If I ended a 4 measure phrase with a V resolving to a V7/IV chord, would this still be considered a cadence since it concludes the phrase?

When listening to this, it almost feels like an authentic cadence since the progression is basically V-I, just with the added b7 for the secondary chord.

Any thoughts about this?

  • can-a-cadence-end-with-a-secondary-dominant. No. Not in a 4 measure phrase. Commented Mar 31, 2019 at 7:21
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    So in key C, your last 2 chords would be G and G/F? (G7 with F bass). If so, it's 'imperfect'. Or, is the final chord C7? (V of F).
    – Tim
    Commented Mar 31, 2019 at 7:24
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    @AlbrechtHügli - surely it can end where you want; although it may not sound too good.
    – Tim
    Commented Mar 31, 2019 at 7:25
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    Yes, it can end even before the last chord. Commented Mar 31, 2019 at 7:27
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    It always happens to me that I don’t read exactly. Lennon asks about V/IV. That’s how most marches are modulating in the trio section. But this will contain several periods. Commented Mar 31, 2019 at 7:34

3 Answers 3


A cadence is a series of chords that ends a phrase. So the answer to your question is yes.

There is no theory of music which dictates what you must use for a cadence; but there are some very common sequences that have acquired names over the course of time.

You can chose to use something unusual instead and, if it ends a phrase (or the whole piece), then that is your cadence.


This could happen in an extended piece. I recently quotet Bach BWV 999 where he’s moldulating to the dominant.


Yes, I'd consider it a cadence, especially if the V-to-V7/IV progression has the rhythm of a cadence. I actually ended a strain (and phrase) of one of my ragtime compositions this way...and modulated straight to the subdominant key right after that.

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