# Circle of fifths lesson 2 - Major sharp scales

Welcome to the second Circle of fifths lesson.

It contains lots of piano and treble clef diagrams, and mp3 audio files to link all the relevant material together.

Below are detailed steps to understand and draw the major sharp scales on the Circle of fifths diagram.

Please read 1. Introduction before continuing, as it contains background material on the diagram structure that is needed in this lesson.

 Lesson 1. Introduction 2. Major sharps 3. Minor sharps 4. Major flats 5. Minor flats

## 1. Major sharp scales

This step shows how to memorize and draw the major sharp scale labels on the Circle of fifths diagram.

### Memorizing the major sharp scale order

To remember the order of the major sharp scales (shown highlighted on the diagram below), the following phrase is useful :

Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle

The next fact to memorize is Father starts at 11 o'clock., as this indicates which hour position on the circle the first word of the phrase starts.

The Father Charles phrase starts repeating itself at 6 o'clock, but with sharp notes added.

The final things to memorize are that the C major scale has no sharps or flats, and that the number of sharps increases moving clockwise.

Here is that information in table form.

 Clock hr. Phrase word No. of sharps 11 12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle Father(#) Charles(#) - 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

The Circle of fifths diagram below is greyed out except for the major sharp scales.

### Drawing the major sharp scale labels

Starting at 11 o'clock, draw in the first letter F(ather), then write in the first letters of each word moving around clockwise.

(Although F is not a major sharp - it contains one flat; we might as well draw it in now, as it will be used to calculate the number of sharps for the scales that do have sharps).

And now from 12 o'clock, write in the number of sharps (0), adding 1 each time, moving clockwise until you reach 7 sharps at 7 o'clock.

But what do these letters really mean, musically ?

The first letter of each word is the tonic note(ie. the starting note) of the major scale of that note name.

So for example Father is note F, which is the first note of the F major scale, and so on.

The above information not only describes the order of the scales, but also gives key signature (ie. the note names, sharps and flats) of each of these scales. More on that later.

The remaining steps below take each scale in turn, and show how to arrive at the key signature in each case, starting with C major scale at 12 o'clock.

## 2. Circle of fifths-C major has no sharps or flats

This step shows how to calculate how many sharps and flats the C major scale has, using only the Circle of 5ths major scale labels.

For the moment, we will ignore the first word Father, and go straight to the Charles column in the table, which we has no sharps or flats, and starts at 12 o'clock.

The C major scale is highlighted Circle of fifths diagram below.

 Clock hr. Phrase word No. of sharps 11 12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle Father(#) Charles(#) - 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7