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I was wondering if this ending chord progression to Led Zeppelin's "The Rain Song" could be viewed as a cadence.

"The Rain Song" uses a very interesting guitar tuning (D-G-C-G-C-D). The notes also look a little off on the picture. The second-to-last measure is A-G-D-D-D-G-D-D, and the final measure is the Gsus2 chord (G-D-A-D).

The song is in the key of G Major. It ends with two chords, the Am7(add11, no 3, no 5) [I'm not sure if that's the best way to analyze this chord] and the Gsus2.

If this followed the guidelines from my theory textbook, it would be a plagal cadence since the first chord doesn't contain the leading tone in the key of G, and the second chord is the tonic (although it is a suspended chord).

Do you think this can be considered a cadence? Or is it better viewed as something else like a short chord progression?

Thanks in advance!

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    I'm puzzled. I'm not a guitarist and may be missing something basic, but the two notations don't seem to match. Take the final chord. Could you name the notes indicated by the tab, and the notes indicated by the standard staff? – user48353 Apr 8 at 23:57
  • Sorry, I should have added info about that. "The Rain Song" uses a very interesting guitar tuning (D-G-C-G-C-D). The notes also look a little off on the picture. The second-to-last measure is A-G-D-D-D-G-D-D, and the final measure is the Gsus2 chord (G-D-A-D). – Lennon_Ashton Apr 9 at 0:00
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    I listened to the end of the song. In my opinion, this is the wrong question to ask. Both the measures shown are on the same harmony, and the cadence has already occurred. The problem here is that you are only considering a single guitar part. All parts - that is, including the other instruments - must be considered. As an example of what I mean: what if you also have a bass playing G for both of those measures? If you do, then the fact that the guitar part shown has A as its lowest note is a red herring. – user48353 Apr 9 at 0:10
  • The ending only contains a guitar (doubled, one on electric, one on acoustic, both playing the same part), so the lowest note in that measure is an A. I do get what you mean though about considering all parts. When listening to both measures, I definitely don't hear it as the same harmony, despite the fact both chord contain similar notes. If the song ended on that first measure, it would feel incomplete. I'm going based on listening and not just notation there. – Lennon_Ashton Apr 9 at 0:15
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    Perhaps we are listening to different recordings. The notation is ugly and does not match what I hear. I simply hear six eighth notes and a quarter note in the penultimate measure, with a small ritardando. The notation is trying to reproduce this. I don't feel that low note being at the start of the measure at all. We will have to agree to disagree about what we are hearing. – user48353 Apr 9 at 0:26
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You don't have two different chords, you have the same set of notes which is G-A-D. The bass is just descending down from the A to the G. When listening to the song you can even hear the harmony doesn't really change right at the end and has more of a droning effect.

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