Music 101: What Is the Circle of Fifths? Learn Popular Chord Progressions That Use the Circle of Fifths

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Aug 9, 2021 • 5 min read

Western music is divided into 12 pitches, and each of those pitches can be the root note of a wide array of chords—major, minor, dominant, diminished, augmented, and more. Those chords can appear in any order within a song or composition, but some chord progressions just seem to naturally “sound good.” One such progression is where the chords move in fifths.