The Circle of Fifths Chart
Let’s take a look at the C major key on top of the chart. The C major key is in between F major and G major in the circle of fifths chart. It is because F major and G major are closely related keys to C major. Hence, these keys (C major, F major and G major) have very similar key signatures. (C major has no sharp or flat, while F major has only one flat and G major has only one sharp.)
Going clockwise, every key is a perfect fifth interval above the previous key. The key is always one sharp more or one flat less than the previous key when going clockwise. For instance, G is the perfect fifth interval above C, and G major has one sharp while C has no sharp or flat.
The Order of Sharps and Flats in Key Signatures
The order of sharps in the sharp key signatures appear in the following order: F | C | G | D | A | E | B
and the order of flats in the flat key signatures is backward of order of sharps: B | E | A | D | G | C | F
From the circle of fifths charts, you can also find the order of sharps F | C | G | D | A | E | B and flats B | E | A | D | G | C | F for easy reference.
The circle of fifths also display the enharmonic scales. Enharmonic scales are scales that have the same pitches but have different note names.
Enharmonic Major scales:
Enharmonic Minor scales:
The circle of fifths chart provides a lot of music scale information and is a helpful tool when learning the fundamentals of music theory. Here you can download the free printable circle of fifths diagram pdf. If you want a large poster size circle of fifths wall chart, get this 24″ x 36″ circle of fifths poster from Amazon. This handy reference chart is perfect for teachers, tutors and students.