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I read on https://dj.studio/blog/camelot-wheel:

The Camelot Wheel is a modern system to help DJs navigate the musical keys of their music.

It's based on the circle of fifths, with the only difference being the use of additional labels instead of using the original key names. This aims to make it easier for DJs to understand.

Why is it called Camelot wheel? Why Camelot?

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  • 3
    Wild guess: Comes from the Arthurian "Round Table".
    – Aaron
    Apr 18 at 18:17
  • 4
    I contacted Mixed In Key, but they don't know the name's origin. I guess you'd have to track down Mark Davis (the inventor) to ask.
    – Aaron
    Apr 18 at 19:40
  • 2
    The more burning question for me is "Was it really so hard to learn the names of the notes and the words 'major' and 'minor'?"
    – Theodore
    Apr 19 at 0:40
  • 2
    @Aaron I'd promote that to a full answer, since I can't see that anything more definitive can be found online. Plenty of Arthurian speculation, but "we don't know" is the only real answer for now. Apr 19 at 13:20
  • 2
    @Aaron In the interview with Mark Davis on the Mixed in Key site, he says that he originally called it the "Easymix system", so the Camelot name came later!
    – Theodore
    Apr 19 at 19:22

3 Answers 3

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The round table of Camelot is often illustrated as divided into segments:

King Arthur's Round Table at Winchester Castle, Winchester, Hampshire, England

(Source: Wikimedia Commons)

As such, it does look superficially like the circle of fifths.

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4

I contacted Mixed In Key, but they didn't know the name's origin. I also did not find anything online that suggested an origin. An interview with Mark Davis, the inventor, discusses the origins of the wheel itself, but not the name. This leaves tracking down Mark Davis and asking him directly; however, I did not find contact information.

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  • Another question to ask Mark Davis is why 1A/1B is not aligned with G Major / E Minor so at least people start associating 1-6 with the number of sharps so they can transition to proper circle of fifths. Apr 21 at 11:15
-1

I believe it's just a brand name (or a product name, by Mixed In Key), and the name became genericized (like kleenex) to signify the concept.

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  • 4
    The question is why "Camelot" was chosen as the name.
    – Aaron
    Apr 18 at 18:50
  • Aaron - yes, but you'd probably have to ask a marketing person at Mixed In Key to find the answer, which is probably "I think it will sell". Apr 18 at 18:52

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