The most common sequence uses fourths, also called cycle-of-fourths or cycle-of-fifths. It follows the following pattern: ascending fourth, descending fifth.

An example using chords in root position:

The fourth interval is the basis of all the sequences we will discuss. In this case, the fourth interval transposes down by seconds:

C-F transposes as B-E, A-D, ...

Other fundamental aspects of harmonic sequences

Using seventh chords

Using inversions

The modulating sequence


Using dominant seventh chords


Using diminished seventh chords


Combined triads, dominants and diminished seventh chords


Tritone substitution


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. José Rodríguez Alvira.
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