Music Fiction 101
A vs. C — Solution 1
The Minor-based Cycle of Fifths
Solution 1: To move A to the top of the Cycle of 5ths, demote the major scales to secondary status ... move them inside the circle and move the minor scales outside. This brings A minor to the top! It’s by far the simplest solution. All major scales go inside the circle ... and we refer to them, as always, as the relative “major” scales.
- Music notation would read the same.
- The key with no sharps of flats is A minor.
- After centuries of longing for the throne, Richard III — I mean A — would surely prefer an intimate association with the melancholy sound of the minor key!
- If we make the "alpha scale" A minor, then we also need to rewrite all of music theory, because all the chord and scale formulas would change. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 would define the minor scale, with half steps between 2 and 3 and between 5 and 6. The formula for major scales would be: 1, 2,#3, 4, 5, #6, #7. So it's not a perfect solution. Too much would have to change. So let's look at Solution 2.