Circle of Fifths

The Circle of Fifths (invented in the 17th century and still used today) shows key signatures placed around a circle. Each key signature is a fifth away from the one before it and the one after it. It’s used by songwriters and musicians to:

  • Get ideas for chord progressions for songs;
  • Transpose a song easily;
  • Remember how many sharps or flats there are in a key signature;
  • Know where to put “accidentals”, or notes that have to be modified in a given key.

If you don’t understand anything I’ve said above, this probably won’t be useful to you, but if you do… here’s a version of it you can download. 🙂

From Wikimedia Commons, by “Just plain Bill [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]”