Circle of Fifths

Isaac Kidder's avatar Isaac Kidder

Circle of Fifths is an interactive musical installation made of 12 tone bars of varying height (2’ 7" - 3’ 6”) & color spaced evenly on the circumference of a 5' 8" diameter circle. Each aluminum tone bar is tuned to 1 of 12 notes that make up the chromatic music scale (A A# B C C# D D# E F F# G G#). Viewers can play almost any melody their heart desires by using any of the 4 hand mallets secured to the design via cables. The title “Circle of Fifths” speaks to the relationship between the 2 notes essential to song structure: "tonic" & "dominant." A song is typically played in a “key” (a scale composed of 5-7 of the 12 notes). The 1st note of a scale is the tonic & the fifth note is the dominant. Lines in the center on the base connect each tonic to its dominant & intersect to create a colorful & symmetrical geometric design. All are welcome to enjoy & contribute musically to this installation while learning some music theory.

Entry Details
  • Art form: Installation
  • Depth: 5 ft 8 in
  • Medium: Welded and Painted Steel and Aluminum
  • Width: 5 ft 8 in
  • Year created: 2018
  • Height: 3 ft 10 in