1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to post, make friends, earn reward points at our store, remove most ads and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Circle of 5ths...

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Jeb, Jan 6, 2003.

  1. Jeb


    Jul 22, 2001
    OK, so each fifth of a scale moving clockwise adds a sharp to that scale and each fourth (counter-clockwise) adds a flat to that particular scale.

    When we find ourselves at F# or Gb we have six sharps or six flats respectively.

    If F# (F#-G#-A#-B-C#-D#-E#-octave), the 7th degree would be the 6th sharp - E#. E#? This is F. Right?

    If Gb (Gb-Ab-Bb-Cb-Db-Eb-F-octave), the 7th here is indeed F, but the 4th would have to be Cb - which is B?

    What is the reason for noting it that way?
  2. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    No, E# is not F. Ok, so the pitch is the same. E# and F are the same pitch. They sound the same. But from a theory standpoint they are different notes. the F# major scale has no F natural in. Only an E# and an F#.

    No again, same reason. Cb and B are the same pitch, but are different notes.

    If you're asking why the same pitches are notated in different ways (e.g. it's called E# in one and F in the other) - that's how the system works. See, in a major or minor scale, there is always one of each note name, and every note name is used. So, every scale has an A (flat/sharp/natural), then a B (flat/sharp/natural) then a C (flat/sharp/natural) etc. etc. Regardless of what note it starts on.

    So, any kind of F scale, must have the following note names: F G A B C D E F. If it was F major, it'd be F G A Bb C D E F. If it were F# major, it'd be F# G# A# B C# D# E# F#. F# major couldn't have an F natural in, because then it'd be F# G# A# B C# D# F F#. That'd break the rules - you see, it has no E note in it, and 2 consecutive F notes. It would also be a bitch to read in a piece of music, because you'd have to keep having accidentals to naturalise the F, then re-sharpen it etc, it'd be madness, really confusing.

    Likewise, and G scale must have the note names G A B C D E F G. To be G major it would have to have G A B C D E F# G. To be Gb major it would have to be Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F Gb. If it were Gb Ab Bb B Db Eb F Gb - it would break the rules - it would have two B notes and no C note... you see?

    Does that make things clearer?
  3. fastplant


    Sep 26, 2002
    Damn the circle of fifths!!! DAMN IT TO HELL!!!!!!!