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26 votes
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Why does Bach sometimes end with flat 7ths?

Well spotted! This is very common. Bach often uses a brief modulation to the subdominant key near the end of his fugues, preludes and inventions (presumably other pieces, too). Sometimes this is so ...
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20 votes

The function of Gm G♭ B♭ chord progression in "Shine On You Crazy Diamond"

The move from Gm to GbM is definitely not a standard “classical” progression, although it does start to happen more and more in the late Romantic era and in lots of Impressionist and other neo-tonal ...
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14 votes
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Why is a Cadence important in music?

Just see how many different sentences you used in these three lines you posted! 5 Different ones, which where separated by punctuation marks. Think of music as a language (which it basically is). It ...
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14 votes

How to make a plagal cadence sound convincing as an ending?

Often the plagal "cadence" is best understood as post-cadential. In other words, the plagal motion really functions to confirm a tonic already clarified by a prior cadence. In fact, this is what ...
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12 votes
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When to use inversions in harmonizing a bass line

A single bassline can be harmonized in a number of different ways. Assuming you are working only with diatonic triads (three note chords that require no accidentals), you'll typically have three ...
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12 votes

Why is a Cadence important in music?

A cadence does at least two things. It makes a statement about what key you are in at the moment. It also indicates a completion of a thought and therefore the beginning of another, similar as you ...
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12 votes

Why does Bach sometimes end with flat 7ths?

In addition to what's been mentioned above, the motion to the subdominant also has a plagal sound. What's more final than a big "aaaa-men" plagal cadence at the end of a hymn? Sometimes Bach's flat-7s ...
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11 votes
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cadence naming confusion

Not only are there inconsistencies between UK and American terminology, there are inconsistencies within just the American terminology! You're 100% correct that an "authentic cadence" is V–I, but it ...
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10 votes
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Is coda the same thing as a cadence?

I've seen some websites define a coda as a sort of "extended cadence" Well, yes. But very 'sort of'. A cadence comes at the end of a musical phrase, a coda comes at the end of the whole ...
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9 votes
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How common is it to omit the I in II V I cadences in Jazz?

As you know, the II V I progression is the most important progression in jazz. Since there is a very strong root motion of a descending perfect fifth, not only between V and I, but also between II and ...
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9 votes
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Why aren't unusual leading tone cadences more common?

One important factor that influences how good these progressions sound is the number of common tones between the two successive chords. If we consider vii°-I, there are no common tones between the ...
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9 votes

How do I analyze this altered dominant chord?

In this case, the dominant is just an augmented triad, so the Roman numeral would be V+. And since it's V moving to I, it's still going to be an authentic cadence. One of the reasons this progression ...
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9 votes

The function of Gm G♭ B♭ chord progression in "Shine On You Crazy Diamond"

I had some trouble finding the part of the "song" you asked about. I assume it is this part starting at 4:59: . The tonality is G minor (I suppose G aeolian if you ...
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9 votes

Can we have a perfect cadence in a minor key?

For starters, we can call this cadence an authentic cadence, since by definition that is understood to be a V–I motion. The highest note distinguishes between perfect and imperfect authentic cadences. ...
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8 votes
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Cadences for Modes

It really depends on if you want to think more tonal while using modes or modal while using modes. Modal progressions themselves don't fall in line with the typical tonal progressions for example V-I ...
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8 votes
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When was the Imperfect Authentic Cadence invented?

You've been asking a series of questions about when various musical devices were 'invented.' I think you should try to get out of this mind set. These things were not 'invented.' "How did they evolve'...
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7 votes

When to use inversions in harmonizing a bass line

Casey Rule gave a fine answer, I just want to point out a few things about harmonizing in general and you should be aware of while trying to harmonize a bass line. iii chords are quite rare in a ...
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7 votes
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Why does a melodic half step resolve on the higher note?

This is certainly not universally accepted, but I say a half-step isn't really a fixed entity; rather there are a couple of different "half"-steps of different size that can serve different purposes. ...
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7 votes

Modal Cadence Options

Our three major modes are Ionian, Lydian, and Mixolydian. The Roman numerals for these are: Ionian I ii iii IV V vi vii° Lydian I II iii ♯iv° V vi vii Mixolydian I ii iii° IV v vi ♭...
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7 votes
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Is the sense of resolution of a harmonic cadence psychologically "intrinsic", or is it created through conditioning?

To test out whether certain musical features are commonly understood across musical cultures that haven't been exposed to each other, you need to take music containing that feature to a group of ...
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7 votes

The function of Gm G♭ B♭ chord progression in "Shine On You Crazy Diamond"

Although Michael Curtis said otherwise, I would argue that this is a borrowed chord. Basically the G♭ is used to give the move to from gm to its relative major B♭ the character of a proper ...
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7 votes

Understanding the concept of a "Cadence"

The word cadence comes from the Latin 'to fall', and originally the majority of music ended with a fall in notes - often the '3 Blind Mice' motif. It ended on the first beat of a bar, bringing the ...
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7 votes

Can we have a perfect cadence in a minor key?

Americans seem to call a 'Perfect cadence' an 'Authentic cadence'. And there's this new thing a 'Perfect Authentic cadence'. OK, whatever. Dominant to tonic. Perfect (or Authentic) cadence. ...
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7 votes

Resolving to minmaj7

A minmaj7 chord can be the first degree (with the 7th) from the harmonic minor scale. So using progressions from that scale, you can have resolutions on minmaj7. Here is a simple V-i: Basically, ...
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6 votes

What is the name of the chord in this cadence?

It's a ii half diminished 7th (ii⌀7). This looks like it's borrowed from the tonic minor (E minor), which is likely why it's confusing you.
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6 votes
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How do I write "piano style" cadences?

I believe the term you're looking for is keyboard style. To help your Internet searches, try "keyboard style voice leading." In keyboard style, you write three-voice chords in the upper staff and a ...
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6 votes
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What makes some intervals consonant while others dissonant?

The notion of consonance/dissonance depends on the tradition or style used. In European common practice perfect unions, octaves, fifths and major/minor thirds and sixths are consonant while seconds, ...
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