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"The Cycle - 101" (50 pages)

101 creative exercises & sequences designed to transport you around the Cycle of Fifths (4ths)

For Improvisers of All Levels!

by Bobby Stern

The so called "Cycle (or Circle) of Fifths (or Fourths)" is one of the primary building blocks, melodically and harmonically, of what's become the basis of Western Music.

Derived from the natural harmonic series, the interval of a Fifth is the first  overtone, or partial, that occurs after the octave, (i.e. C - C - G......). The Fifth has been "instrumental", with the advent of equally tempered tuning, in forming the Western sense of pitch, and ultimately - harmony.

The Cycle of Fifths is usually one of the first concepts taught to beginning music students - at least it was in my case. From it, one learns not only the note letter names, but also the "key signatures ("flat" and "sharp" keys) and the order and direction around the circle  in which the accidentals are added.

While the material in "The Cycle - 101" touches upon the basics, the exercises, sequences and practice motifs presented therein focus as well, on the relationships of tritone substitutions around the cycle of fifths and their correlation to the Chromatic Cycle, in a Jazz and improvisational context.

Based on the natural laws of physics, it's always there, conscious or not, working in the background – the “music of the spheres”.