A question I got on my last instructable, Play Simple-Advanced Piano Sheet Music, is if I could make an 'ible about the circle of fifths. So, here you have it.
Step 1: The Circle Theory
The Circle of Fifths talks about the relationship between the different keys of music. The keys are the little flats and sharps after the time signature. These sharps (or flats) are always in this order F#, C#, G#, D#, A#, E#, B#. If there is one sharp in the key it is F. Two its F & C. Etc.... To find what sharps are in the scale (next step) you simply add a sharp.
Step 2: Major Scales
Major (happy sounding) scales are very simple. Each key on the keyboard has a value of one half. The order for a major scale is whole (two note) whole half whole whole whole half. You will notice that by starting at C (C scale) you will have no sharps.
Step 3: The Circle
So, you start a scale, for example C, on the fifth note stop (G). This is the fifth (hence Circle of Fifths) so start over a scale, starting at G, it will be all white keys but there will be an F#. Next, the fifth note in the G scale is D, so, the D scale will have a F# and a C#. Next, A scale, F#, C#, and G#. Etc...
Step 4: Finally
There you have it, the incredibly simple Circle of Fifths.