I'm curious about this because I saw exactly this kind of thing in a Mozart piece I analyzed a while back when looking for Deceptive Resolution examples. The first cadence evasion was undoubtably a deceptive resolution as it was V -> vi. However, the 2 right after it were moves to vii°7/ii instead. Is that still a Deceptive Resolution if you move to a diminished seventh chord like that? My gut instinct is telling me "No, it can't be a Deceptive Resolution because there is no Resolution to speak of, the diminished seventh chord adds tension rather than subtracting from it. Deceptive motion or just harmonic evasion? Yes. But it can't be a Deceptive Resolution."

And yet, I've heard other people say "It is still a Deceptive Resolution, even if you move to a secondary diminished seventh. All you need for a Deceptive Resolution is for the V -> I cadence to be evaded by harmonic means, or in other words, the I chord is replaced with another chord. Doesn't matter if it's a chord of tension or not." Here's what I saw in the Mozart example and my analysis of it:

Mozart K 281, Mvmt II, 2nd theme

So, is that true? Would this move to vii°7/ii count as a Deceptive Resolution? Or am I correct in saying that since it's a chord of tension, it can't be a resolution at all and it's just a deceptive motion or harmonic evasion?

1 Answer 1


Wikipedia, quoting from The Oxford Companion to Music, says:

A cadence is called 'interrupted', 'deceptive' or 'false' where the penultimate, dominant chord is not followed by the expected tonic, but by another one, often the submediant.

Oxford continues:

Other less common names for this cadence are 'abrupt', 'avoided', 'broken', 'evaded', 'irregular', or 'surprise'.

By this definition, the progress from V to viio/ii qualifies, as the tonic is clearly expected.

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