The Architecture of Music

The Circle of Fifths

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The Linear Circle of Fifths

Linear Circle of Fifths Animation

However well the COF illustrates the harmonic intervals, because of its size and shape, it is not a practical diagram for everyday use. For this reason, the circle was cut and straightened into a line with the bass note remaining in the center (above). The linear circle of fifths is used as a tool for analyzing chords and scales in the book in lieu of the circle because it can be reduced in size and still be legible. It has been placed in reduced format above the interval diagrams of chords and scales as can be seen on the next page. However, the linear circle of fifths is still referred to as the COF in the book.