Pythagoras discovered the Circle of Fifths more than 500 years BC.Man knows so much and does so little. - Inventor Buckminster Fuller
spc Bd 1 Bd 3
 
Share This Page

Circle of Fifths

Picture of Pythagoras
Pythagoras discovered the Circle of Fifths more than 500 years BC.

It is suggested that Pythagoras of Samos (~582 BC - ~507 BC) is attributed with being the first to discover the ratiometric nature of musical notes and intervals, specifically the octave, the fourth and the perfect fifth.

The Perfect Fifth is the lowest ratio harmonic you hear and is mathematically calculated by multiplying a frequency by the ratio 3/2 or 1.5. For example, in the note of C, the perfect fifth would be a G.

You can continue to go up the scale by fifths and you will eventually arrive back at the note of C. Here's the pattern:

C > G > D > A > E > B > F# > C# > G# > D# > A# > F > C.

Pythagoras first used the idea of tuning an instrument up and down by fifths and, in fact, the slight error that occurs when you tune using this method is called the Pythagorean comma. Click to read details on the Pythogorean comma.

Johann David Heinichen published the Circle of Fifths in his book, Der Generalbass in 1728. By placing each note in a slice of the wheel, you can see that the relationship of a fifth is one past the note opposite.

Looking at the pattern produced when the notes are placed on a wheel clearly shows the repeating pattern of the notes.

 


Sound


Longitudinal Wavelength Sound Waves Pitch and Frequency Speed of Sound Doppler Effect Sound Intensity and Decibels Sound Wave Interference Beat Frequencies Binaural Beat Frequencies Sound Resonance and Natural Resonant Frequency Natural Resonance Quality (Q) Forced Vibration Frequency Entrainment Vibrational Modes Standing Waves Law of Octaves Psychoacoustics Tacoma Narrows Bridge Schumann Resonance Animal BioAcoustics More on Sound

Music


Law Of Octaves Sound Harmonics Western Musical Chords Musical Scales Musical Intervals Musical Mathematical Terminology Music of the Spheres Fibonacci Sequence Circle of Fifths Pythagorean Comma

Drums

Drum Vibrational Modes

Biographies


Aristotle Copernicus Einstein Fibonacci Hermann von Helmholtz Kepler Sir Isaac Newton Max Planck Ptolemy Pythagoras Thomas Young
Share Site With A Friend Comments/Suggestions See Related Links Link To Us Find The Site Map Contact Us Report A Broken Link To Us

Magnetic therapy has long been used to relieve pain in many parts of the body.






We have vitamin supplements and minerals.






We are a discount bookstore. See our book discount store for cheap books.
B7
 
Sound-Physics.com

Site Map | Terms of Use | Privacy & Security | Contact Us | Purchase Agreement | Send Feedback
Understanding the Physics of Sound
© 1996-2005 by Sound-Physics.com All Rights Reserved.