The Circle of Fifths, Romance, and the Key of C


A nice observation from Peter Yan:

Frye used the musical term mode to describe and order the character’s power in relation to us readers; and how these modes change over time, giving us, in the first chapter of Anatomy of Criticism, how a genuine historical method should work in literature.

What is curious is that the ultimate myth/genre for Frye was the Quest Romance, which he assigned the key signature of C, the key which all keys can be translated into, and the key which all modes musical take off from. The Quest Romance myth is the mode which includes all the other myths in its epic form.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

3 thoughts on “The Circle of Fifths, Romance, and the Key of C

  1. steven

    I am interested in knowing the source of the Circle of Fifths drawing at the top of this page. If someone receives this note, please respond at the above e-mail address. Thank you.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *