i was wondering if someone could clear up whether this is some sort of deceptive cadence or not.

We are recently back to Bflat Major. The very last beat of the previous bar is F7 (labelled here natural 4/2), which leads to ii (in my analysis). I understand the beginning of the next bar could also be seen as a continuation of V7 moving to a IV chord in root position at the E (pictured here with a 6 underneath). I decided against this, as the G and b flat in the top part over the E and A in the bass seemed to most likely indicate a move to ii anyway, although they could be interpreted as the 9th and 11th of V7 (11).

So, can a V7 move to ii? Is this some sort of deceptive cadence? Can it move to IV? Or perhaps the B flat and G in the top part are merely the 9th and 11th of a whole measure of V7 (11)?


I have written ''6'' in brackets underneath 2 notes in the bass. For argument's sake, let's say that first group of three quavers is an arpeggiation of ii, and the next group of 3 is an arpeggiation of V7. Is it necessary to write the ''6'' on the middle note of each set of quavers to demonstrate that the middle bass note changes the chord to first inversion? Or can I just leave it blank until the harmony changes? How do I know when a figure is required when the harmony stays the same?



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1 Answer 1


Your analysis identifies the harmonic rhythm incorrectly. There are two chords per measure. The A♮ is a passing tone, not a chord tone.

Therefore, this is not a deceptive cadence.

Consider also that in functional theory, the submediant (vi) is related to the tonic, which explains why it is the usual target in a deceptive cadence. The supertonic is related to the subdominant.

Another factor arguing against the interpretation of that beat as V7 is the absence of F and C.

Is it necessary to write the ''6'' on the middle note of each set of quavers to demonstrate that the middle bass note changes the chord to first inversion?

You can also use a horizontal line to indicate that the harmony stays the same above a changing bass note. The source, if the Bachgesellschaft is to be believed, does figure the middle note of each figure with a 6.

  • Thank you. I see. I assumed this was a chord tone as we were moving from E flat major back to B flat major (so i thought it would be the natural 3 of V7). Despite the A natural not being a chord tone, does this nonetheless demonstrate a move back to B flat major? thanks!
    – EdB123
    Aug 30, 2020 at 15:19
  • 1
    @EdB123 Yes, absolutely, it's moving back to B flat. It never gets very far from B flat, really, just cadencing on the dominant and then using the A flat to recast the following tonic chord as V/IV. You might consider, though, whether the A natural is motivated by a smaller-scale move to the Cm7 as ii7 in the next half measure. I know this piece well but haven't analyzed it in detail.
    – phoog
    Aug 30, 2020 at 15:34
  • I see! So the A natural might smooth that move to the Cm7?? In terms of moving up a minor third instead of a major third?? Also, with regards to the move to E flat Major earlier in the bar, can we say that was not really a proper key change, but rather an example of a secondary dominant? Ed
    – EdB123
    Aug 30, 2020 at 15:34
  • @EdB123 I think the considerations were more melodic and contrapuntal than harmonic, but yes. And yes, there isn't a proper key change anywhere here. (There is a cadence on the dominant in the middle of the previous bar, but that's not a key change, just a so-called half cadence.) It's just a secondary dominant.
    – phoog
    Aug 30, 2020 at 15:43
  • 1
    @EdB123 I'm talking about the B flat to F in the middle of the fourth measure, preceding the measure you're asking about and leading to the F7(4/2) to the I chord that becomes a V/IV chord. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadence#Half_cadence: "A half cadence (also called an imperfect cadence or semicadence) is any cadence ending on V, whether preceded by II (V of V), ii, vi, IV, or I." It's a common structural device coming from dance music and leading eventually to sonata-allegro form.
    – phoog
    Aug 30, 2020 at 15:55

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