Here’s a cadenza my daughter came up with, by mixing parts of the original score and changing them a little bit, e.g changing the key. She is unsatisfied with two things here. Maybe you could give me a hint how to fix this?

Instrument is cello.

The final goal is, starting at the end of measure 10, to move from minor (in fact its phrygian mode, isn’t it?) to G major in measure 13. The notes given in green are mandatory and can not be changed, except for articulation of course.

A secondary goal seems to be to add a little bit of bagpipe feel :-) which she likes very much (me too) and Boccherini too. I think thats why she added the quote in measures 11 and 12.

She really loves her cadenza so if I could help her a little bit to fix the following two problems that would be of great help.

The first problem of interest is at the end of measure 10. The blue notes are a transition intended to glue that parts together. This transition doesn’t work well. Do you have some hints how to do this smarter? Can you explain to beginners, why it doesn’t work?

The second problem of interest is the transition from minor to major from measure 12 to 13. This transition too doesn’t sound smooth. It sounds like it is simply stuck together. Do you have any suggestion how to improve the situation a tiny little bit here?

The notes in yellowish-olive color are an automatic function of musescore not relevant here, it indicates that these notes are more difficult to play due to their pitch.

cadenza score

  • What are the yellow notes? Looks to me like some range warning from the program, since all the notes above that A are yellow, but it would be better if this was explicit in the question, I think. Also you could explain what instrument is this for. And by cadenca you mean cadenza?
    – coconochao
    Dec 21, 2018 at 19:15
  • hey @coconochao, thank you for your comment. I edited the question taking all of your points into account. Yellow is kind of a range warning it indicates that the pitch is to high for beginners, but thats not the problem here. Instrument is cello and yes I mean cadenza. thx
    – DrSvanHay
    Dec 21, 2018 at 19:47

2 Answers 2


Something like below may suffice. enter image description here You're going from C minor to G major. You want to cancel the flats. Bar 10 is a transition or bridge to G major. It's in modulation. B11 creating some rhythmic momentum as there has been before, without this momentum will sound too dead. B13 creates an authentic cadence where the modulation to G is very solid.Clef change to bass at b13 might be ommitted looks a little strange. Key signature change after modulation / bridge, not before (otherwise like inviting people to party and no-one home!)


The First Problem: This might just be a notation issue. It's somewhat unclear what is intended by the triplet marking under the group of blue notes. As written, the problem is that since our ears are attuned the preceding A-flats, the sudden appearance of A-natural creates an accent. By itself that's not an issue, but it comes in an especially weak rhythmic position. That intensifies the sense of accent to a jarring degree.

One fix would be to place the A-natural on the downbeat of the following measure. However, that is problematic for two reasons: 1) the preceding four notes would best become sixteenth notes (semiquavers), making for an anticlimax after the sextuplet and preceding the chromatic alteration, and 2) your daughter clearly wants the A-natural to anticipate the following downbeat.

I think the best, simplest solution is to remove the triplet indication, change the E-F-G-Ab to 32nd notes (demisemiquavers), and leave the A-natural as is. Since the preceding several measures have relative emphases on the half-beats, the chromatic anticipation on the half-beat of beat 4 of m. 10 works to my ear.

The second problem: The issue in this case is that the change from minor to major (specifically, B-flat to B-natural) is too abrupt, creating a dissonance. The minor sound is well established, and our ears don't have time to anticipate or adjust to the change to major.

The simplest solution here, I think, is to place a grand pause at the rest preceding the entry to the trill. This will create a sense of anticipation, and the change to major will be received as a pleasant surprise, signaling the end of the cadenza. In performance it will also help to slightly elongate the lead-in to the trill, especially the A immediately before.

Other solutions would require some degree of recomposition in order to create an expectation either of B-natural specifically, or major-minor or chromatic shifting more generally.

  • Allowing that your daughter has already come up with a solution, please consider posting it. I, for one, would be very interested to know.
    – Aaron
    Jul 14, 2020 at 23:17

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