Is the ii-I cadence considered bad practice since it doesn't have enough movement or resolution? Example - the chord progression (I-vi-IV-ii) (I-vi-IV-I)

There is no name for cadences other than V-I and IV-I and the opportunity has been there for 100+ years.

  • 2
    Perhaps is is not really a cadence. It has to actually be a cadence to get a cadence name, does it not? Now, the ii-7 is identical to the IV6 so perhaps the IV-->I is really the same as the ii-->I in some version of music theory.
    – user50691
    Jun 15 '21 at 21:51
  • This website says II-I is also a plagal cadence. Is this incorrect? simplifyingtheory.com/… Jun 16 '21 at 1:18
  • Well, IV to I is also a plagal cadence. And since the ii and the V are subs for each other it is not unreasonable. But II is not the same as ii.
    – user50691
    Jun 16 '21 at 1:21
  • This is weird for me because II is not in the diatonic chord progression. Is it still okay to substitute IV for II? Jun 16 '21 at 1:31
  • Check out create you own jazz chord progression by Chuck marohnic.
    – user50691
    Jun 16 '21 at 2:04

It's a much weaker cadence than V-I and IV-I: it lacks the leading tone of V and the common tone of IV. It also doesn't lend itself to good voice leading by traditional classical standards (in particular, it promotes parallel fifths).

For these reasons, it was not commonly used and, as a result, doesn't have any special label.

In general, ii serves the function of a pre-dominant chord, leading to V or possibly vii.

There is a named cadence that involves a ii chord (actually, ♭II). The Andalusian cadence, in terms of the Phrygian mode from which it originates, is iv-III-II-I. In terms of major, this would be iv-♭III-♭II-I.

The ♭II chord does have a special name — the Neapolitan chord — because of its distinctive sound.

  • Of course, the Andalusian cadence is at least as “bad” for voice-leading as ⅱ-Ⅰ. Jun 16 '21 at 7:51

There ARE other cadences which are named, for example I-V (imperfect), ii-V (imperfect) and V-vi (deceptive). However, cadences are generally meant to refer to harmonic motion which serves some kind of end to a musical phrase in a given key: either introducing a tension or resolving it. ii-I doesn't do that-- it's just a couple chords played in sequence.

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