THAT was a real help.

A couple of years later, when I knew maybe forty songs (learned from Lomax's Folk Song U.S.A., Carl Sandburg's American Songbag, and Cecil Sharp's 100 English Folk Songs, along with a growing record collection) and people started hiring me to sing, I figured, "If I'm going to do this professionally, I'd better learn something about music." Which is when I started taking lessons, and later enrolled in the U. of Washington's School of Music.

Maybe I haven't set the world on fire, but I've made a halfway decent living from singing traditional folk songs and ballads since the mid-1950's, and thoroughly enjoyed myself in the process.

And all with my guitar (I've had several very good Spanish-made classical guitars since I retired the $9.95 Regal apple crate) tuned in equal temperament.

Nobody in my audiences complained about my guitar not being tuned in pure intonation in all that time!*

Don Firth

*By the way, since none of the guitars I've owned have movable frets, I'm not really sure how I could do that.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 01:27 PM

AS a point of possible interest, a fine old banjo picker (Rufus Crisp by name) once explained to me that he had filed the frets down flush to the fingerboard on his banjo because, otherwise, he fouldn't play the "right: notes. On t'other hand, I really can't envision musicians who play larger instruments (like pianos or even guitars) carrying a separate instrument for each key they wished to play in. There are practical considerations.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Don Firth
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 02:22 PM

Good point, Dick. I have two classical guitars, one flamenco guitar, and two small travel guitars. But I'm not about to tune them to pure intonation in different keys and then lug all five of them to every gig!

By the way, it's a matter of programming necessity—at least to me—that my guitar(s) be playable in a number of different keys without having to spend time in retuning.

If you hear someone sing several songs in a row, all in the same key, a sort of subliminal feeling of boredom, or at least "sameness" can begin to set in.

I knew a really fine singer some years ago who was absolutely terrific in a song circle or at a party. And then I heard him in a full-blown concert. He sang the same really great songs and in a fine, husky tenor voice, but there was something sort of "lack-luster" about the program. Then, I realized something that I had never noticed before. He did everything in the keys of G and Em. No variation. With someone who is limited this way, you're hearing the same set of notes over and over again.

To avoid this, I plan my sets so I avoid singing two songs in a row in the same key. I also try to vary the tempo and mood of the songs. This is just simply good programming. Something I learned in school: how to program a recital so it contains variety and you don't put your audience to sleep.

As to the guitar itself in relation to singing, including traditional material, since many centuries ago, bards, minstrels, and troubadours (who may very well have originally authored some of the songs whose "folk processed" descendants we sing today) almost invariably accompanied themselves on harps of various kinds, lutes, other plucked string instruments—including early guitars, such as the Renaissance guitar [that's not me, by the way]—(a bit larger than a baritone ukulele, with four "courses," or double strings, save the top string, which is single; tuned like the top four strings of a modern guitar). The use of a small, easily portable instrument to accompany the singing voice is a tradition that is centuries old. And there has always been a great deal of overlap between that tradition and traditional songs in general.

So trying to say that accompanying traditional songs with such an instrument is some kind of modern abomination simply ignores the facts of history.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 02:31 PM

I have joined the circle of fifths and they have elected me an elder. You lot are hereby excommunicated.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 02:35 PM

Pour me a 5th, Al - got a thirst on...


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Don Firth
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 02:52 PM

If I drink a whole fifth, I'm liable to wind up inverted. An inverted fifth is a fourth.

You've heard of the Firth of Forth, haven't you?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 03:00 PM

Your earlier statements about traditional music not modulating and rarely even making it to the dominant only proves to me, as I interpret it, that they were aware of the limitations of the scale they were using. They knew spanning the octave was going to go out of tune and knew it was not a desirable thing.

Where did that come from? There is quite a bit of traditional music that goes way beyond the octave. First-position fiddle does two octaves and a third, flutes and whistles about the same using only basic technique. Range doesn't have anything to do with intonation.

One reason for the limited use of tonal modulation in traditional music is that it's very hard to sing wildly modulating tunes without an accompaniment providing a pitch reference. Listening to somebody at a singaround trying to do a 1930s Tin Pan Alley or Stephen Sondheim number with even that degree of chromaticism as an unaccompanied solo is not always a pleasurable experience, and there is no way something like the Liebestod from Tristan or the Song of the Wood Dove from Gurrelieder could have been transmitted in oral tradition. Not all traditional music is essentially connected to vocal melody, but most of Western Europe's is.


Again, I believe they would have tuned in 12-TET had it been available to them.

In case you hadn't noticed, traditional music has not died out, and traditional fiddlers (anywhere, any idiom) don't care about the circle of fifths. And mouth organ manufacturers manage to shift millions of instruments tuned in some sort of meantone every year.


You know, sports fans, if you just want to sing folk songs and ballads (or put tunes to dirty limericks), and accompany them on the guitar, ukulele, or autoharp, you don't really need to know any of this stuff. Just tune your instrument to a halfway decent pitch-pipe or an electronic tuner (preferable), do your thing, and let the nit-pickers go ahead and argue in the corner.

What you can perform that way is the core of traditional music, and it helps to respect it.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Don Firth
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 03:22 PM

I respect it, Jack.

But I also have a large measure of sympathy for beginners, and I don't feel it's doing them much of a service to load them down with a massive weight of nit-pickery that will only confuse them when all they need to know at this point in their development is "What chords can I use to accompany this song?"

There are other, more appropriate places where you can display your erudition.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 04:54 PM

/////First-position fiddle does two octaves and a third, flutes and whistles about the same using only basic technique. Range doesn't have anything to do with intonation////

To be honest, I have not paid very close attentio0n to what you write because I don't understand it. I don't know anything about the styles of music you are referring to. I don't even know what "traditional" actually means--apparently, whatever you say it means. But was the octave they used 2:1? If so, then it is tempered. An untempered octave is something like 2.0273:1 if memory serves me correctly. If they were tempering, then they were attempting, with at least some degree of success, 12-TET.

////In case you hadn't noticed, traditional music has not died out, and traditional fiddlers (anywhere, any idiom) don't care about the circle of fifths. And mouth organ manufacturers manage to shift millions of instruments tuned in some sort of meantone every yea///

Since they are trying to stay true to this "tradition" you speak of--I suppose they wouldn't care about the circle of 5ths in the same sense that the Amish don't care about muscle cars or smartphones. But since I and just about everybody here don't have any desire to live as anachronisms, why are you discussing it? In short, I don't have even the tiniest idea of what you are talking about. And I'm hoping that you will make the connection that all the people who have an interest in the subject matter of this thread feel no differently than I do.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 04:58 PM

The last post is mine.

Don't get me wrong, Jack. I respect your erudition in this field. Obviously, you feel strongly about it but you need to start your own thread if you wish to discuss it. This thread is about the circle of 5ths and its uses. If you have no use for it, you have no reason to be here.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Don Firth
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 05:29 PM

To introduce the matter of "pure temperament" into this thread is:

A. Off the subject; and
B. Needlessly confusing to a beginner.

If someone wishes to learn to drive a stick-shift automobile and they want to know how to shift gears, this is NOT the time to lumber them with a lot of related but irrelevant and unhelpful information about the parts, disassembly, and nomenclature of the manual transmission.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 07:10 PM

So what does the circle do for us? It gives us a scheme by which we can be as musical as possible. For example, I was surprised to learn that many DJs at clubs use the circle when programming their sets. They learn the keys of all the songs they want to use and arrange them using the circle.

For example, if a song is in the key of C major, it can be followed up with one in G major or F major. What this does is allows one song to segue into another without a radical change in key. Not only does it sound superior to a DJ whose set is not arranged in keys, but it won't break the groove of the dancers. The DJ wants to keep them on a the floor as long as possible. He sets up a groove with a certain key and beat. He then segues into another song by matching the key and the beat but not in a boring way. Something in C major at 80 beats minute should not be followed up with something else in C major at 80 beats a minute. Maybe segue into something at 160 beats a minute in G major. The two beats are related (80 x 2 = 160) and so are the keys. Why? Because G major is a fifth away from C major and therefore has a relationship to it. This holds the dancers in the groove and keeps them dancing which keeps them in the club which keeps them buying drinks, etc. A DJ who breaks the spell with songs that are out of key with one another and/or with ill-matched beats causes dancers to leave the floor and possibly the club.

DJs say that you can even use the equivalent minors and get away with it--go from C to A, or C to D (the minor of F major) for example. Basically go around the circle link-by-link and program your set that way and you will became a sought-after DJ who knows how to get and keep people dancing. You don't want to jump from C to Eb for example because that might break the spell by changing key too radically. If the current tune is in Eb then go to Ab next or Db or B (B being the minor equivalent of Db).

Basically, if the seguing key is a fourth or fifth away from the current song and the beat is close, you can jump to it seamlessly and keep your crowd entertained.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 07:31 PM

That's a useful and common stunt - it's also used in those modulating traditional dance tunes I mentioned, on a smaller scale but for the same effect, and is used in pretty near every ceilidh band set in Scottish or Irish dance.

But there is no circle involved. Just moving up and down from tonic to dominant or subdominant. You don't need to think about getting from G# to Eb in any disco set.

To introduce the matter of "pure temperament" into this thread is:
A. Off the subject; and
B. Needlessly confusing to a beginner.


And telling them they're using a tonal system that lets them modulate 12 times in the same direction and end up where they started is useful?

I introduced pure temperament simply because it is something your insistence on total chromaticism makes incomprehensible. And that incomprehension can be prevented by simply not talking about ET-specific tricks until they matter. Being able to modulate right round a circle is NOT a fundamental skill, and is absolutely useless for anything relating to any kind of music anyone would would describe as "folk" or "traditional". Developing fancy diagrammatic representations for it with millimetric accuracy by compass constructions (as in josepp's original post in this thread) is simply adding totally pointless graphical refinements to a not very useful concept.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Don Firth
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 07:55 PM

"And telling them they're using a tonal system that lets them modulate 12 times in the same direction and end up where they started is useful?"

I don't know anyone who does that, Jack.

". . . totally pointless graphical refinements to a not very useful concept."

The only conclusion I can draw form that is that you haven't grasped what it is that Josepp is talking about. I found that Circle of Fifths gizmo that the salesman gave me early on to be a great help in learning the chord families of the keys.

I didn't use it to "go around the circle" with a program of songs. There are many other factors involved in setting up a good, enjoyable program of songs, such as variations in tempo, mood, subject, grouping under occupation, country of origin, and a number of other things.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Tootler
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 07:58 PM

If they were tempering, then they were attempting, with at least some degree of success, 12-TET.

That's rubbish, I'm afraid, Josepp. There are many temperaments and all but one are most definitely not 12-TET, nor was 12-TET seen as an ideal in the past. It has been known about much longer than it has been used. Bach called his set of preludes and fugues "The Well Tempered Clavier" for a reason.

A common temperament (more correctly set of temperaments) in Bach's time were the various meantone temperaments. These basically aimed to produce pure major thirds at the expense of slightly out of tune fifths. Meantone worked well in closely related keys but the further you got from the "home key" the instrument was tuned to the more discordant some chords became until you ended up with a "wolf tone" (i.e. a horrible discord) somewhere round the other side of the circle. Well temperaments aimed to remove the wolf tones so that it was possible to play in any key. At the same time well temperaments aimed to preserve the varying character of different keys, (something that 12-TET fails to do) which was considered desirable in Bach's time. There has been controversy over exactly what temperament Bach used, but there is general agreement these days that it was not 12-TET.

That said, the circle of fifths is still a very useful tool for thinking about relationships between different keys and although traditional instrumental music uses very few keys, singers will sing in whatever key best suits their voice so a wide variety of keys are used in practice in traditional music.

Bach Prelude No. 1 in Cm played using three different temperaments. It's worth listening as the differences can be clearly heard, especially with the Lehmann which at first doesn't seem to sound "quite right" to our ears as we are accustomed to 12-TET.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Artful Codger
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 08:28 PM

In terms of standard notation, the pattern of 5th relations is not really a circle but a spiral, and the points where one arc of the spiral parallels another are generally not interchangeable, but only correspond in pitch due to equal temperament. The extent of the spiral is from Fbb to Bx, though for common practical use one can generally get by with only the range spanned by single accidentals (Fb to B#). For most applications of the 5ths series, I agree with Jack--a "ladder" or set of strips shiftable in the manner of a slide rule comes in handier than a circle or even a set of nested wheels.

Consider the following set of strips:

Strip 1: The Base
Fb Cb Gb Db Ab Eb Bb F   C   G   D   A   E   B   F# C# G# D# A# E# B#
E   B   F# C# G# D# A# E# B#             Fb Cb Gb Db Ab Eb Bb F   C

Strip 2: Transposition Map
Fb Cb Gb Db Ab Eb Bb F   C   G   D   A   E   B   F# C# G# D# A# E# B#

Strip 3: Scale/chord degrees
V   II VI III VII IV I   V   II VI III VII IV

Strip 4: Modes
    MAJ         MIN
|Lyd Ion Mix Dor Aeo Phr Loc|
Maj Maj Maj min min min dim

The second line of notes on the Base strip are enharmonic equivalents. To avoid confusion, those notes should ideally be printed in smaller type and enclosed in parentheses, since they will be referred to relatively infrequently. This is one of the great failings of the wheel--that one too often sees enharmonic equivalents that are the improper choice for the desired context. The transposition map is merely a duplication of the top line of the Base, and in fact may be preferable to use in place of the Base when enharmonics are irrelevant. (Actually, orienting these strips vertically, in "ladders" and Jack suggests, is probably easier to read, and longer names can be used. But I'm limited by the medium of text.)

First, let's look at the Base. It's the sequence FCGDAEB repeated three times, first with flats, then naturals, then sharps. (Memorize this sequence forwards and backwards, since it pops up continually.) The enharmonics row just repeats the opposite end of the previous row, as if the ends were overlapped in a circle (as on a more complete spiral of fifths).

Now, place the Modes strip so that "MAJ" is positioned over a selected major key on the Base, like A, and place the Degrees strip between them with the "I" underneath "MAJ" as well:

                                           MAJ         MIN
                                       |Lyd Ion Mix Dor Aeo Phr Loc|
                                        Maj Maj Maj min min min dim
                   V   II VI III VII IV I   V   II VI III VII IV
Fb Cb Gb Db Ab Eb Bb F   C   G   D   A   E   B   F# C# G# D# A# E# B#

What does this tell us? First, the notes within the A major scale are those that fall between the vertical bars: D A E B F# C# G#; so we know the key signature is 3 sharps (and in fact, they're notated on the staff in the order given; flat signatures appear in reverse order: Bb, Eb, Ab...). Using a typical circle of fifths, you'd see Db and Ab instead of C# and G#; now maybe what Jack is saying becomes a bit clearer. Yes, in equal temperament, they have the same pitch, but in proper notation, they're entirely different beasts.

We find that the relative modes for A major (or Ionian)--those which share the same key signature and note set--are D Lydian, E Mixolydian, B Dorian, F# minor (or Aeolian), C# Phrygian, and G# Locrian. What about enharmonics like Db Phrygian? Ain't no such thing, because (checking the enharmonics row) there are no single-accidental equivalents for two notes in the scale--D and A--and standard key signatures don't use double-accidentals (Ebb and Bbb would be required). Is that readily apparent from the circle? Nope.

We find that the common chords of A major, per the third (Maj/min/dim) row, are: tonic (I) AMaj, subdominant (IV) DMaj, dominant (V) EMaj, supertonic (II) Bmin,
submediant (VI) F#min, mediant (III) C#min and subtonic (VII) G#dim. Note the degree order: it just interleaves I, II and III between IV, V, VI and VII. The primary chords for any major key can be read directly off the Base strip by itself: IV is to the left of the tonic, V to the right, and all three are major.

Now, let's shift our point of reference to F# minor, by the simple expedient of shifting the Degrees slip so the I is under "MIN". The same notes and common chords are used, but their interpretation relative to the tonic is now different: I, IV and V are now all minor chords (F#m, Bm and C#m), II is diminished (G#dim) and III, VI and VII are major (A, D and E). In fact, VII becomes a primary chord in minor mode.

The most common modulations are up/down a fourth/fifth. Up a fifth is down a fourth, and vice versa. On the ladder, this means shifting the tonic to a neighboring rung. The next most common modulations are up/down a third, typically between relative major and minor keys--we've already dealt with that, but as josepp described, major to minor is a shift clockwise (left) three steps and minor to major is a shift counterclockwise (right) three steps.

Now we come to one of the best advantages of the ladder over the circle: transposition. Slip the Transposition slip over the Base slip so the Base indicates the source key and the Transposition slip the destination key. Now you can read the proper transpositions directly, with no confusion regarding enharmonic equivalents. It may help to position the Modes slip over both, so that the range of notes in the scales, per the mode, is more apparent. Try it with keys not close together (say, transposing by a mere semitone) and compare the results with what you'd read from a standard circle of fifths.

Jack is right: even though the equal tempered scale may be circular in terms of pitches and enharmonic equivalents, much music is not equal tempered, and most tonal music is governed by theory and notational practice that does not treat enharmonic pitches as interchangeable. The harmonic applications of sequences of fifths never encompass the entire circle but rather, as Jack asserted, only operate within a subrange of what is better described as a linear continuum than a cycle. This is where the ladder shows its superiority over the circle, despite the ubiquity of the latter in common dedagogy. I believe the popularity of the circle lies more in its sexiness of presentation than in its practical utility.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Don Firth
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 09:06 PM

God help the innocents!

I give up!!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 09:06 PM

///That's rubbish, I'm afraid, Josepp.////

You're right. And that's because I have absolutely no idea what Jack Campin is talking about. Moreover, I don't care. I don't listen to this "traditional" music and I'm not going to ever listen to it. My interest in music simply doesn't go there. I can't comment intelligently on a subject of which I know absolutely nothing. But if you're going to insist on engaging me in conversation concerning it, then you can see the level of response you're going to get from me. I'm muddling along the best I can to try to accommodate. If that's inadequte (and it certainly is), you need to go somewhere else and talk with people who are on your wavelength because I'm not.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 09:15 PM

Let's not talk about the Greek-designated modes. They are not necessary to understanding music. None of the jazz musicians I know use them and, consequently, I don't use them. We're talking about the circle of fifths. If you don't like the circle of fifths and think sliding sticks work better then you're on the wrong thread. If you believe the majority of music is not enharmonically tempered then you're on the wrong thread because that is exactly the music we ARE going to discuss here.

We have no interest in anything else on this particular thread. So thank you all for your contributions, there are well-noted but it's time to say goodbye, sayonara, ciao. If you don't understand, please read the title of this thread, the topic of discussion is contained in it. THAT is what we ARE going to talk about--if I can ever get around to it. Would it be alright with you all if I got around to it?


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 09:30 PM

Here's a DJ mix that is pretty typical of what I hear in clubs Billboard Hits Party Mix.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't hear any "circle of 5ths" transitions between songs, and most of the cuts have a kind of drone-like quality,and don't seem to shift to shift to the dominant, even when it sounds like they should:-)

I am sure that the tempo is never 80bpm, though...


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Chord Chucker
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 09:37 PM

WTF!!!

"I have absolutely no idea what Jack Campin is talking about. Moreover, I don't care. I don't listen to this "traditional" music and I'm not going to ever listen to it. My interest in music simply doesn't go there"

Tell me, please, josepp, what are you even doing at Mudcat, which has been a folk/traditional music forum since the last millenium?


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 10:35 PM

Gee, buddy, I'm sorry I don't have the same interests as you. I didn't know it was that important to you.

And for those who don't think DJs use the circle of fifths:

http://www.jeffvyduna.com/blog/archives/2005/02/djs_use_the_cir.html


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: John P
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 11:14 PM

I guess I either know too much or too little. I don't see any usefulness in the circle of fifths. What's it do for the practical musician?

josepp, this is folk music forum. If you don't like folk music, why are you here? There are HUGE differences between many types of folk music an classical music, and many of the classical rules simply don't apply to folk.

Off topic, but it was mentioned earlier: The nyckelharpa players I play with don't use equal temperment. They carefully tune specific strings a certain number of cents flat or sharp in order to maximize the intonation for the common nyckelharpa keys. Somewhere in between equal temperment and just intonation.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Chord Chucker
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 11:36 PM

Mudcat is a folk/traditional music forum. That's why Jack, and the rest of us, are here. You are way off the mark telling him "you need to go somewhere else and talk with people who are on your wavelength" we are on his wavelength.

Maybe you should go somewhere else and talk with people on your wavelength.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Larry Saidman
Date: 27 Mar 12 - 02:16 AM

Come on, everybody. Play nice.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 27 Mar 12 - 02:48 AM

I published a paper: J Clough and G Myerson, Musical scales and the generalized circle of fifths, American Mathematical Monthly 93 (1986) 695-701.

I'm sure it wouldn't interest anybody outside of a small circle of fifths, er, friends.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 Mar 12 - 04:46 AM

There are quite a number of traditional melodies which make use of the same harmonic conventions as other forms of music such as jazz. As far as I'm concerned, anything which contributes to an understanding of the harmonic structure behind such music on this forum is to be welcomed, and I see no problem with Josepp or anyone else discussing it in a serious manner.

The only area where I would comment on Josepp's diagram drawing is that, after time, a diagrammatic representation of the harmonic progression as shown by the circle of 5ths won't be necessary. Experience of playing through chord sequences - particularly jazz and some blues sequences and sequences in traditional tunes - will reveal the underlying patterns both to the ear and to the instrument. Once the patterns are understood - and I personally think in patterns on the guitar - then matters like transposition become less mechanical and more organic and natural.

Playing jazz with other musicians is a wonderful way to haul yourself up by the musical bootstraps. In my jazz days, quite often a guest musician would drop in for a blow. The etiquette was to ask him to choose a number to play - and pick the key. Occasionally, there would be a number that I hadn't heard before; occasionally the musician would prefer a key that wasn't the norm... What better way to get to grips with the whole business of transposing quickly into a different key and/or getting to grips with an unfamiliar chord sequence?

This is where some early knowledge of the harmonic progression underlying the circle of 5th was useful to me. I very quickly discarded the diagram and just 'knew' the patterns in it.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 Mar 12 - 04:49 AM

And I forgot to say that, as well as playing jazz, I also play traditional tunes, blues, ragtime, early country music, popular songs from the 1920s, music hall, classical, etc. All music is music to my ears, and nothing is out of bounds.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: John P
Date: 27 Mar 12 - 09:51 AM

Thank you, Will. Yes, any understanding of music is good. I think it's possible that some of the flak that josepp is getting is because he's trying to dictate that there be no thread creep, and he's being sort of rude about it. Also, he lost me way up top when he drew a line across the circle and didn't know what chord went there, but did know the two on either side. Doesn't make a great deal of sense.

One thing I've noticed is that I can think about music as if it were equal tempered, making everything line up neatly, while also playing with instruments that aren't tuned that way. All the math doesn't really have anything to do with making music.

I am, however, still struggling to understand the utility of the circle of fifths. So far I've gathered that it's used to transpose. Seems like a complicated way to do it. Are there other uses?


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 Mar 12 - 10:01 AM

Where it helped me, John, was with getting to grips with jazz 'standards', because the popular songs on which much of mainstream jazz was based, use the same progression patterns - utilising the harmonic progressions in the 5ths cycle. Once I understand that, I could follow and improvise on those tunes, and get to grips with them more easily.

So, for example, many standards start on the tonic chord, drop down to somewhere on the circle and then work their way back round the circle to finish on the tonic. Once you 'get' this, it's immensely useful. "Sweet Georgia Brown" comes to mind - let's say it's in G...

Starts with a preliminary run down from G to E7, then goes to A7, then goes to D7 and back to G briefly - that's the first 8 bars, more or less. Well, that E7-A7-D7-G riff is right on the cycle and part of a cycle which goes:

G-C-F-Bb-Eb-Ab-Db-F#-B-E-A-D-G (choose whether you want chords written as sharps or flats). So, "Sweet G B" starts in G, drops down to E in the circle and works its way back through the succeeding chords to G. Et voila! Once that clicks, you're away and a jazzer (more or less)
:-)


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 27 Mar 12 - 10:13 AM

Jack has made several references to ET being unavailable to early instrument makers. To the accuracy with which they (or anyone today) can build an instrument, the same geometric construction used by many current luthiers could have been used by ancient Greeks long before the argument over BC or BCE.

Since the pitch of a string is linearly dependent on the length, for constant tension, all that's required for an ET scale is that frets be placed so that each fret changes the string length by some same ratio relative to the adjacent fret. Placing a series of frets to meet that requirement is almost trivial geometry. Placing the frets so that you'll come out with exactly 12 spaces giving a preditermined pitch for the tonic note on a string of a preselected lenght is a little tricker, but if you layout 30 frets, picking any 12 that span a convenient length and making the string twice the length of that series gets an octave worth of frets, and you can change the string tension (or string weight) to put the note where you want it. The "ancients" were not able to know the angle A for which 1/(1-cosA) = 21/12, but that wasn't really all that necessary - just a modern convenience like having strings of uniform diameter.

The only reason early makers didn't make an ET scale instrument is because they didn't want to since the ancients established the "idea" that there was truth, beauty, and purity in having all the ratios be integer fractions. The "purity of tone" when notes at "harmonic ratios" are combined to play chords played a large part in resistance to "rationalizing" a standard interval, and many modern musicians still prefer to tune that way (within the limits of their instruments) - which is fine as long as it's appropriate for the genre in which they choose to perform. Any serious musician should know how to set up his/her own instrument to simulate either system within the accuracy required for the music chosen.

The "argument" need not be about one being better than the other. The point is "which is best for today in this place to do that."

John


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 27 Mar 12 - 11:39 AM

There's really no problem in making an instrument that will play in any key and any temperament--the fidddle family does it jes' fine. The problem arises when you want niceties like frets or keyboards.
    The Circle of Fifths, I've found, is a convenient way of visualising chordal relationships if you limit yourself to an even-tempered scale.For most folk musicians, that's not a serious limitation.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Jack Campin
Date: 27 Mar 12 - 11:58 AM

And telling them they're using a tonal system that lets them modulate 12 times in the same direction and end up where they started is useful?
I don't know anyone who does that, Jack.


That's the only capability a circle gives you that a ladder doesn't.

If you have a final cadence in G minor with an F sharp in in the melody, the usual explanation of what it's doing there is that it can be seen as part of a Dmaj or D7 chord. The circle of fifths says you could also see that note as a G flat. Does that create any additional understanding? Is it actually likely that any chord with a G flat in it would fit at that point?


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: TheSnail
Date: 27 Mar 12 - 12:03 PM

John P

Also, he lost me way up top when he drew a line across the circle and didn't know what chord went there, but did know the two on either side.

Must say I thought he was making life unnecsarily difficult there. Why not just draw your circle with twelve points, Write C at the top and then write in the fifths in order clockwise? To work out what the next fifth is, write out the chromatic scale and count up seven semitones.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Mar 12 - 02:28 PM

Why use all that space explaining how to draw the circle, and no space explain what it's for?


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Artful Codger
Date: 27 Mar 12 - 02:54 PM

I think josepp was targetting the discussion to people who don't already know what the fifths progression is--that's one of the reasons to teach the circle of fifths. But the answer to that is pretty simple: first learn the FCGDAEB sequence, for which you can create a mnemonic, like (off the top of my head) Fast Cars Grimly Drive Around Every Body. I'm sure someone has a better one.

The problem is that, in drawing and labelling a circle using only the "ABC" sequence everyone knows, you have to skip points on the circle, so starting from C, you can only label six points: 12, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10. How do you label the points in between? A simpler solution than what josepp describes (that jumping across the circle bit) is just to remember that to the left of C you have to put F, then continue the ABC sequence.

But this raises the second problem: how do you know when to start adding accidentals (if you're the sort of neophyte who doesn't already understand all the intervalic relationships)? First learning the FCGDAEB mnemonic solves the problem. When you get to the end of the sequence forward, you start adding sharps (and if you continue on, double sharps); when you reach the end going backwards, you add flats. So starting from C and labelling the points in turn, you get:

12 1 2 3 4 5
C G D A E B

(The numbers here just indicate the clock points; you wouldn't write them down.) Contining with sharps you get:

12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
C G D A E B
B#             \ F# C# G# D# A# E#

Continuing backward from C we get:

12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
            Fb Cb Gb Db Ab Eb Bb
C G D A E B                \F
B#             \ F# C# G# D# A# E#


We now have, essentially, a spiral in the form of a circle, with all the single-accidental harmonic equivalents shown. Moreover, it's now clearer (following the jogs indicated by the slashes) which spelling you should use when figuring out the notes in the scale, the accidentals in the key signature, the relative major/minor and so on. This is equivalent to the first strip in my message above, but in circular form (and with potentially confusing overlaps). By continuing the spiral this way beyond what is normally shown in typical circle-of-fifths diagrams, not only are all sharps/flats of the scale/signature duly represented, but the diagram works for minor scales (and other modes) as well as major ones.

But let's focus on what's important: these representations aim to capture the usefulness of the fifths series: ...Bb FCGDAEB F#... It's good to know the (equal tempered) pitch equivalences, but that's something one picks up better from a semitone-oriented mapping rather than one organized in fifths. In practice, when moving about by fifths, you will rarely jump from the flats series to the sharps series, though once you modulate into five-accidentals territory, it may be easier to consider this a switch to the enharmonic key (for instance, Ab instead of G#).

So (you'll smugly observe) if you have to learn the fifths sequence to create the circle, why create the circle at all? Because it's a helpful visual aid when explaining things commonly related by fifths, like progressions, modulations, key sighatures, primary chords and relative modes. The fifths sequence, combined with the diatonic interval pattern derived from approximating the overtone series, could be considered the underpinning of our musical experience.

In presenting my ladder version, I mentioned transposition, which some have downplayed, saying that once you learn the patterns, transposition becomes a more organic matter of applying those patterns. I agree with that, except when you're trying to notate music. Then it helps a great deal to have an explicit note-to-note transposition map to reference.

Of course, many people these days use music-notation software which handles transpostion in a far easier manner. But if you're not so blessed, a tool like the strips can be a real boon. A pair of nested wheels would also answer the bill, as long as the wheel is large enough to contain the entire 35-note sequence (Fbb to Bx) without overlapping. In this case, a fifths organization is better than a semitone organization, because it just happens that the most common notes and chords--those corresponding to the diatonic scale--will be grouped together, whatever the key and mode.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Jack Campin
Date: 27 Mar 12 - 03:13 PM

This is getting a bit like PowerPoint as Edward Tufte sees it:

every time you make a Power Point, Edward Tufte kills a kitten

Never mind the music, look at the presentation graphics.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Artful Codger
Date: 27 Mar 12 - 03:28 PM

Did you learn "the music" without any technical explanations or diagrams? Many people have, especially before widespread literacy, but nowadays we tend to use a fuller set of tools, and that can shorten the learning curve. After all, in "the music" there are no note letters or staves at all. What's yer point?


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Don Firth
Date: 27 Mar 12 - 04:12 PM

What with people tripping over their own feet to display their extensive knowledge of music for the whole world to admire, Josepp's original, fairly straightforward purpose has gotten buried in a vast pile of egos.

The Circle of Fifths is a simple concept for learning what chords go with what keys.

PRESTO!!

Let us say that you are a raw beginner on the guitar. You know your chord diagrams, having learned them from a book entitled something like
"Guitar Chords for the Intellectually Challenged." So no problem there. But you are learning a song from a songbook, and in the book, the song is in the key of C. The chords over the melody line are C, F, G7, and at one point it uses an Am. But—the melody is too high for your voice.

You did have some piano lessons when you were a kid and you can read music. Good. So you go to the piano and mess around a bit, and you discover that you can sing the song comfortably in the key of G.

So—knowing diddly-squat about chord relationships, you pick up your copy of "Guitar Chords for the Intellectually Challenged" and look at the helpful little chart in the back of the book. At the top of the page, it says, "Circle of Fifths," subtitled "How to Transpose." [Or you could try to draw a circle of fifths the way Josepp described it.] You look at the key of C at the top of the circle. And lo! There is the C chord at 12 o'clock. The F is at 11 o'clock. The G is at 1 o'clock. And the Am is inside the circle, just below the C.

You crank your head around to the G chord, which is at 1 o'clock, one step to the right on the Circle of Fifths. That's the key chord you want to use for the key of G. You replace the F with the C, the G7 with a D7, and the Am with an Em, and there are the chords you want to use for the song.

It's a helluva lot more complicated to explain than it is to just simply look at the circle, note the relative positions of the chords in the key you want to change from, then use the chords in the same relative positions in the key you want to change to.

Duck soup! If you don't get all tangled up in matters of how they may have done it in ancient Greece or in Count Esterhazy's salon three centuries ago.

As I say, it's a lot messier to explain than it is to just DO it.

And this, I am sure, is why Josepp didn't want people coming in and burying a simple aid for beginners under tons of stuff that is irrelevant to the needs of a beginner just so they can demonstrate what hot-shots they are!

Am I somewhere in the ballpark, Josepp?

Don Firth

P. S. Not a ladder, not a trapezoid, not a helix, not a spiral, not a tetrahedron, not a Mobius strip—you get the idea! A simple circle, like a clock face.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Mar 12 - 09:17 PM

Josepp has been gone for nearly a day--perhaps trying to reconcile his avowed distaste for traditional music with the fact that he's been rather seriously involved with a traditional music forum for several months now.

Good Luck, josepp. I know it's disturbing to discover this latent tendency, but come out of the closet and accept it. You'll never make any money, but it can be fulfilling in many other ways:-)


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 27 Mar 12 - 09:53 PM

Thanks, Don. Yes, that gave a good synopsis of one way to use the circle. The DJ thing was simply another way that I thought would be a very simple thing to introduce people in its use. Namely, that the notes next to each other on the circle share a close musical relationship. The further apart they are, less so.

As for "traditional" music from the Shetland Islands or whatever, I mean, give me a break, folks--I'm American. What could I possible learn about a music I know nothing of and have no teacher to learn it from? My teachers are jazz/classical. That's what I know.

I once went to see a writer lecture when I was a boy. I believe it was the guy that wrote "Gentle Ben" about the bear--it used to be a TV series. After his lecture, he did a Q&A with the audience, which was mostly kids. One kid asked him what he would suggest someone who wants to write fiction should keep in mind as an aid. The one thing he said that has stuck with me all these years is--WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT. Don't put the setting in London if you've never been there. Try putting it in your hometown or a fictional town modeled on your hometown so that when are describing something, you actually have something in mind rather than making up vapid descriptions trying to make the reader see a place you've never seen yourself. That's my approach to music. I play what I know. Why should I play something from another culture across the ocean of people whom I have no contact with and no knowledge of? Especially when the greatest, richest treasure trove folk music to be found anywhere in the world comes from America. No other place comes close--certainly not the UK. America is where it's at and it is what I know.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Mar 12 - 10:19 PM

You're still not with the program, josepp--lots of that that "richest treasure trove" that's found here came from there, and let's not even talk about the slightly embarrassing fact that a lot of Americans first learned about "The Blues" by listening to British Blues bands.

And, besides, about 2/3rds of Mudcatters seem to be from "across the pond" these days.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 27 Mar 12 - 11:21 PM

Now that I have explained myself concerning "traditional" music, let's get back to the circle of 5ths.

We generally associate I-IV-V with blues but we find it in classical. Jazz has a number of progressions, one of the simplest and most prevalent is ii-V7. It is also found in other styles of music including folk just as the folk root-5th bass line is found and taught in jazz. ii is in lower case because it is minor while the V is major and so is upper case. What does it refer to?

If we lay out the notes of a scale--say, F major--on a staff in order 1-8, it is F G A Bb C D E F. Now we can make chords of each of these notes simply by stacking 3rds, 5ths and 7ths on top of these "roots." So, the F would have stacked on it ACE and FACE is the F major 7th chord. The G would have BbDF stacked on it and GBbDF is G minor 7th. The A would have CEG and that is an A minor 7th. The Bb would bhave DFA and would be a Bb major 7th. The C would have EGBb and CEGBb is the C7th. The D as a chord becomes a D minor 7th and the E becomes an E minor 7th half-diminished. Right now, it's not important how we determine these chords. Just buy it for now.

So F is I, G is ii, A is iii, Bb is IV, C is V, D is vi and E is vii. It works out that way for any scale--I, ii, iii, IV, V, vi, vii. So in ii-V7, we are interested in G minor 7th and C7th. The ii and the V7 form a very musical relationship. Many songs are written in ii-V7 such as "Satin Doll" and "Getting Some Fun Out of Life."

There are 24 keys to run through and they are arranged in order: D minor 7, G major 7, C minor 7, F major 7, Bb minor 7, Eb major 7, Ab minor 7, Db major 7, F# minor 7, B major 7, E minor 7, A major 7, Eb minor 7, Ab major 7, C# minor 7, F# major 7, B minor 7, E major 7, A minor 7, D major 7, G minor 7, C major 7, F minor 7, Bb major 7 and then ends on Eb.

Now if you look at a circle of 5ths, you'll see that we are following counterclockwise (in 4ths). We skip around a bit after A major 7, we go back to Eb rather than continuing to D but from there we follow the circle all the way until the end. These are all the possible ii-V7s to choose from.

I'll explain a little more about it in a bit but right now I'm dog-tired and need to crash and burn.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Don Firth
Date: 28 Mar 12 - 12:34 AM

Oh, wow, Josepp, your comments about "America's where it's at when it comes to music" is going to get up a few noses across the pond! And I would say, justifiably so. While you rest and recuperate, I'll stick in my 2¢ worth.

I do agree about "write what you know," which is what my high school Creative Writing class teacher kept saying (except, of course, if you're writing science fiction and your story is set on Alpha Centauri Two).

But I can't agree about music. The vast majority of American folk songs and ballads have British Island roots, having been brought to this county and kept alive by the many early settlers and their descendants, largely Scots-Irish. Acquaint yourself with the work of English folk song collector Cecil J. Sharp, who collected many songs and ballads in England, then came to the United States and did the monumental collection of English Folk Songs in the Southern Appalacians (two volumes of really great stuff!). Even some cowboy songs collected by the Lomaxes have British Island roots!

As to classical music, Europe in general dominates there. A number of very good American composers, writing "serious music" (European tradition) have arisen (Aaron Copeland, Leonard Bernstein, others), but the major European composers whose names almost everyone knows predominate in the concert halls and opera houses.

Jazz, primarily American. Actually, African-American, at least originally. As to the blues, I have to disagree with GUEST there. Most of the younger blues singers and enthusiast I know learned their blues from people like Lightnin' Hopkins and Mississippi John Hurt.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 28 Mar 12 - 02:10 AM

We seem to have a number of people participating here with an excess of learnedness who have neglected the acquisition of understanding. Much of what is being ARGUED is in defense of things that don't need defending, and for the most part are not germain to the intended purpose of the thread.

Since we have some who wish to argue about historical trivia, a minor (off topic) response is required for:

what are you even doing at Mudcat, which has been a folk/traditional music forum since the last millenium?

Mudcat was intended to be about BLUES.
Max, in spasm of generosity, made a home for the DT, when they were booted out of their previous home.
(Un?)fortunately, the DT attracted a couple of Brits, and for some unknown reason(s) they were allowed to come back.
It's been a downhill slide in the Mud since, which is one way of rationalizing (tempering) the predominance of "Folkishness" at MUD-cat.

A little closer to the subject:

While the frets on your guitar are spaced according to 12-ET you are free to tune the strings relative to each other in any way you choose. Since it's impossible (mostly) to simultaneously play two notes on the same string, its the relationship between strings that determines what scale you're using, and within normal ranges of most individual pieces of music it doesn't really matter much where the frets are. If you "tune by ear" you will likely be close to "harmonic tuning." If you tune with an electronic (or stroboscopic) tuner, you'll likely to be closer to an ET tuning, although neither ears nor instruments are precise enough to make all that much difference - you're still probably out of tune somewhere in the range where you play. and lots of people seem happy with being a little off everywhere - certainly far enough to obliterate much of the difference between choices of scale tunings.

You can, in fact, "tweak" a note on almost any instrument, and on a guitar just "rolling your finger" on the fret can change the pitch about enough to bring your note into "harmonic agreement" with other players, or with the other notes of your chord. This is not an easy thing to do, but it's an observed technique in a few "masters," some of whom may not even be aware of doing it. This also means that a sloppy finger can put you "out of tune" by far more than the difference between the theoretical pitchs of the harmonic vs ET scales you might think you're using.

The complaint that the "Circle" only applies to ET tunings is BULLSHIT in the context of this thread and its purpose. (As are arguments about enharmonicity.) If you feel you must complain, it suggests you just don't know how to apply the circle (and/or when to ignore it when you exceed the limits of it's applicability in your own peculiar context).

The circle is a graphical method of illustrating that there is a certain sequence in which the "key" changes when sharps or flats are added or removed. The particular sharp or flat added or removed is in the same sequence but with a different starting point. The sequence of changes for minor keys is the same as for major keys, but with a different starting point in the sequence. The principal notes in chords are in the same sequence, each with an additional different starting point in the sequence. It's an aid to knowing how to change the key signature, and to picking the right notes for a chord when you change keys regardless of what tuning you use, within any reasonable range where a given scale structure is appropriate (without retuning). If you add enough foxtails and fuzzy dice (and a chrome stripe or two) it can be extended to "remind" you of quite a few other things, but the wheels won't spin any faster, and the wheel doesn't go much farther.

John


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Artful Codger
Date: 28 Mar 12 - 02:40 AM

The standard circle has few sharps on it, despite that the sharp keys are the most common (at least for fretted string instruments, which tend to predominate in this forum). If you only care about chord roots, that may not be a great hindrance to you. My experience, however, is that the standard circle is just too incomplete, so I use fuller representations that are more flexible--either grids or strips.

P.S. Not a circle, but a series that only "loops" enharmonically (a seldom useful relationship for proper notation). You seldom go across the circle (the most discordant intervals), so there's no real advantage of a circle over just counting forwards and backwards from your relative reference point. Simple, and no enharmonic ambiguities. Most people find it easier to apply pattern/distance relationships in the same orientation than to rotate their frame of reference mentally, so why use a circular representation unnecessarily?


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Trevor Thomas
Date: 28 Mar 12 - 10:37 AM

"Especially when the greatest, richest treasure trove folk music to be found anywhere in the world comes from America. No other place comes close--certainly not the UK. America is where it's at and it is what I know."

Of course, dear boy. America is The Greatest Country In the World, after all, so it follws that it's music must also be the Greatest Music In The World. All music that is any good was invented in the good old U S of Good Ol A. There's certainly no need for you to know anything about music from anywhere else to be convinced you're right. It's so obvious, it doesn't need anything like facts or evidence.

But you must expect that some of us will disagree with you about this.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 28 Mar 12 - 12:15 PM

The music of America has taken over the world. There is no other music that has done that unless you want to count British bands who all--without exception--copied American music.

///The vast majority of American folk songs and ballads have British Island roots////

I'm not in agreement with that. The BEST KNOWN American folk has roots in the UK because white Americans had a tendency to only listen to the white man's music (remember, play what you know). But America has a huge French infusion that gave us Creole and Cajun music and, ultimately, jazz. Stuff like Zydeco has a multitude of influences--probably none of them from the UK. There's American Indian music, there's Mexican music. Norteno polka alone probably outnumbers all the UK-influenced stuff in America. You just don't hear about it as much. Then there's bossa nova and MPB that certainly has a huge influence (remember America isn't limited to the U.S. but Latin music even within the US is a huge business). And I won't even bring up ragtime, blues and gospel. Nowhere else on earth does such a diverse mixture of cultures exist. Too bad the music of Asia hasn't been assimilated to any real depth but I have hopes that this will happen because Asians are the fast growing populating in America. American folk is rich and it is deep. Nothing else can match it.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Tootler
Date: 28 Mar 12 - 02:05 PM

I'm glad to see that jingoism is alive and well and not confined just to England.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Don Firth
Date: 28 Mar 12 - 04:29 PM

Josepp, I was with you in suggesting the Circle of Fifths (unembellished with extraneous information) as a good learning tool for beginners, but I'm forced to abandon you on this idea of yours that "The music of America has taken over the world."

When it comes to folk music, most American folk music has British Island roots. I think a whole army of American folklorists would say that strongly in chorus.

And what I said about the predominance of European influences in "serious music," i.e., symphonic and operatic music is patently obvious if you glance through a list of works to be played during a symphony orchestra's season, whether that orchestra happens to be in Boston, San Francisco, London, Oslo, or Tokyo.

Even Broadway musicals by American composers, which many Americans assume are an American invention, are a legacy from people like Franz Lehar [Austro-Hungarian], Rudolf Friml [Czechoslovakian], and other European composers of operettas ("light operas"). A few American composers have written full operas recently, such as George Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess" (yes, most opera experts are now saying that that IS a genuine opera) or Leonard Bernstein's "Candide" (actually closer to an operetta than a genuine opera). Nevertheless, Italians (Verdi, Puccini, etc.), French (Gounod, Bizet, etc.), Germans (Wagner, Richard Strauss), and English (Benjamin Britten, and for comic opera, Gilbert and Sullivan) totally dominate the field of opera.

As to the list of folk musics that you advance, it IS true that America is a country of immigrants (contrary to the beliefs of some history-challenged American conservatives), and each of these groups has brought their music with them, making for a rich mix.

But that is hardly a solid basis for your Chauvinistic comments.

Don Firth

P. S. Jazz is assumed by most people to be an American invention. Yet, three of the finest, most innovative jazz musicians in the world were not Americans. Stéfane Grappelli (who practically invented jazz violin) and Claude Bolling (piano) were French, and Django Reinhardt, one of the most innovative guitarists around, despite two non-functioning fingers on his left hand, was born in Belgium. And the three of them did their thing in Paris.

P. P. S. Seattle, where I live, has a very large Scandinavian population. Ballard, in the northwest portion of the city has a Bergen Square and a large Nordic Museum. For years, until he passed away, Gordon Tracie taught hundreds of people two or three evenings a week at the Scandia Folk Dance Club, and there is a thriving Skandia Kapel Band. Stan Boreson, local musician and comedian had his own television show for years, on which he sang parodies of many popular and folk songs, using a thick Swedish or Norwegian accent (hard to tell the difference).

I'm still searching for the words to his hilarious parody of "The Streets of Laredo," entitled "The Streets of Stavanger." A dying fisherman, all wrapped up in oilskins, dying of—sea sickness.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 28 Mar 12 - 05:13 PM

A tsunami in a teacup.Look, the circle of fifths is a useful learning tool with inherent limitations(as most learning tools have) It assumes an even-tempered scale. It assumes that octaves have simple arithmetic frequency ratios.
    Take if for what it is---or reject it if it doesn't apply to the music you're interested in. I've always found it useful in teaching transposition. A point that confuses most students...if, for instamce,F# is the same note as Gb, why not just pick one? The answer of course, is that accidentals (and things like double sharps and double flats) let you write scales in which each letter appears once---a great help if you're using conventional notation.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Don Firth
Date: 28 Mar 12 - 05:29 PM

Bingo! I think dick greenhaus just put a period to this sentence.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 28 Mar 12 - 05:54 PM

ii-V can also be played without the 7th. One can play D F A D / G B D G instead of D F A C / G B D F. One can play in 4ths--D A / G D where D and A are called lower 5th and upper 5th respectively. Those notes are all lined up next each other on the circle--ii-vi-V-ii.

ii is a chord in its own right as is V. But are also part of another scale. D G C F, for example. D is ii and G is V of the scale of C major. Notice C is the next note in the sequence I listed. Like wise, you can look at G and C and the note to the right is F and so that is the scale that G and C are ii and V of. And so through all 24 arrangements.

Sometimes we play a pattern of the ii minor as 1 2 3 5 8 7 6 5. The 2 is called a "passing note." So using D G as an example, the pattern would be D E F A / G F E D. What the passing note tells us is what scale both D and G are ii and V of respectively. It will always be the major 3rd of that scale. In this case it is C since E is the major 3rd of C major.

If you look at a circle of 5ths, you'll that D and G are ii and V of C major. And E is the major 3rd. C, G and D are lined up in sequence clockwise while the passing note skips one more note over. The following circle of 5ths is wonderfully done and shows the relationships of the notes. You can turn the pointer to any note of the wheel and relationships hold true. I would copy this one if I were you. An excellent reference:

http://www.jmstaehli.com/images/music/Circle_of_Fifths.jpg

The following chart shows from left to right, the root, passing note, minor 3rd, major 3rd, 5th and 7th of all the possible chords in 12-TET. Look at the root D. It's passing note is E. Now look for E in the major 3rd column (4th one over from the left) and notice the root is C. The 5th of root D is A which is the passing note of the next note on the circle of 5ths after D going counterclockwise which is G. Notice the 5th of G is the root of the D scale.

C        D        Eb        E        G        Bb
C#        D#        E        E#        G#        B
Db        Eb        Fb        F        Ab        Cb
D        E        F        F#        A        C
D#        E#        F#        Fx        A#        C#
Eb        F        Gb        G        Bb        Db
E        F#        G        G#        B        D
F        G        Ab        A        C        Eb
F#        G#        A        A#        C#        E
Gb        Ab        Bbb        Bb        Db        Fb
G        A        Bb        B        D        F
G#        A#        B        B#        D#        F#
Ab        Bb        Cb        C        Eb        Gb
A        B        C        C#        E        G
Bb        C        Db        D        F        Ab
B        C#        D        D#        F#        A


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 28 Mar 12 - 06:00 PM

////When it comes to folk music, most American folk music has British Island roots. I think a whole army of American folklorists would say that strongly in chorus.////

If you're so Eurocentric in your views that the only American folk music that matters is white people's, if you can so blatantly ignore the huge contributions of Latins, Indians, and blacks that you even think Django Reinhardt invented jazz, it is you who is chauvinistic and probably a racist as well.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Don Firth
Date: 28 Mar 12 - 07:11 PM

Josepp, don't be an ass.

I am fully aware of the rich musical heritage that this country has--inherited from its immigrant population.

And you are attributing meanings to what I said that are beyond what I actually said.

This whole thread started out being promising, and then it went all pear-shaped. Not your fault initially, but with your current jingoistic attitude, you're not helping NOW. Give it a rest!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Mar 12 - 12:22 AM

He started out with "Yeah, more stuff about the goddamn circle of 5ths so shut yer bloody, fookin' pieholes!" which wasn't that promising.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Mar 12 - 12:50 AM

Now that you mention it, GUEST, you're right. The Circle of Fifths is a good learning tool for beginners, as I keep saying, and in that sense it was promising.

But certainly not in Josepp's means of expression. I should have seen it coming.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 29 Mar 12 - 02:13 AM

The 'circle of 5ths' is a GREAT tool...and should not only be utilized, but memorized! Invaluable to composers who wish to play beyond puerile simplistic pieces, that lazy musicians get stuck in a rut with!
Think of it a a tow chain, to get you unstuck! Those who 'poo-poo' it are just lazy and unimaginative, boring and proud of it! Ignore them!!
Besides, their 'music' is usually very ignorable, anyway!

GfS


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Mar 12 - 02:30 AM

Yes indeed, these days there's too little ignoring going on. In an iage of great tools, ignorance is the only viable option.

Just because someone whips out a great tool, it doesn't mean I'll go out with him. In fact I think that's out of place in many relationships.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Mar 12 - 02:50 AM

I think the circle of 5ths divides people who are serious about writing,arranging, and playing music from people who are just playing around with it.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Mar 12 - 03:11 AM

Jack Campin not withstanding.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 29 Mar 12 - 03:12 AM

Big Al Whittle: "Just because someone whips out a great tool, it doesn't mean I'll go out with him. In fact I think that's out of place in many relationships."

Why, you sweet talkin' fool. you!...Are you trying to hit on me???

Wink,

GfS


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 29 Mar 12 - 03:25 AM

josepp: "////When it comes to folk music, most American folk music has British Island roots..."

There might be a few Celts who would take issue with that!!!
..and if you don't know about the 'Why's' and 'wheres' and 'who's'...you'll have to research it...'cuz I'm not getting into it!

GfS


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,testpattern
Date: 29 Mar 12 - 03:46 AM

Dang, I was hoping I'd finally figure out why I was supposed to memorize the circle of 5ths. I suppose some mysteries just aren't meant to be solved.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Mar 12 - 09:48 AM

There are lots of great tools - we live in a world of great tools.

Your idea of a great tool may - the very thought of it might be a bit of a turn off.

Open tunings for example, playing with slides, amplification, signal processing, guitars, notation, acompaniment, level of committment to performance, interest in the origins of folksong, chromatic scales, modal scales, and so on....

You take the bits seriously you want. I'll take the bits I want. No ones got the whole package - some are mutually exclusive.

As Eddie condon said - the modern jazz guys flatten their fifths - we consume ours. We don't play the same style of music - but in terms of what he produced - i can't think of another artist I would rather have been than Condon.

What would this circle of fifths do for me? The explanations are somewhat opaque


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Will Fly
Date: 29 Mar 12 - 10:14 AM

Al - I'll reiterate an earlier post of mine - nothing complicated here - just demonstrates (I hope) how I found it useful:

"Where it helped me was with getting to grips with jazz 'standards', because the popular songs on which much of mainstream jazz was based, use the same progression patterns - utilising the harmonic progressions in the 5ths cycle. Once I understand that, I could follow and improvise on those tunes, and get to grips with them more easily.

So, for example, many standards start on the tonic chord, drop down to somewhere on the circle and then work their way back round the circle to finish on the tonic. Once you 'get' this, it's immensely useful. "Sweet Georgia Brown" comes to mind - let's say it's in G...

Starts with a preliminary run down from G to E7, then goes to A7, then goes to D7 and back to G briefly - that's the first 8 bars, more or less. Well, that E7-A7-D7-G riff is right on the cycle and part of a cycle which goes:

G-C-F-Bb-Eb-Ab-Db-F#-B-E-A-D-G (choose whether you want chords written as sharps or flats). So, "Sweet G B" starts in G, drops down to E in the circle and works its way back through the succeeding chords to G. Et voila! Once that clicks, you're away and a jazzer (more or less)."

So, Al - for me - the 5ths cycle was the key to understanding some of basics of tunes used in mainstream jazz.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Mar 12 - 10:57 AM

The "Sweet Georgia Brown" example is a four-step ladder, not a circle. There are longer ladders in untempered Renaissance music.

josepp's table (28 Mar 12 - 05:54 PM) doesn't actually use the circle of fifths at all. Everything in it would still hold in a system that didn't close round on itself. He even uses double flats, which are a concept derived from untempered music.

The circle of fifths does two things, neither of which anybody here has given any use for in the sort of music Mudcat is about.

One is undoubtedly musical: it closes, so you can modulate round the circle to where you started and use enharmonics to extend the range of chords and progressions available (as in pieces like Schoenberg's First Chamber Symphony and Coltrane's "Giant Steps").

The other is geometric: josepp is very insistent that a fifth measures an angle of exactly 30 degrees. I'm not holding my breath to wait for an example where that does anything at all for anybody.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 29 Mar 12 - 12:58 PM

I agree with Will Fly, Jack, and Al(that big ol' masher). it is a tool, when needed. Also, as it was run down to me, "You should LEARN the tools, know how to use them, just like the 'rules' in music, Learn the rules, then you can break them to get what you want, instead of being limited."

GfS


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Mar 12 - 01:21 PM

Sweet Georgia Brown - yes, I've got that. Where does five come in?

We'll deal with the precise goemetric shape when we've established what five is about?

Keep it simple, for I am a bear of very little brain.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Mar 12 - 01:23 PM

Exactly!!

Major news bulletin! GfS and I are in complete agreement on something!!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Acme
Date: 29 Mar 12 - 01:40 PM

I'm still searching for the words to his hilarious parody of "The Streets of Laredo," entitled "The Streets of Stavanger." A dying fisherman, all wrapped up in oilskins, dying of—sea sickness.

Don Firth, this is your lucky day! I read that last night and thought - "there must be a way to find these words." So I looked all over and didn't find anything.

This morning I simply called Stan Boreson and asked if he had recorded that song. He and his wife looked through their CDs and told me yes, he had recorded it. I should have thought to simply try http://www.stanboreson.com/ before calling, but it was lovely to speak to a childhood hero. :-)

I told him about you, that you are a wonderful guitarist and teacher and have a great voice, so if you do something with this song I hope you'll link it somewhere and send the link to Stan.

"Streets of Stavanger" is on the CD Ay Don't Give A Hoot.

$15 for the disk and $3 shipping.

Maggie


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Mar 12 - 01:40 PM

I can remember the days when i used to play around with a great tool and break all the rules........ahhhh!


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Will Fly
Date: 29 Mar 12 - 02:16 PM

The "Sweet Georgia Brown" example is a four-step ladder, not a circle.

Jack, you're just being pedantic. The use that I've indicated - and which was explained to me by an experienced older jazz musician many, many years ago - was immensely helpful to me in understanding progressions.

And, whether, you like it or not, it is a cyclical progression - and a circular diagram explains how it works very easily. I'm not interested in the finer points of degrees or ladders anything else.

Al - it's called a cycle of '5ths' - the five you mentioned - because, when drawing it out, the intervals between each note/chord on the circle are 5 scale notes apart. So, G - which leads into C on the circle - is the 5th note on the scale above C (in the key of C).


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: s&r
Date: 29 Mar 12 - 02:45 PM

So many progressions can be understood via the circle of fifths: it was only after following the circle that I suddenly understood about resolving discords better than I ever had.

Jack's ladder is only substituting one mnemonic for another - if you're not going all the way around it doesn't matter in playing terms which you use.

I find the circle is easy to visualize and is used almost universally - why re-invent the wheel.

Stu


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Mar 12 - 03:13 PM

"Why reinvent the wheel?"

Excellent, Stu!

####

Outrageous!!

Maggie, thanks a million! Several million, in fact! I shall do that!

You are an absolute jewel!

It never occurred to me that Stan Boreson might still be with us. His parodies, complete with heavy "Scandihoovian" accent used to crack me up when I heard him on radio and TV decades ago. It was Boreson's accent thing that inspired me to start singing "The Frozen Logger" that way, which sort of made the song.

When Patti McLaughlin and I were doing the "Ballads and Books" series on KCTS-TV in 1959, we had both Ivar Haglund and James Stevens (who wrote "The Frozen Logger") as guests on the show. Haglund and Stevens were old friends. And in the course of the show, I sang "The Frozen Logger," and being chicken with Stevens right there, I sang it straight, without the accent. Later, when we gathered in "the green room," I sang it for Stevens again, with the exaggerated "Scandihoovian" accent. And Steven wound up rolling on the floor with laughter.

"Yes!" he said. "I wish I'd thought of that! Keep doing it that way!"

I shall contact Stan Boreson right away and get a copy of the CD.

Again, many, many thanks, Maggie!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Mar 12 - 03:38 PM

No mention of F in josepp's chart, which goes

C       D       Eb       E       G       Bb

seeems pretty random to me.

What is that supposed to mean - how am I going to use it?

I'm sure you guys know what you're talking about

I tend to think - if you're hopeful of creating something as important as Sweet Georgia brown - which has fired the imgination and drawn a creative response from so many musicians - there are more obvious starting points.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Mar 12 - 06:20 PM

Actually, Big Al, that looks to me like a Cm scale.

That would be the relative minor of the Eb major scale, which, on the guitar, I don't use a helluva lot. At least not without whippin' out the handy-dandy capo.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Mar 12 - 06:23 PM

Actually needs an Ab in there to complete it.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Mar 12 - 09:30 PM

If you want the C minor scale

Start from C

then progress until you've got

Everything about it is appealing

from theres no business like show business!

Play the same notes slow and you've got RyCooders solo in He'll have to go and the solo from Sultans of swing.

songs - I understand - circle of fifths remains a mystery.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: NightWing
Date: 30 Mar 12 - 03:04 AM

Big Al:

Here's how to use the Circle of 5ths:

You are used to playing three-chord "Song X" in G (G, C, D). You're at a jam session and someone across the way says "Song X ... in B". Two seconds to join in or not: what will the chords be? Glance at a Circle of 5ths chart, or "look" at the chart in your head: B, E, F#. And you're off.

If you already know this, then you already know 90% of what the Circle has to teach you. Looking at the design and thinking about it can give you a deeper understanding of why some things work and others don't. But it's not necessary.

But it's just a tool. If you've already got the bolt tightened, you don't need a wrench ... except that there might be another bolt.

Josepp:

Ignore the interruptions. Just finish what you intend to say about the Circle and don't respond to the asides ... and the other pedants. *G*

BB,
NightWing


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Chord Chucker
Date: 30 Mar 12 - 02:39 PM

s&r brought up a most important point about the circle--the chords are sevenths, and as each chord is both the tonic chord in it's own key, and the dominant in the key of the subsequent chord. (G7 resolves to C7 which resolves to F7 which resolves to Bb7 and on around the circle), so they lead into each other, infinitely.

This is the circular part: each dominant chord resolves to a dominant chord, which, because it is unresolved, resolves to the next--as long as you want to go around.

If you want to see how it works, all you have to do is play thru -- C7-F7-Bb7-Eb7-Ab7-Db7-F#7(Gb7)-B7-E7-A7-G7-and C7 around again.

The difference between this and a ladder is that when you get to the top of the ladder, you've got to fall eleven steps to get the first one--


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Don Firth
Date: 30 Mar 12 - 04:39 PM

It's that sickening THUD that makes me tend to prefer the circle.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 30 Mar 12 - 08:11 PM

It's Really Pretty Simple

John


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 12:51 AM

Don Firth: "Exactly!!
Major news bulletin! GfS and I are in complete agreement on something!!"

..Well, because it's music. I told you that you should stick to it. music unites.....politics divides!

You have heard my pieces, I believe?..Simple in structure, but more thought out, and worked in arrangement.

Hey, guess what ol' Don...Regards!

GfS


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 12:52 AM

Don Firth: "Exactly!!
Major news bulletin! GfS and I are in complete agreement on something!!"

I'm going to save it, print it...and frame it on the wall!

..just HAD to include that!!!...(wink)

GfS


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 01:12 PM

////No mention of F in josepp's chart, which goes

C       D       Eb       E       G       Bb////

First, sorry, Al, for the bad condition of the chart. The Mudcat software scattered it up and wouldn't prints parts of it and so it just looks like shit and so I understand your confusion and I am sorry for that. It's damned near impossible to use without the headers of the chart which wouldn't print off correctly so I had to eliminate them.

C is the root, D is the 2nd (passing note), Eb is the minor 3rd, E is the major 3rd, G is the 5th and Bd is the 7th. Now you wouldn't play all these at once. The passing note is only play with the minor 3rd chord (which would be C Eb G, in this case). And these relationships are true of each row--root, passing note, minor 3rd, major 3rd, 5th and 7th.

This chart enables you to construct majors, minors and 7ths and to use the passing note with the minors if you are inclined to do that (which depends on whether it embellishes the piece or not). It sounds a little off from the other notes and the circle of 5ths shows us why--the other notes are next to each other on the circle but the passing note skips a spot. Why use it? It introduces a nice effect in the right context. Jazz bassists use it all the time. I imagine (but am guessing) that the more musically astute folkies use it at times as well. I suppose Will Fly or Don Firth can answer that. I can't.

There's no F in the sequence because F isn't part of the C major, minor or 7th chords. Now this chart is not dependent on the circle of 5ths. Really, you don't need to know what the circle of 5ths is to use that chart BUT the circle of 5ths shows you WHY that chart works.

Any note on the circle can be the root or I. The note directly to the counterclockwise is always the IV or that root. The note directly to the clockwise of the root is always the V. Then it alternates every other note to the vi and vii (lower case because they will always form minor chords which I, IV and V will always form major chords). That's why I told you to copy that one link that shows those relationships on the circle because that particular scheme is very useful. It's not mine but kudos to whoever came up with it.

When I first learned the chord layout of D G C F Bb Eb Ab Db F# B E A Eb Ab C# F# B E A D G C F Bb, I had no trouble memorizing it because I already knew my circle of 5ths and this layout basically follows it in reverse (technically making it a circle of 4ths). Look at the beauty of it: two consectuive notes in the sequence are the ii and V of the scale of the note to the right of those two--DGC GCF CFBb FBbEb and so on. And that's how it's laid out on the circle. ii-V is important to know because it is so musical that you can redo almost any song in this format to make it sound bluesy-jazzy-sexy. Whenever you hear someone cover a song in a way that makes you wonder, "How'd he come up with that sound?" That's how. He used the circle of 5ths. It is the secret to making music sound musical.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Chord Chucker
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 11:34 PM

With no offense to anyone intended, I feel that I should point out that even for someone with intimate familiarity with the circle of 5ths, it is hard to make sense out of most of the discussion here.

For anyone that doesn't understand the circle, and would like to, I advise that you simple Google it, and skim the various results until you find one that is easy for you to understand.

As to this thread, I can only offer Dante's famous admonition "Abandon hope all ye who enter here."

(And I am waiting for Jack Campin to suggest that the circles of Hell are better represented as ladder)


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Don Firth
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 11:45 PM

Now THAT's FUNNY!!

Also, good advice. The Circle of Fifths is a useful concept. Ignore the heap of goatfeathers on this thread, which is making it sound far more complicated that it really is. Just Goodle it, look at an illustrations of it, and you can dope it out.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 01 Apr 12 - 12:24 AM

Hey....(cough cough).....(shifting of weight from side to side)...ummm...(clears throat)....I just wanted to say......Oh, do I have to??.......Ahem..........Jeez, this is harder than I thought....(Closes eyes, holds breath.........blurts out)...Don Firth is right about this one!.....(gasp)...OK, I said it!


Regards!

GfS


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Apr 12 - 05:00 AM

I appreciate your efforts josepp. I'll print it off and read it again.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 01 Apr 12 - 06:56 AM

Jeez Al...You do keep some erudite company..
Egotistical
rude
underemployed
dismal
irritable
Trite
ever so tedious.

I don't know about Josepp,who did seem to be making an effort to let those of us with no degree in music, or without years of practical gigging experience,take some small steps along the path to enlightenment.
But some of the other contributors just seemed to get a little jealous that someone had taken the time to make that effort..
so getting back to the subject is there anyone who hasn't yet posted their full academic qualifications or dropped in the right number of obscure book titles to prove they are important too?
Oh sorry no it wasn't about that was it?

ps anyone else reading this thread...folk music is great if you are playing it or listening to it ...the god awful tedium only comes when folks start waving their willies about it ..


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 01 Apr 12 - 08:31 AM

///And I am waiting for Jack Campin to suggest that the circles of Hell are better represented as ladder///

I'm waiting for him to say that in geometry a line is superior to a circle and that pi is just a lot of overrated bunk and that things were much better before the Greeks started investigating it.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 01 Apr 12 - 08:55 AM

/////josepp: "////When it comes to folk music, most American folk music has British Island roots..."

There might be a few Celts who would take issue with that!!!
..and if you don't know about the 'Why's' and 'wheres' and 'who's'...you'll have to research it...'cuz I'm not getting into it!

GfS //////

GfS, I didn't say that. You attributed someone else's statement to me and I am not in agreement with that statement.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Don Firth
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 01:14 AM

I think somone has snapped. . . .


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 02:15 AM

...no, it was just the mirror.

GfS


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 04:00 AM

/////josepp: "////When it comes to folk music, most American folk music has British Island roots..."

There might be a few Celts who would take issue with that!!!


The Celts are British Islanders too; it's the way it works over here in terms of the various contrivances of disparate national / regional identity and the historical provenance thereof. One would, in any case, have thought the most objection to the statement that most American folk music has British Island roots would come from the Africans.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 04:43 AM

Yes...and maybe the Brits consider the Celts as Brits...but a whole lot of the Irish may not agree with you!
So, I guess we're back to square one.

GfS


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 07:09 AM

It's more complex than that really. Irishness is only one small part of Britain's multi-cultural & multi-ethnic make-up. It doesn't end in Ireland either, as it permeates British culture, and not just on the western coast of England (Lancashire) where it is admittedly prevelant and cherished, but by no means exclusively so. I myself have East Coast Tyneside Irish roots, but my only glimpse of the Emerald Isle was caught on a childhood holiday to the Isle of Man. Celtic culture on the British mainland is informed by Scotland, Wales and Cornwall but to what extent it exists above the romantic mists and nominal bi-lingual road-signs that mark the borders is difficult to say really. Experience tells me things are more solidly Celtic in Wales, but that doesn't mean the kids are playing crwths and pibgorns, which are, in any case, pretty recent reinventions. Even as recently as 20 years ago punters would ask me what that funny instrument was that I was playing; these days they're likely to tell you: ah! a crwth! (though Folkies still persist that anything played with a bow that isn't a fiddle must be a bowed psaltery, bless 'em!)

In the end it's all down to how people think of themselves as individuals rather than in terms of culture, folk-spurious or otherwise. I think it was Hamish Henderson who pointed out that before one can be truly National, one must first be International. I'd say that applies to being British too - before I can celebrate my Irish / Scottish / Northumbrian / Saxon heritage, I must first acknowledge that I share my soil with a multiplicity of ethnicities and cultures; that Britishness is also Asian, Chinese, Carribean, Jewish, Roma, Polish etc. There are no absolutes, just individuals, which maybe accounts for the sort of pedantry one finds in Nationalists, Folkies and Pagans, who are invariably people inclined to cultural correctness, fearful of the more feral & fluid nature of Actual British Culture both high and low which really couldn't care about identity above and beyond the normalcy of everyday life. In real terms, there is little room for The Celtic Twilight save dressing up as a Leprichaun on Saint Patrick's day and getting bladdered on Beamish stout in an Irish theme pub in Manchester whilst bawling along to Danny Boy.

All my Scottish friends live in England; the only friends I have in Scotland are English. Go figure!


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 08:08 AM

[Sweet Georgia Brown]

And, whether, you like it or not, it is a cyclical progression - and a circular diagram explains how it works very easily.

It doesn't go round the circle. Stays within one-third of it, going back and forth. It isn't "cyclical" in any sense except that you can repeat it.

For all the grand claims about enlightening the circle diagram is, you'd think someone other than me would have come up with even one example of something the circularity actually clarifies? All I see it doing is muddling people up with irrelevancies.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Snuffy
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 08:16 AM

The British Isles take their name from the Ancient Britons, celtic tribes who conquered the islands about 2500 year ago

Scots, Irish and Welsh inhabit the "British" Isles in the same way that Mexicans, Brazilians, Paraguayans, etc inhabit the continent of "America" even though the much more powerful Anglo-Saxon neighbours of both groups tend to treat the area and the name as their own.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 10:17 AM

Good post, Suibhne Astray, but you left out the part about 'up North, as to compared to 'Free State'. All I was saying, was there were some Celts who would 'beg to differ' that they are Brits. Right??

GfS


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Chord Chucker
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 02:29 PM

"It doesn't go round the circle. Stays within one-third of it, going back and forth. "

So you acknowledge that the circle exists, Jack--


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Don Firth
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 03:02 PM

Regarding the Circle of Fifths:

I see that everyone has completely missed the point.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 04:19 PM

Maybe because they think that the circle of 'fifths' is just another round of Jack Daniels!

GfS

P.S. When Don and I, of all people, so polarized (sometimes), agree(for once), and most all of the other Mudcatters miss the point...there is only one conclusion.....we must be talking about music.....(God forbid).
Hey Don, Do you think that they should pay more attention to politics, or music, to get this one??? (Regards).


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Chord Chucker
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 05:22 PM

I am wondering if there actually was a point.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Don Firth
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 06:16 PM

Well, yes there was, Chord Chucker, but at this point, I'm afraid that attempting to clarify it would merely add to the confusion, especially when there are so many experts (you know what an "expert" is: it comes from two Latin words, "ex," which means "has-been" and "spurt," which is a little drip under pressure) around here who insist on displaying their lofty knowledge by trying to load it down with all kinds of totally irrelevant bells and whistles.

Although there is a great deal of information about music that can be gained by examining the Circle of Fifths, it is essentially a tool for beginners, by which they have an easy visual idea of what chords go with which keys.

It has NOTHING to do with pure intonation, even temperament, or the esoteric modes used in the chanting of Tibetan monks.

Sometime when I have time and feel inclined, I may attempt to give a very straightforward and simple explanation of how a beginner can make good use of the information to be found on a Circle of Fifthes.

Which, of course, will be immediately buried under totally irrelevant Rococo curves, whorls, curlycues, gold plating, and mother-of-pearl inlay by hungry egos desperately yearning for recognition.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Chord Chucker
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 10:32 PM

At peril of causing more confusion, I will say that, though I studied music theory in music school, the circle of fifths didn't make practical sense until I was hired to play casuals(basically a pick-up band that played standards for parties and such things).

The leader/guitarist/singer who hired me(a wise, kind, and patient man, unlike the others in the band) quickly explained a few things.

First, that the old standards, (unlike the folk and rock music that I usually played), nearly always moved thru the circle of 4ths. Second, that the strings on the guitar(and electric bass, which is what I usually played) were a 4th apart. Third, and most important,that if he told me what key we were in and how far out in the circle the progression went, I could start on the key note, jump up the neck and walk back down.

He also told me to never drop the rhythm, even if I was lost, and he taught me a trick for deadening a bad note so you could feel the beat without hearing a mistake(still use that a lot).

Did it for several years--many of my jazz, rock, and folk music friends were highly disdainful, but I worked regularly, and got paid, which is special in it's own way:-)


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 12:49 AM

In a rather related, practical application, especially when playing live, and jamming, or in a studio...you might get one of the players who calls out, "go to the 4th"....or the fifth...the second..etc, etc, and you, who may be just sitting in, will know EXACTLY where to go, and know what is related, and so where to go to, or your options....but I'm not sure that people who's musical catalog doesn't go much beyond 'Kumbayah' or Neil Young would care to understand. They probably are not that much interested in music, anyway!

I believe Don would agree.

Regards to All Those Players Who Really Give a Crap About What It Is!

GfS

P.S. Maybe someday when they want to FEEL accomplished, they might even learn the secret chord progression of Carlos Santana....HINT: It's usually TWO chords!


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 02:03 AM

LOL-GfS! We beat the Carlos Santana secret chord progression to death. Though we often played without a drummer, at *every* gig, the singer would pull out a guiro, and we'd eat up 7-10 minutes, pounding out those two chords while people danced. It was easy, but sounded very cool, and we always got compliments.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Chord Chucker
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 02:04 AM

That was me.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 03:58 AM

Ah! nice to hear from a player who KNOWS!!
BTW, Frank Zappa had a piece called 'The Secret Chord Progression of Carlos Santana', as well!...If you WATCH Carlos play one of those long pieces, then you already know how much of it is bullshit!...I mean he's got his tricks...but hell, ANYONE with that percussion section could just about play anything, and it would sound hot!
If you've ever watched his performance at Woodstock, (after he dropped a hit of acid), he picks up after the drum solo by Michael Shrieve (which he carried the piece), Carlos starts his guitar 'solo'(?)...in the wrong key!! Plain as day....BUT, his finger PATTERN was right..just in the wrong position(fret). You might amuse yourself with that, if you watch the footage!

Back to Zappa...he smoked that one!!..though I preferred his 'City of Tiny lights' and 'Yo Mama', from the 'Sheik Yerbouti' album. My brother, a drummer and in the 'Rock and Roll Hall of Fame' had jammed with Frank, back in the '70's &'80's....Jeez, I'm straying from the thread..but being as you took notice, of what I posted, I thought I'd share that tidbit with ya'!

HEY!!....Super Regards To You!...and for goodness sakes..KEEP PLAYING!!!

GfS


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 04:50 AM

So I'm playing in the key of C - the tune spins wildly out of my comprehension - someone shouts 'go for the fourth' (and presumably they don't want me to jump off the Forth Bridge) what do I do?


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 05:28 AM

I suppose I could plead the fifth....


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 05:32 AM

Well, being as you jest...try this: "C, don't B flat, B sharp, but B natural"

GfS


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Will Fly
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 07:40 AM

Hit an F chord, Al - and hope...


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 09:37 AM

Thanks Will

so which one of the five is the subdominant - the fourth?
C to F

So what is steps two and three, and five. Then perhaps I'll have the picture?


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 12:09 PM

Al, the fourth is ALWAYS directly to the left of the root note on the circle. In the key of C, you shift to F. F is the subdominant. The dominant is always the fifth which would be G in the key of C.

The notes in a scale are designated:

1. Tonic
2. Supertonic
3. Mediant
4. Subdominant
5. Dominant
6. Submediant
7. Subtonic or Leading tone

These designations are not all that important to know. What's important is to know the musical distance each note is from the tonic or root because that makes all the difference. In adominant 7th scale, for example, the 7th is flatted. That doesn't mean the 7th has to have a flat sign in front of it; it means that the 7th is 10 half-steps away from the tonic instead of 11 as it would be in the major scale. The difference sounds insignificant but it is huge. Songs in dominant 7th sound dark, sinister, mean. Song in major 7th sound sugary, sweet, light.

The secret to writing bubblegum rock songs was to make them major 7th so that they sounded sweet and non-threatening. True rock sounds are generally in dominant 7th or in minor scales (flatted 3rd and 7th) and so have that "heavy" sound.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 01:33 PM

Okay - so which of those five have you chosen for your circle of fifths, and why are they significant?

I'm beginning to sound like that guy in City Slickers that couldn't understand how you could video one programme while you're watching another


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 01:47 PM

Mixolydian?

Stu


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 02:07 PM

Sorry!

I just re-read

C is the root, D is the 2nd (passing note), Eb is the minor 3rd, E is the major 3rd, G is the 5th and Bd is the 7th. Now you wouldn't play all these at once. The passing note is only play with the minor 3rd chord (which would be C Eb G, in this case). And these relationships are true of each row--root, passing note, minor 3rd, major 3rd, 5th and 7th.

I'll try that and report back.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Chord Chucker
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 02:12 PM


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 03:02 PM

"The secret to writing bubblegum rock songs was to make them major 7th so that they sounded sweet and non-threatening."

It depends, josepp, on what you mean by "Bubblegum Rock", but "Classic Bubblegum" of the Ohio Express/1910 Fruitgum Company variety used straight major and minor chords and *avoided* major 7ths. The "SECRET" of Bubblegum music was the pulsating bass-all eighth notes, on the chord fundamental, while a cheesy Farfisa organ played something like "Bah Bah Bubah-Bah Bah Bubah" and the guitar avoided leads of any kind.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Chord Chucker
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 03:17 PM

That, again, was me.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 03:54 PM

Chord Chucker's posts do point out some real uses for the circle idea, unlike pretty much everything else in this thread.

Here's another one - not an actual circle, but topologically it's the same, and unlike "Sweet Georgia Brown", it's not something that fits a ladder.

Animated analysis of Giant Steps

Very clever. It does show you what's going on. But how many of us here actually need to understand that for the music we deal with?


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Chord Chucker
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 08:01 PM

You're a great googler, Jack.

Actually, though, "Giant Steps" uses the circle fifths, as well as the "Carlos Santana secret chord progression, and another composer trick, used in SBrown, which you can call "Jump to the 5th", simply stated, is:

to change key, jump to the 5th in the new key you want to move to(this can be *any* chord, as long as it is dominant 7th).

To clarify:

If you are in C and want to be in D, jump from C to A7, (which is the 5th, or dominant 7th chord in the key of D), then resolve to the D chord, and there you are!



If you are in C and want to be in Eb for some reason, you just jump to Bb7 and resolve.

If you are Ben Bernie and Maceo Pinkard, and want to write a catchy song that doesn't just bounce around in the key of G, you jump out to E7, which is the dominant in the key of A, resolve to A7, which is the dominant in the key of D, resolve to D7, which is the dominant in the key of G, and then you've moved in through the circle of 4ths, back to your home key.

Now, a few words on the "Carlos Santana Secret Chord Progression". Instead of moving from, say, D7 to G7, then to C, you play Dm7 to G7. The "Santana" part is that you just repeat it over and over and never go to the C at all.

The "secret" is that any time you've got, say, one measure that is four counts of G7, you can play /Dm7 G7/. Josepp mentioned this above, and called the "Carlos Santana SCP" something like a "Two-Five" progression. If you're still here, Big Al, we'll give you three guesses as to why that is;)

Anyway, John Coltrane didn't want to play "Sweet Georgia Brown" all his life, so he developed a related, but new chord progression:

Giant Steps

||:B D7/G Bb7/Eb Eb/ A-7 D7/

G Bb7/ Eb F#7/ B B/ F-7 Bb7/

Eb Eb/ A-7 D7/ G G/ C#-7 F#7/

B B/ F-7 Bb7/ Eb Eb/ C#-7 F#7:||

Frightening to look at, until you realize that

he is really just jumping around and changing keys.


He starts on a B, then jumps to the D7, which is the fifth(dominant) in the key of G, and resolves to G.

Then he jumps to Bb which is the 5th (dominant) in Eb, and resolves to Eb.

Then he jumps to F#7, 5th(dominant) in B, and resolves to B.

Then, to add some color, he does a "Carlos", jumping to F-7 and Bb7 instead of just Bb7, and resolves to Eb.

Do I need to explain the A-7 and D7 that resolve to G? I WON'T! This is already way too long of a post!

As to whether we need to know this for the music we deal with, I know for a fact that GfS, Big Al Whittle, and josepp, and, to a degree,Don, all play music that uses these ideas.

For most of us, though trad/folk music is important, it's not the only music we hear or play.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 08:24 PM

The thing is - if you play acoustic guitar - the main thing is to keep as many strings open as possible. If yo play electric guitar - its all about how the note sustains - so it wouldn't matter, play barre chords. Acoustic playing is about how the note dies.

So I'd probably approach that sequence capo-ing two frets = playing the B chord as a A shape. Either that or I'd listen to piece and try and work out an open tuning


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 08:38 PM

////It depends, josepp, on what you mean by "Bubblegum Rock", but "Classic Bubblegum" of the Ohio Express/1910 Fruitgum Company variety used straight major and minor chords and *avoided* major 7ths. The "SECRET" of Bubblegum music was the pulsating bass-all eighth notes, on the chord fundamental, while a cheesy Farfisa organ played something like "Bah Bah Bubah-Bah Bah Bubah" and the guitar avoided leads of any kind./////

My statement is a total stereotype meant to give the reader the idea of how a flatted 7th differs from a major 7th. Like any other genre, no one statement can cover all of bubblegm and be right all the time. And your statement is proof. There is no farfisa in "Sugar Sugar" that I can remember. It used a vibraphone. There was no keyboard at all in "Yummy Yummy Yummy" and no particular straight-8 beat that I recall. "Green Tambourine" also does not follow your formula nor does "Finders Keepers" or "Captain Groovy and His Bubblegum Army" (which has a manic rock guitar lead at the end).

/////He starts on a B, then jumps to the D7, which is the fifth(dominant) in the key of G, and resolves to G.

Then he jumps to Bb which is the 5th (dominant) in Eb, and resolves to Eb.////

5ths love to resolve. In jazz, we are taught to virtually always go to the 5th before resolving. I can't imagine it wouldn't be true in other genres of music popular in the US. And it is very musical sounding.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 10:39 PM

Those of us who were playing pop/top 40 stuff back in them days(and who dare to admit it) remember that for a number of years, the organ was a standard fixture in most club bands, and in much, if not most recorded stuff.

Listen again to "Sugar, Sugar" The vibes are doubling that lick with the organ, which is also all over the bottom. And listen to "Yummy, Yummy, Yummy" again, it doesn't stand out, though it is more obvious in the last verse. As the young folks say, "It's in the mix."

And check the picture of the band. Their organ player was one of the most famous cartoon characters of all time:-)
The Archies

And hey, I am not trying to be a jerk about this stuff--it's music that I listened to and played long ago, and I am just trying to share what I know about it, for what it's worth :-)


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Chord Chucker
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 10:52 PM

That was me, again.

And yes, I know "Yummy,Yummy.." was not the Archies. As to the lewd, pulsating eighth notes, they are more implied in the Archies stuff, which was Don Kirshner/LA studio music, and more explicit in Buddah Records stuff(the authentic bubble gum music:-)


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 12:41 AM

Chord Chucker: "As to whether we need to know this for the music we deal with, I know for a fact that GfS, Big Al Whittle, and josepp, and, to a degree,Don, all play music......"

Now this is considerably different, than what you may expect...

For Chord Chucker, if you haven't heard these....there are 4, all have the same picture,...I've posted them on here, before, but I think you are newer.

The first one is 29:26 minutes long but......

Give me you feedback.

Regards,

GfS


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Will Fly
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 04:13 AM

Ok, Al - one more time - and still on "Sweet Georgia Brown...

This diagram: Sweet Georgia Brown sequence - key of C shows how Sweet Georgia Brown, in the key of C, starts on the C chord, drops down to the A chord, and works its way back to the C chord through D and G. That part (arc) of the circle is shown in yellow.

This diagram: Sweet Georgia Brown sequence - key of F shows the same arc shifted around the circle so that the tune starts in F, drops down to D, and then works back through G and C to F.

This diagram: Sweet Georgia Brown sequence - key of Eb shows the same arc/sequence with the tune pitched in Eb. It starts in Eb, drops down to C, then works its way back to Eb via F and Bb.

You can see the same relationship for the tune in all three keys - which is what makes the circle such a useful tool for both understanding common chord sequences and for transposition.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 12:24 PM

////Listen again to "Sugar, Sugar" The vibes are doubling that lick with the organ, which is also all over the bottom.////

That's a Rhodes. If an organ was doubled with the vibes, it's a Hammond B-3 (almost a Jon Lord sound) and not a Farfisa but I think it's a Rhodes playing extra heavy on the bass notes.

///And listen to "Yummy, Yummy, Yummy" again, it doesn't stand out, though it is more obvious in the last verse. As the young folks say, "It's in the mix."////

Don't hear it.

////And check the picture of the band. Their organ player was one of the most famous cartoon characters of all time:-)
The Archies////

Yeah, well, there was no vibes player in the cartoon band but there certainly is in the studio recording. How much stock can you put in that?

////And hey, I am not trying to be a jerk about this stuff--it's music that I listened to and played long ago, and I am just trying to share what I know about it, for what it's worth :-)////

I appreciate it but, as a said, I was making a stereotypical comparison. I could have said Christmas songs or children's songs and it still would have been stereotypical because they're not all major 7ths either.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Chord Chucker
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 12:38 PM

GfS--I listened to your stuff last night, but it was pushing 4am when I finished, and I was to sleepy to post. However, I thought it was wonderful stuff.

I liked the Planetarium piece best by a little bit, perhaps because it had been polished for public use, and I was not as focussed on the 29 min piece as I could have been, because halfway thru, I realized that I needed to make a bank deposit and do some related juggle before morning, or my rent payment would be in peril;-)

Anyway, I love the way the tone center moves in your work. The motion is full and profound, and the architecture is clean and big enough to hold a long piece together (too many times long pieces are just bits strung together with no real form).

I also love the pulse, which, though powerful and driving, also ebbs and flows, leaving quiet and contemplative places without breaking up the overall flow.

Finally, you weave a surprising number of diverse themes and ideas, and somehow keep the same, seamless sense of forward movement.

Well done, and I look forward to hearing more!


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Stringsinger
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 12:54 PM

"Giant Steps" derived from the bridge of "Have You Met Miss Jones". It's very Wagnerian
in that the tonal center changes continuously. It really has little utility for folk music.
Coltrane is a musical genius who has innovated a new kind of contemporary jazz.

The circle of fifths should be thought of as the circle of fourths, rewritten so instead of progressing by fifths, it should progress clockwise by fourths: ex. C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, etc.

This is more useful in its application to harmonies in jazz. For example: "Sweet Georgia Brown" in the key of F starts with a D7, then progresses a fourth away to G7, another fourth to C7, then to the tonic chord of F which moves to an A7, and proceeds a fourth to D7,
G7, C7 etc.

In jazz this is called back-cycling.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Chord Chucker
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 02:55 PM

"It really has little utility for folk music."

I would be the first to agree with you on that point, Frank--except that my own life experience seems to be leading me in a different direction:-)

As luck would have it, lately a friend has been inviting me to drop in on what seems to be a sort of bluegrass jam with mostly guitars and mandolins--they solo around the circle for every tune, and, owing to a certain uniformity from one tune to the next, I run out of ideas pretty quickly.

Strange as it may seem, I've been listening to listening to Coltrane lately, not to "borrow" so much as to see how he thinks about things, with the general object being to finding ways to express thoughts of my own.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 05 Apr 12 - 12:41 AM

GUEST,Chord Chucker:"It really has little utility for folk music..."
I would be the first to agree with you on that point, Frank--except that my own life experience seems to be leading me in a different direction:-)

Ah, but there is a glitch in all that!

One of the reasons I wanted you to check out those links, is that folk music, though extremely simple in structure, can be transferred to other forms of music, and vice-verse.

You posted: "The motion is full and profound, and the architecture is clean and big enough to hold a long piece together (too many times long pieces are just bits strung together with no real form)."

YES, I fully agree with you that long pieces tend either to 'wander' or spend too long in 'developing'...and when composing the piece, I was all too aware of NOT allowing that to happen, but to TELL THE STORY! To do this, you might notice that the piece is actually several 'movements', as 'vignettes', and to facilitate the key changes, we play off the 'circle of 5th's going up to the '5', working it in that key, and then coming back down....and it is so subtle, you don't even notice it...other than, well maybe, on second thought, maybe you don't notice it, at all.
All of the 'vignettes' have either Celtic or folk roots...but without sounding 'folkie', Celtic, or 'New Age-y'.

Also, myself, being a left handed guitar player, find some distinct advantages, when using the keyboard. My left hand, on the bass octaves, is also my finger-picking hand on the guitar, and my right hand is my fretting lead hand, on guitar, and happens to be the lead melodic hand, on the piano! As a result, my upper notes, on the keyboards, can blaze at light-speed, while the bottom has a 'round' movement, as in finger-picking....but in this case, instead of guitar, or piano voices, I'm using string section voices, so certain notes remain depresses, while the other fingers keep the movement rolling, as in finger-picking on the guitar.
I just put all that, because YOU seem more into the structure, and the nuances of music, than a lot of the regular folkies who are still working at getting their campfire strumming of 'Kumbayah' down!...and really stretch when they got their Neil Young/Santana upgrades!!!
(I have to stop myself from grinning on that one).
When you find the time, you might want to take another listen, and you'll note what I'm saying.

The other piece, 'Seascape', unlike 'the long one', was recorded in a studio, using three tracks on a Roland Juno 60, which is a lovely instrument, BUT you can only depress 6 notes at one time before one will cut out, as you hit the 7th!...THAT is a trick to pull off, but we got it!!!

Hey man, it's been a REAL pleasure to bump into you on here!!!
Stay in touch!!!

Warmest Regards!!!!

GfS


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: reggie miles
Date: 05 Apr 12 - 04:16 AM

My mind must be near to the consistency of stone because I got lost way back in the first post of this thread. I've not read every post in this thread but even some of the later posts were beyond my comprehension. I do have a basic grasp of how a circle of fifths is played on my open G tuned guitar. I even play a number of songs that make use of that chordal relationship. However, the diagrams depicted weren't very helpful for me until I picked up my guitar and compared what was described in the pictures to what I was playing on my guitar. Then, I began to understand what some of the hen scratchins were about.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 05 Apr 12 - 10:30 PM

Ornette Coleman links musical phrases together in every possible way in the space of a piece. He might play in C for a bit really hugging as the tonic but then suddenly he starts playing C as the 3rd of Ab. Then he'll switch to C as the 5th of F. Then he might play a type of line that only Ornette uses--I've never heard anyone else do it unless they were disciples of his--but he plays a line that has no meaning, no key, no center, no message. Its only purpose is to make the listener (and the fellow musicians) forget what he just played so you can't get too settled in. Since he left off on in the key of F and the way it related to C as the 5th, now he'll start toying around with F and finding all kinds of different ways to relate it to every note in existence and even with notes that don't exist but which Ornette plays nonetheless.

But you never know how he's going to relate, what tonal center he might jump to or when he's going to erase it all and start with something else that you also can't predict. It's a new way of writing, playing and of listening to music.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 06 Apr 12 - 04:24 PM

Ok, still toying around with ii-V7, I'll show you how to walk a bass for "Satin Doll". I've heard this song down in every possible key so it doesn't matter which key I do this in. If you want to do it in another key, use your circle of 5ths to figure out the appropriate chords.

The basic melody is the part where Eckstine sings:

"Cigarette-holder, which wigs me
Over her shoulder, she digs me
Out cattin', that satin doll"

Actually, the original melody by Ellington was an instrumental. Johnny Mercer added the words later. Of the vocal versions, I don't think anyone can match Eckstine.

So, anyway, the first bar on the bass is in 4/4 time as DD/GG repeated twice making two bars and there's your first line.

The second line is EE/AA repeated twice in two bars.

The third line is D (in one bar)/ Db (in one bar) and that ends the first verse and there's a kind of turnaround that goes:

CC/BB (one bar), BbBb/AA (one bar). Try it on a bass, if you have one. You can try it on a regular guitar on the bass strings--doesn't matter.

But that's just one root note per beat, you say. How do we walk it? Chords!

Now that you have the hang of the root notes, let's fill it out. Since this song is ii-V7, that means the ii is a minor chord and V is a major chord. Do the first bar as a D minor chord: D-F-A-D. And the second bar as G-B-D-G. Third bar--E-G-B-E. Fourth bar--A-C#-E-A.

Now at the turnaround, you can play C-G-B-F#-Bb-F-A-E--one note per beat. Since you're playing two chords per bar, you have to shorten them by playing root-5th as above BUT you could choose root-3rd:

C-E-B-D#-Bb-D-A-C#

OR you can play straight root notes OR ANY combination thereof including 7ths. Here's one I do:

C-E-B-F#-Bb-Ab-A-C#. Notice the 7th of Bb instead of the 3rd or 5th. You play that on the G-string and then hit the A-string open and then play C# on the A-string. The 7th sounds out of tune with the rest of it but the A to C# straightens it back out very nicely and it's a cool effect. Hey, what do you know--you're walkin' it!

7ths also work very well at turnarounds. Play in major and minor triads and then hit a 7th as you go into a turnaround and see what a nice little variation that throws into your walk. It works especially nice if you have a fretless bass instrument and slide that 7th down to whatever note it resolves to for the turnaround.

Play around with it. That's the secret to walking the bass--knowing your chords. Now there's more to the song than I showed here but just play around with what I showed you and you might be able to work out the rest on your own.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Chord Chucker
Date: 07 Apr 12 - 03:29 AM

Time to pack it up, josepp--the bar's closed. Next week, I wanna hear "Caravan", with a drum sola:-)


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 07 Apr 12 - 08:09 AM

//////Now that you have the hang of the root notes, let's fill it out. Since this song is ii-V7, that means the ii is a minor chord and V is a major chord. Do the first bar as a D minor chord: D-F-A-D. And the second bar as G-B-D-G. Third bar--E-G-B-E. Fourth bar--A-C#-E-A.//////

I forgot to add that after this you would play D-F#-A-D for one bar then Db-F-Ab-Db for one bar and THEN go into the turnaround.

Another thing that adds some pizzazz to the mix is to invert chords. So if you're working your way higher and higher, you don't want to go too high or it sounds ridiculous, so you invert a chord to get it back down into the low registers. So you'd hit the root up high, drop down to an octave lower for the 3rd and 5th and then hit the root again only an octave lower. This would work well with starting E minor at E2 then inverting the chord so that you can play the A major starting at A1. But it's up to you how you want to do it. Again, it takes practice to get used to it but it comes pretty intuitively once you understand why you're doing it.

The point is when you hear a guy walking, he's not just guessing intuitively what note to play next; he's mapping it out in his head just before he plays it--note by note. So when you hear him cycle back through a part a second time and it was different than the first time and you wonder how he did that, all he did was vary between root-5th, root-3rd, root-7th or root-root. Or maybe he played a full 7th chord but inverted it. IOW, he knew what notes were available to him and chose which ones to use and consciously chose different ones than he played the first time. But he wasn't just guessing. It takes experimenting though because certain combinations don't sound that good and you learn to avoid those. But that is basically how it is done.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 07 Apr 12 - 01:07 PM

Isn't the eleventh commandment
"Thou shalt not beat a dead horse"?


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 07 Apr 12 - 03:05 PM

Dick Greenhaus: "Isn't the eleventh commandment
"Thou halt not beat a dead horse"?"

Oh, I thought people beat a dead horse, because they already flogged their dolphin to death, and it was time to move onto bigger things.

GfS

P.S. Hey, Chorh Chucker, Did you ever check out what I was telling you?


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 07 Apr 12 - 03:14 PM

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Don Firth
Date: 07 Apr 12 - 03:16 PM

Carl Sandburg says the Eleventh Commandment is:

Thou shalt not commit nincompoopery.

Don Firth

P. S I believe Sandburg said, "The Eleventh Comnandment includes all of the previous ten."


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 07 Apr 12 - 03:50 PM

I must be seeing things. There was a weird post from somebody in Philippines that has seemingly vanished. Did anyone see it? Looks like I picked the wrong week to give up meth.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Apr 12 - 05:28 PM

This seems to be doing the same sort of thing as josepp's diagrams, only better...

Dmitri Tymoczko: Chord Geometries

... but with no greater relevance to any music I am likely to play.


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Chord Chucker
Date: 07 Apr 12 - 05:59 PM

GfS--I did listen, a couple more times, in fact, and began to hear what you mentioned. I tend to listen to stuff that interests me repeatedly, because the more familiar you are with something, the better you understand it.

I liked to practice this way, too, which made certain people dislike me intensely. A singer once told me we should stop rehearsing a tune because she was bored with it. I said when you were bored with a tune it meant that you knew the notes but hadn't found anything that interested you in it yet, and so you needed to keep working with it.

Anyway, I enjoy your work, and your stimulating conversation. Hope to hear more...


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 08 Apr 12 - 02:25 AM

Chord Chucker, Cool..Now, (or shortly) I'm going to post some other stuff I (we, in some cases), that is COMPLETELY different from what you've heard...some LIVE hot jazz, some movie soundtrack stuff with vocals that will make your knees buckle!
..but for some reason, I just love the stuff you've been listening to, too..though, 'Bittersuite:Joy' has a version with real Timpani's, French Horns...and other stuff...but that one(YouTube's) is cool, because its ALL LIVE..and just one guy(me) doing it....oh, and I'm looking forward to hearing something with you on it, as well...
.....and KEEP IN TOUCH!

GfS


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Subject: RE: More stuff about the circle of 5ths
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 08 Apr 12 - 09:41 PM

Refresh.


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