Is it still considered a cadence? For example a 1,6,4,b5,1 progression in c major, it might sound wacky but i am just curious if there is a term for it. Also are there cadences for the 2,3,6,7 chords of a key?

  • Cadences generally consist of the last two chords, very occasionally they may need the one before. It doesn't matter what key a cadence is in (you mention C, but they're all the same). Otherwise it's an interesting question.
    – Tim
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 8:05
  • I don't understand how a I chord (the end chord in the example) is non diatonic. Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 8:48
  • @ToddWilcox - I think the OP means the cadence itself, ending as ever with a diatonic, but the penultimate chord being non-diatonic. bV>I may have some tts about it. I sometimes use #V>I, and guess it will have been named. It's what we do!
    – Tim
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 11:19
  • The only tonal cadence I'm aware of that ends with motion by tritone (which is b5 -> 1) would be half-cadence with a Neopolitan 6th chord, which IMO sounds pretty cool.
    – John Wu
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 9:15

1 Answer 1


This is only a partial answer, as I don't know a term for the b5-I sequence.

As to your second question, there is an answer of sorts: any sequence that ends V or V7-x, where x is anything other than I, is called a Deceptive Cadence, especially in the case of V-vi. A V-ii cadence would sound a wee bit odd, but would still be considered Deceptive, and likewise for the last example you gave, though I must say I hope hope hope I NEVER hear a V-viio sequence!

  • I wonder if "deceptive cadence" is new (or locale-specific). Forty years ago in the UK, this was called an interrupted cadence, most often V-vi, but can apply to any unexpected resolution. Commented Feb 9, 2017 at 12:08
  • Well, it was in most music theory books back in the 1950s, and they called it that at Juilliard when I went there in the late 1960s, but perhaps it has become obsolete or archaic. But that's what I've always called it, and it's what I've always heard it called.
    – L3B
    Commented Feb 9, 2017 at 14:28
  • @AndrewLeach There is a considerable difference between American and British terminology in music theory. Unfortunately (for the British) the American system is more widely used. Deceptive cadence is simply the American term.
    – 11684
    Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 9:34

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