Time change and circle of 5ths


When I introduce the Circle of Fifths to my piano students, I tell them to think of the clock. There are 12 hours. There are 12 keys in one octave of the chromatic scale, the order of which explains the name of the circle — in 5ths.

Circle of Fifths clock

Circle of Fifths clock

Yet knowing the Circle of 5ths forward and backwards has not helped me calculate time.

You’d think that I’d get my math right after all these years of living in different places and changing clocks in the Spring and the Autumn. Luckily a quick search on the Internet sets me straight.

Clocks don’t get reset in Hawaii. As a result, I have to recalculate the difference between Hawaii and Boston. It’s now 5 hours instead of 6, which means Robert and I have a little bit more time to talk to each other.

When I go to sleep at 9 pm, offices are still closed in London and Amsterdam. When it’s 9 pm in Maui, it’s 7 am GMT and 8 am in the Netherlands.

To make business calls, I’d have to try their end of the day — my morning. When I wake up at 7 am, it will be 5 pm in London and 6 pm in Holland. A little too late. I’d have to get up earlier, say 6 or even 5 am to catch their end of the business day.

On the positive side, there’s less time difference between Hawaii and the mainland. Only 2 hours between Hawaii and California instead of 3 in the summer. Only 3 hours between HST and mountain time of Colorado.

As for Asia, Hawaii and Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan are exactly 6 hours apart. At 10 pm HST, they are at 4 pm the next day because of the international date line. To be extra sure, I’d check current local times in Asia.

What does this have to do with music and concerts, you ask?

If you need to make calls, you want to catch people at the right time.

Unfortunately Facebook does not give an absolute timestamp but how many minutes ago, i.e. relative time stamp. Now, won’t it nice to see a world map and time zones with my friends and contacts dotted all over it?

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