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Lesson 5.4 - The Cycle of Fifths

In Grade 4 you were expected to know up to 5 sharps or flats, so in this grade there is not that much more to learn. The new scales are highlighted in yellow in this chart.


If you start at C major and keep going up a perfect 5th at a time you will eventually go round a complete circle and arrive back at C major .


You should already know that G flat and F sharp are the same note. This means that the cycle of fifths referred to in an earlier grade is now complete. i.e. If you start at C major and keep going up a perfect 5th at a time you will eventually go round a complete circle and arrive back at C major .

Here you can see the positions of the sharps as needed for each clef.
there is a nice pattern for the flats of "down-up-down-up-down-up"  for all  the clefs. Unfortunately with the sharp key signatures, it is not so uniform. For three of the clefs (treble, bass and alto) it starts off with a nice pattern of  "up-down-up-down" but then it goes down again and finally up. Additionally, you will notice that the tenor clef is the complete opposite with the pattern of the sharps going "down-up-down-up-down-up"


Notice that there is a nice pattern for the flats of "down-up-down-up-down-up"  for all  the clefs. Unfortunately with the sharp key signatures, it is not so uniform. For three of the clefs (treble, bass and alto) it starts off with a nice pattern of  "up-down-up-down" but then it goes down again and finally up. Additionally, you will notice that the tenor clef is the complete opposite with the pattern of the sharps going "down-up-down-up-down-up"

Remember that in an examination, the position of the sharps is important.

Why not test how much you have understood this topic with our FREE worksheet - HERE

2 comments:

  1. If you remember to start at F, going clockwise round the circle of 5ths will give you the order of the sharps. Starting at Bb and going anti-clockwise will give you the order of the flats remembering that B is also Cb

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Alistair for this comment

    ReplyDelete

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