Circle of Fifth

The Circle of Fifths is a fundamental concept in music theory that provides a visual representation of the relationships between the twelve different pitches or tones in Western music.
The Circle of Fifths is a valuable tool for musicians and composers, as it helps them understand key signatures, chord progressions, and the relationships between different keys.

add to basket

You can add this item to the basket. Please be sure you have no popup blockers in your browser.
After checkout you can download your Device inside the User Area by resetting your password.


To better understand how notes in a scale, chords, and modes are related, it’s helpful to start with a good understanding of minor and major scales. This knowledge will be a strong foundation if you want to create chord progressions.

This Max for Live Device will give you a good overview how everything depends on each other in a one window view.

The three colors in the Circle of Fifths and the table on the right side represent:

  • blue for Major (Chords/Scale)
  • yellow for Minor (Chord/Scale)
  • pink for Diminished (Chords/Scale)

Circle of Fifth view

On the outer circle you can see if it’s a major or minor scale (Root Note) and which chords are major, minor or diminished.

in the inner circle you see the Modes and which are also the base to create Chord Progressions.

Set another Root Note

to set another root note, you can easily turn the Circle of Fifth by clicking in the middle and scroll up and down with the mouse.

Chords and Modes in a Scale

In this view you can find:

  1. the Chords - you can see that they are colored (blue = Major, yellow = minor, Diminished = pink) You can also click on a chord to play it, if there`s a Midi Instrument in the Track.
  2. the Modes - here you can set the Modes of that Scale. that means only the Root note of the Scale will move and with that, the intervals of the scale. The Notes within the Scale will always be the same,
    like in Ionian the Scale is: C D E F G A B C and in Dorian the Scale is D E F G A B C D.
  3. the Scales - here you can see, that the Ionian Scale is written horizontally C D E F G A B C and vertically also. (see the examples below)

Trigger Chords

On the Top, where you see the Chords, you can trigger these by click on them with the mouse.

Keyboard & Notation view

In the Keybaord and notation view you see always what happens, if you change the root key, play a chord, select another mode etc.

Other Resources, where the circle of fifth is explained

System Requirements

Ableton Live Suite 10-12 with Max for Live 8.2 / Ableton Live Standart with an Max for Live License.

To install Max for Live Devices please read the FAQ

check out our other Devices