I am currently interested in writing a piece in natural minor, and it seems like "v - i" cadence does not quite work as well as compared to harmonic and melodic minors, which use "V - i". How can I write a good cadence in natural minor? Would "VII - i" work well?

  • 2
    I use that sometimes, especially for C minor, I find that Bb -> Cm gives enough of a cadential feel. I personally feel the opposite about the v -> i vs V -> i in the first 5 flat minors. In those minor keys, the dominant seventh gives me too much of an expectation for a major key resolution for it to really sound good to me in minor. On the other hand I find the v -> i works just as well in minor as the dominant 7th does in major despite lacking the leading tone. It keeps the minor feel while giving enough of a sense that it wants to resolve for the Bb -> C motion to work.
    – Caters
    Commented Feb 25, 2019 at 3:26
  • 3
    Treating this modally would be different than treating it tonally. Modal pieces don't tend to have the same pull back to a tonic as tonal pieces, so cadences that establish a minor key tonality are likely to be different from cadences that establish a minor modality. I am tempted to suggest this question as a dupe, but I am not quite sure that it answers your question.
    – user39614
    Commented Feb 25, 2019 at 3:58
  • 1
    Plagal works well (IV-I).
    – Jomiddnz
    Commented Feb 25, 2019 at 4:32
  • 2
    @Jomiddnz But that's not part of natural minor.
    – user45266
    Commented Feb 25, 2019 at 4:39
  • 1
    ♭VI-♭VII-i is cool. i-♭VII-♭VII-v is also cool, like the Andalusian cadence but v instead of V. If you use that ♭VII chord and the v chord, it'll sound very strongly natural minor. i-iv-♭III-v shows how the iv degree is also very natural-minor-like.
    – user45266
    Commented Feb 25, 2019 at 4:43

1 Answer 1


Your best bets will be v(7)-i, VII-i, and iv-i. For a piece that uses all of these, including both perfect and imperfect cadences, listen to (I'm remembering back to old choir days): "I Know That My Redeemer Liveth" by Joseph M. Martin.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.