Spin Cycle: Mastering the Circle of 5ths

The cycle, the circle of 5ths, the circle of 4ths—these are terms for harmonic movement through the 12 notes of our musical system. Confusion abounds when musicians arbitrarily say a progression moves through the “cycle,” or goes “around the circle,” without specifying which cycle or in which direction (4ths or 5ths) around the circle.

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