The Architecture of Music

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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 (animation above). The linear COF diagram is used for analyzing the sound of chords and scales in lieu of the circle itself. However, it is still referred to as the COF.