ToneGym has launched a new online tool that helps musicians learn about modulations, chord progressions, the relations between keys, and their key signatures.

The Interactive Circle of Fifths teaches musicians all about harmonic relations. It can be adjusted to any tonic or mode, and play the chords within the chosen key.

The circle of fifths is a system that organizes musical keys by placing the most closely related keys next to one another. Instead of organizing the keys in sequential or “chromatic” order (such as C, C#, D, D#, etc.), the circle orders the keys according to the number of accidental “sharp” or “flat” notes they contain. When arranged in this pattern, the distance between each key is a perfect fifth (C, G, D, A, etc.), hence the name, “circle of fifths”.

This system of ordering musical keys is most intuitive because it follows a consistent pattern. Each consecutive key gains one sharp note (when moving clockwise) or one flat note (when moving counter-clockwise).

What are the uses of the Interactive Circle of Fifths?

  • Songwriting shortcuts.
  • Build more interesting chord progressions.
  • Quickly identify harmonic relationships.
  • Quickly identify musical keys when reading or analyzing sheet music.
  • Get better at spelling chords.
  • Improve your musical vocabulary.
  • Learn about borrowed chords.
  • Understand how to properly change keys (modulate).
  • Get better at identifying intervals and chords while ear training.

The ‘Interactive Circle of Fifths’ tool is free.

More information: ToneGym