question about cycle of fifths

Discussion in 'Beginner's Q&A Forum' started by maverick8218, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. maverick8218

    maverick8218 New Member

    When we refer to the cycle of fifths, C and Am are considered to be 'parallel' scales. What does this mean ? Many songs like papa kehte hai, last kiss, come as you are use these chords. Is there a special meaning to it, or just a coincidence ( which i think is very unlikely). guys, pls advise...
    bob-bobby likes this.
  2. jayswami

    jayswami Blue J

    i dont know what u mean...

    Am naturalminor scale has the same notes a s C major scale starting from A.

    for C ionian mode, the A aeolian mode (starting at the 6th degree of major scale) would be A natural minor scale.

    these are not relative.

    C major and C natural minor are examples of parallel scales..

    oh cool i did some googling and found a site which would explain better than me..
  3. jayswami

    jayswami Blue J

    the songs u r refering like papa kehte hai, dyer maker, every breath u take etc etc follow a cliched standard chord progressu I VI IV V.. derived from the even more common blues I IV V prog.
  4. rabi_sultan

    rabi_sultan <Bulla Ki Jana>

    "parallel" scales because the notes that make up the scale are identical, however due to the positioning of these notes they are not identical since in C scale the chord Aminor is the VI chord where in the Am scale the chord of Aminor is I.

    As for the "cycle of fifths" that refers to a circular diagram that helps identify key signatures and the placements of the sharps/flats when the root note of the scale changes. It states that the Fifth note (dominant) in the scale is the next scale in the series, so in order to get to it you only have to sharpen the current fourth (subdominant) note.

    For example:

    C major scale contains C D E F G A B
    the dominant note is G. Thus the subdominant F needs to be sharpened in order to get to the next scale (that contains 1 sharp as C contains 0 sharps).
    Thus G major scale becomes G A B C D E F#
    If we apply this again we get the dominant as D and our subdominant as C.
    D major scale D E F# G A B C#
    Then we have with three sharps A major scale which is A B C# D E F# G#
    and so on.

    In working out flats you work in reverse of the F major scale which contains one flat. This time you count five backwards so that should land you on the subdominant and turn it into a flat. Now for the next key this will be the tonic.
    Thus for F major the scale after flattening the subdominant is F G A Bb C D E
    Thus in order to get to the scale that has two flats you move the subdominant into the tonic position and flatten the new subdominant.
    Thus Bb major scale is Bb C D Eb F G A
    And of course this process would continue to give you Eb major as Eb F G Ab Bb C D

    it helps looking at it visually:
    bob-bobby likes this.
  5. maverick8218

    maverick8218 New Member

    Hey guys, that was some education... thanx a lot.
    - Ok so parallel scales are scales with the same notes but in different keys.
    - so if i know the sequence of scales on the cycle of fifths, every subsequent scale is obtained by sharpening the subdominant of the previous scale and the key for the scale is the dominant of the previous, am i right ? ( reverse in case of flats)
    - and I am finally able to make some sense outta the I VI IV V, progression that comes up pretty often in the discussion on this site. But, one question Jay, in the C Am F G progression why is A a minor chord while the others are majors ? cud you explain that to me with reference to the cycle of fifths.
  6. jayswami

    jayswami Blue J

    i didnt understand the question. whats got a I Vi IV V prog got to do with circle of 5?

    is that your Q?
    or why is a VI a minor chor?

    chord thats the way the diatonic scale is
    I major
    II minor
    III minor
    IV major
    V major
    VI minor
    VII dim
  7. maverick8218

    maverick8218 New Member

    Sorry jay, i felt that the I VI IV V progression was related to the circle of 5. thanx for clearing the confusion.
  8. rabi_sultan

    rabi_sultan <Bulla Ki Jana>

    no they aren't related.

    its just jay and me answered two different questions that you asked.

    chord progressions are a field on their own, basically the four chord turnaround that Jay mentioned I VI IV V is a common turnaround. The theory behind it is that the during a 16 bar song the chord progression if kept the same would be:
    I VI IV V | I VI IV V | I VI IV V | I VI IV V

    so as you can see at the end of the bar the return to the tonic (I) is from the dominant (V) which is the strongest return to the tonic within the scale, this reinforces the prescence of the key in the song. The second most strongest return is from the flattented leading note (bVII) to the tonic(I). If you place a different chord at the end such as the submediant (VI) or the mediant (III) or the supertonic (II) then it will sound like that you are trying to move off to another key and thus preparing a key change.
  9. maverick8218

    maverick8218 New Member

    Thanx, rabi... for clearing my messed up fundas.
    Another stupid questions. Does the sclae of a song in some way have an effect on the chords of a song? If i know that a particular song is played on a particular song, any patterns which will allow me to decipher the chords to the song.
  10. jayswami

    jayswami Blue J

    how will u know what scale the song is in? if u can find that.. then u will get the chords too. both have the same requirement.. good ears.
  11. maverick8218

    maverick8218 New Member

    Ok jay, here's how i find the scale. I don't know whether it's correct or not. I have a look at the tabs, list down the notes. They will fit into some scale. e.g if a song has the notes d e f# g a b c#, i conclude it's a d maj scale. now, is there some particular set of chords i should try out for the song ?
  12. rabi_sultan

    rabi_sultan <Bulla Ki Jana>

    remember maverick that for every major scale there is a relative minor scale that matches in its notes. Jay is right the only way to tell is to listen to the notes.

    9/10 the root will be placed in a predictable location but if the song is written with comlpexity in mind then it doesn't hold true. Bands like Radiohead plus many classical composers do this where they don't play the tonic in places where they regularly appear in chord progressions.

    However if your working out a design for a new song structure then you can use that approach (imo).
  13. Liquid

    Liquid New Member

    wow....i know absolutely nothing about music :S
  14. djmistryman

    djmistryman kuch..jaana pehchaana

    Coming from a beginner --Simply put- The circle of fifths indicates how many sharps or flat notes in that particular scale. I think it is called circle of fifths because looking at the circle and starting at C--the fifth note in its scale is G (c-1, d-2, e-3,f-4,g-5,a-6,b-7) so next one on the circle is G and the fifth note in the G scale is D so the next one on the circle is D and the circle continues. Let me know if this makes sense.

    u know who loves u !
  15. Rey1970

    Rey1970 New Member

    A min. is the relative minor to C major .The 2 chords contain most of the same note and is closely related.In the circle of 5ths the outside contains chords C, F,B flat etc. The inside also contains chords but is minors so under C maj. you have A min, under F maj, you have D min etc. Using the circle of 5ths if you go counter-clockwise e.g C - G you go up a 5th, if you go clockwise e.g C - F, its a 4th. you can derive all your chords from this circle, if you start at the top C, F, G, say Cmaj. is your 1 chord 1v (4th)would be Fmaj. v would be Gmaj. which is a perfect 5th, also you have your relative minors A min. Dmin, Emin. can also transpose to more friendly keys.

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