In minuet in A minor by Johann Krieger, it doesn't have a major 7th going to the octave, but it has the fifth going to the tonic and the tonic playing an octave above on both notes. Is this a common cadence? Are there other cadences without a raised 7th in baroque music? What are the rules to this?


I'm presuming you mean this minuet:

Krieger - Menuet

I can't think of any examples off the top of my head, although I have heard this cadence before - it is fairly typical for two voices.

The constraint to two voices means that some part of the the standard perfect cadence is going to be dropped. The linear descent in the descant to the tonic is a topos (a standard formula) of the minor mode during the Baroque, as is the movement by descending fifth/ascending fourth in the bass. (The use of the lower octave of E in the penultimate bar is also typical - it has a centering effect on the tonic.)

The final cadence of the Courante of Froberger's Suite in E minor FbWV 607 (link to a PDF on IMSLP) has a very similar construction, but, as it has more than two voices, it does use the leading tone in the alto (which is a fairly typical voice for it). Krieger doesn't need to state the leading tone outright as he has used it and left it hanging in m.6 and m.22 - the anticipation of the tonic in m.7 and m.23 picks up where the G♯ leaves off. There is a delayed resolution implied here.

  • Okay so it just needs to have some unresolved ti's and then a do at the end? When I was looking at counterpoint, you were always supposed to have one voice going re do and one voice doing ti do. Is that also a non-perfect cadence because it doesn't use the 5th?
    – Musicguy
    May 28 '15 at 12:48
  • This isn't species counterpoint; it's rather more pragmatic, and less conjunct. In this particular case, the perfect cadence is implied by the descent through re, the sol-do bass line, and the resolution of ti. The relatively disjunct movement that Krieger used here means that there is a strong suggestion of compound melody when ti is left hanging. In such a case, the note acts quite a bit like it has been sustained until a note in the same register continues the motion in that register.
    – user16935
    May 28 '15 at 16:42
  • You'll notice that, if Krieger had held the G♯ (or B in m.14), it would act as an alto, and the cadence would be much the same as Froberger's. The point here is that this is not Renaissance polyphony (which is what species counterpoint deals with), it's Baroque harmonic writing in a two-part framework. "Perfect cadence" implies harmonic writing, it implies root movement. In a two-part framework, that means there will be a certain amount of broken chord writing, a certain amount of compound melody, to imply the voices that are being omitted. Look at Bach's Inventions for more examples.
    – user16935
    May 28 '15 at 16:43
  • (The half note in the bass part in bars 7, 15, 23, etc is a mistake, yes?) May 30 '15 at 21:12
  • @Codeswitcher, nope, just older notation, no rests. The upper note is held while the lower octave sounds.
    – user16935
    May 30 '15 at 22:52

As far as your question asks about "other cadences without a raised 7th in baroque music", I would be remiss if I failed to mention the Phrygian Cadence, which was often used at the end of slow movements in minor keys. Although it's typically analyzed as a iv6-V (e.g. Dm/F-E), it can also be thought of as having evolved from a modal ♭vii6-I in the Phrygian Mode (with a Picardy third making the final chord major). In this analysis, the bass descends to the "tonic" by a half-step, forming an upper leading tone, while an upper voice ascends to the "tonic" by a whole step.

  • 1
    Yeah, and lest we both forget, plagal cadences also lack the lower leading tone.
    – user16935
    May 27 '15 at 21:25

Edit: Agreed with Patrx2; didn't fully read his/her response until I finished my answer, which basically is in agreement. I'll leave it for further elaboration for the OP.

From studying counterpoint in the style of Palestrina years ago, this cadence is sufficient. I imagine that it would therefore be sufficient for Baroque as well.

For the lower voice: Although the final note before the cadence in the lower voice is a rising fourth rather than descending fifth, the note previous to this is in fact a falling fifth motion. In this example, I'd consider the 2nd beat E to 1st beat A to be the functional perfect authentic cadence in the bass (the lower E would be considered an "embellishment" in a way).

For the upper voice: It isn't required for the tonic to be approached by the 7th in order to be considered a perfect authentic cadence. Note the raised 7th in the previous bars before the cadence. It appears to me that in the context of the entire passage, the raised 7th has not been resolved, therefore you do (in effect...) have that 7th->tonic resolution at the end.

I've read some places that you don't even need a falling fifth motion in order to have a perfect authentic cadence (as long as you progress from V to I) <-- This I'm not sure about, but if I remember correctly, it is true (rising fourth to tonic in bass, and non-stepwise motion to the tonic in soprano, are both valid for the perfect authentic cadence).

  • 1
    Yeah, the octave bounce on 5 in the bass is pretty standard as well. The upper E in the bass is sustained, btw - I held on to the original edition's notation in this transcription (although I substituted a treble clef for the RH's soprano clef). Ascending fourths are common enough in perfect cadences: they're sometimes absolutely necessary in keyboard music to ensure that it fits under the hands.
    – user16935
    May 27 '15 at 17:59
  • @Patrx2 would you be able to provide an example of where an ascending fourth used in a perfect authentic cadence was necessary?
    – lobi
    May 28 '15 at 19:41
  • 1
    You'll see a couple in the Froberger suite I referenced. The first half of the Allemande ends with a perfect cadence on the relative major. In this case, you could, perhaps, argue that he had no need to bounce the root of the dominant to a lower octave, but that is the centering motion I mentioned in my answer. Having done so, he needed to state the tonic up a fourth to bring everything beneath the hands. The bass of the very last cadence of the Sarabande (and the suite) also rises a fourth. Here there is no bouncing bass, just the requirements of fingering.
    – user16935
    May 28 '15 at 19:57
  • 1
    (I should say that the requirements of the last cadence in the Sarabande are both voice leading and fingering. The delayed octave of the tonic root in the last bar is outside the 4-voice framework.)
    – user16935
    May 28 '15 at 20:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.