MUS 111 Study Guide D (Chapter 4)

Tonic and Dominant I

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  1. Cadence:  In simplest terms, a cadence is a resting point in a musical phrase.

  1. The structure of a piece of music is known as its form, which includes the smallest unit of pitch or rhythm in an entire composition.

  1. A cadence appears at the end of each group of four measures, or phrase.

  1. A combination to two phrases, with a lesser cadence at the end of the fourth measure and a greater cadence at the end of the eighth measure, is known as a musical period.  In harmony, a cadence is usually found as the last two chords of a formal structure (phrase or period, e.g.).

  1. The most common cadence, and musically the strongest, is the dominant to tonic cadence (V-I or V7-I in major)--known as the authentic cadence.

  1. A lesser cadence which ends on the dominant (or, sometimes the subdominant ... the inversion of the dominant) is known as a half cadence, e.g., I-V.

  1. You should be able to quickly spell the I, V and V7 chords in any major key so that you can recognize the above cadences.  For any diatonic chord, the chord number is the same as the scale step upon which it is built.  From that letter name, spell in thirds by skipping over every other note of the scale.  E.g., C (D) E (F) G is the I chord, and G (A) B (C) D is the V chord in C major.  The V7 chord in C major is G (A) B (C) D (E) F.
    Major key:  I chord      V chord      V7 chord
       C               C  E  G       G  B  D       G  B  D  F
       G               G  B  D       D  F# A      D  F# A  C
       D               D  F# A      A  C# E      A  C# E  G
       A               A  C# E      E  G# B      E  G# B  D
       E                E  G# B      B  D# F#    B  D# F# A
       B               B  D# F#     F# A# C#   F# A# C# E
       (Cb)          Cb Eb Gb    Gb Bb Db   Gb Bb Db Fb
       F#             F# A# C#    C# E# G#   C# E# G# B
       (Gb)          Gb Bb Db    Db F  Ab    Db F  Ab Cb
       C#             C# E# G#    G# B# D#   G# B# D# F#
       (Db)          Db F  Ab      Ab C  Eb    Ab C  Eb Gb
       Ab             Ab C  Eb      Eb G  Bb    Eb G  Bb Db
       Eb              Eb G  Bb     Bb D  F       Bb D  F  Ab
       Bb              Bb D  F       F  A  C        F  A  C  Eb
       F                F  A  C        C  E  G        C  E  G  Bb

  1. In a major key there are three chord-quality groups:  major, minor and diminished.  Major chords, Group I, are always:  I, IV & V.  Minor chords, Group II, are always:  ii, iii & vi.  The diminished chord, Group III, is:  viio.

  1. Group I (major):  Triads in this group will always be major when each member carries no single additional accidental, or when each member carries the same accidental.  For example, these chords are all major:  CEG, C#E#G#, CbEbGb, etc.

  1. Group II (minor):  Triads in this group will always be minor when each member carries no single additional accidental, or when each member carries the same accidental.  For example, these chords are all minor:  DFA, D#F#A#, DbFbAb, etc.

  1. Group III (diminished):  Triad(s) falling into this group will always be diminished when each member carries no additional accidental, or when each member carries the same accidental.  For example, these chords are all diminished:  BDF, B#D#F#, BbDbFb, etc.

  1. When dealing with figured bass notes, for example, you will be required to know what the vertical chord spelling is if the given note is the root, third or fifth of a chord.  The text gives what I think is a rather confusing formula.  I believe the system below to be more straightforward.  These guidelines assume that the chords to be spelled are diatonic to the given key, and will require no chromatic alterations.  That being the case, the key signature will automatically take care of the interval qualities.

Root given:  simply add tones a third and a fifth above the given root.

Third given:  add one tone a third lower and one tone a third higher.

Fifth given:  Add one tone a third lower and one a fifth lower.

If you are required to spell a particular stand-alone chord structure based on a given note without regard to a particular key, e.g., either a major, minor or diminished chord, simply make the necessary calculations.

Major triad:  You know that a major triad consists of a root, M3 & P5, and the interval between the third and fifth factor is a m3.  If you are given the root, E, and asked to spell a major triad, simply add a M3 (G#) and P5 (B) above = E triad.  If you are given the third, E, and asked to spell a major triad, simply add a M3 below (C) and a m3 above (G) = C triad.  If you are given the fifth, E, and asked to spell a major triad, simply spell a m3 (C#) and P5 (A) below = A triad.  ... Piece of cake.

Minor triad:  same principle as above.  You know that a minor triad consists of a root, m3 & P5, and the interval between the third and fifth factors is a M3.  If you are given the root, D, and asked to spell a minor triad, add a m3 (F) and P5 (A) above = D minor triad.  If you are given the third, D, and asked to spell a minor triad, add a m3 below (B) and M3 above (F#) = B minor triad.  If you are given the fifth, D, and asked to spell a minor triad, add a M3 (Bb) and P5 (G) below = G minor triad.

Diminished triad:  You know that a diminished triad consists of a root, m3 & d5.  All chord factors are a minor third apart.  If you are given the root C# and asked to spell a diminished triad, simply add a m3 (E) and d5 (G) above = C# diminished triad.  If you are given the third, C#, and asked to spell a diminished triad, add a m3 below (A#) and m3 above (E) = A# diminished triad.  If you are given the fifth, C#, and asked to spell a diminished triad, add a m3 (A#) and d5 (F double sharp) below = F double-sharp diminished triad.

  1. Perfect Authentic Cadence ... characteristics are:

Progression is V-I or V7-I, with the root in the bass (also applies in minor).

Tonic triad has the root in both the soprano and bass.

Soprano line scale degrees usually proceed 7-1 or 2-1.

  1. Imperfect Authentic Cadence ... characteristics are:

V-I or V7-I deviates in some way from the P.A. cadence.

Soprano note in final tonic triad may be scale degree 3 or 5.

One or both chords are in inversion.

Soprano line scale degrees often proceed 2-3, 5-5 or 5 down to 3.

An imperfect authentic cadence also may involve the progression viio6-I.

  1. Half Cadence:  any cadence which ends on V, e.g., I-V, ii-V, etc.  There is not a "perfect" or "imperfect" half cadence ... just a half cadence.  (Also, a cadence which stops on the IV chord can be considered a half cadence, though it is not frequently encountered.)

  1. The cadence in minor:  The progressions and characteristics are the same.  In minor, however, while the tonic chord is minor (i), the dominant (V) chord is almost always major due to the raised leading tone.

  1. As with major keys, you should also be able to quickly spell the tonic and dominant chords in minor.  (Refer to item No. 7 on this study guide.)  The V and V7 chords are the same as in major due to the raised leading tone (scale degree 7), which results in the third of the dominant chord being major.  The only difference is that the tonic chords are minor.
    Minor key:    i chord    Minor key:    i chord
         a                A  C  E         (eb)            Eb Gb Bb
         e                E  G  B          a#              A# C# E#
         b                B  D  F#        bb             Bb Db F
         f#               F# A  C#       f                F  Ab C
         c#              C# E  G#       c               C  Eb G
         g#              G# B  D#       g               G  Bb D
         (ab)           Ab Cb Eb       d               D  F  A
         d#              D# F# A#

  1. Nonharmonic tones:  dissonances which do not fall within the spelling of the given diatonic triad.  In fact, even the 7 of the V7 chord is technically a dissonance.  Nonharmonic tones include passing tones (moving tones) and other entities which we will study in depth later.  Nonharmonic tones may be diatonic or chromatic.

  1. Picardy Third:  In some minor compositions, the tonic chord at the final cadence is major.  Don't ask me why ... a gimmick, I guess ... rather nice on occasion.  In such instances, the uppercase I is used when analyzing this chord.  (It is not known how the term "Picardy" came to be associated with this practice.)

  1. Empty Fifth:  Also, in some minor compositions, the tonic chord at the final cadence is missing the third.  It is still analyzed as a minor chord (i) in that the piece is in minor.

  1. Melodic Cadence:  Cadences in single-line writing can be identified by the scale step numbers of the melody at the point of the cadence.  For example, scales degrees 2-1 imply V-I harmonization.  In the key of C major, these pitches would be D-C.  Go through the drill:  Does D fit the I chord (CEG)?  Nope.  Does D fit the IV chord (FAC)?  Nope.  Does D fit the V chord (GBD)?  Yep.

  1. Triads are often outline in melodic contours, which can be of assistance when trying to harmonize a melody:

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