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Ok, so I'm talking to a friend of mine, and somehow we get onto the topic of chord progression in a song. He says that the srongest final cadence is said to be a normal V chord to a I chord (sorry I can't use roman numerals here). However, I'm pretty sure the "strongest" ending cadence is a V7 (a.k.a. a dominant 7) to the I chord.

Back me up here or prove me wrong.

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Yes, I know it's a matter pf personal taste, but one is said to be typically stronger than the other. Personally, I prefer a half dimished V chord myself, but for the purpose of the exam that we took, I'm curious. I'm still pretty sure that the V7 is the stronger of the two, but I could be wrong.

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i've never learned in any theory class i've taken (and i've taken a few now :lol: ) that any either is "stronger" really this comes down to your own personal preferance and tastes...

however, when it comes to tendancy with the voice leading; there are more tendancy tones in the V7 chord to resolve. so because of this i'd say the V7 is stronger...i'd say the sound of a PAC is even stronger still.

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If tendency tones are what made chord resolutions stronger, then a diminished vii chord would be stronger than V7.

I think V-I is stronger because V7-I puts the emphasis on the 3rd of the I chord, whereas in V-I the resolution of the leading tone to the root is more prominent. Try playing V7-I and what stands out the most is that 3rd (in C major the F moving to the E stands out.) The strongest cadence is the one with the leading tone B->C playing a more important role.

But even more important is what precedes the V chord, and in that case I would say your V6/4 V I progression is the strongest of all.

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"Stronger" is an inappropriate adjective. V - I and V7 - 1 aren't fundamentally different. If you're familiar with the harmonic series, then you know it goes (in scale degrees):

1-1-5-1-3-5-b7-1 etc etc

A dom 7 chord (the V7) just puts more of an emphasis on what is already there. One could say that a V7 chord is more dissonant and therefore less stable, wanting to move to the tonic a bit more.

It's all style and taste, though. A V7 will sound really out of place in a lot of styles.

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To further Hemos point, the leading note must rise. Say in C you do a V - I. The 3rd of the V is a B, which must rise to a C. With a V7 however, you also have an F. This gives you much more freedom with resolutions. It can go up to a G, or down to an E. If the F goes to an E, then your D is free to move down to the C. This gives you the ability to sneakily lower your leading note B, down to a G.

As long as you don't add in a passing note to make it obvious the leading note has really fallen, it means that you've added in a new voice that might have had to have been doubled, and a 3 part chord is never as strong as a 4 part one. Sometimes you don't get that option with a V.

The V7 has the capability to be much more resolute, but you have to use proper harmony rules in each part to make sure it fits properly, otherwise it can be a very weak cadence.

God damn four part harmony, it can be so meticulous.

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Or, of course, you can throw out the window conventions and go from D7 (v7) to the Tp (relative minor) or Sp (2nd degree), etc. You can do tons of stuff from a septaccord. Of course, if you ignore the conventions the leading note can screw itself and you can modulate by cycle of 7ths. It really depends what type of music you want to go with.

viena classic style is basically focused on the I - V - I "authentic" cadence, basically going through variations of such (IV - V - I, or IV - II - (dominant of the dominant 7) - VI- - V - I) etc but the last example is a lot more romantic.

But in essence, the septachord has 2 leading notes, one downwards and one upwards. In C the septachord is G B D F in root position, the F leads to E and the B to C. That is the resolution "proper" with the leading notes. If the F goes up to G, you risk doubling the 5th and that, without a proper reason, is considered an "error," and nevermind of course that if both B and F raise by the same interval you have 5th parallels, which is no-no.

There are some specific cases where some resolutions are considered OK, but then you have to check who says what because different theorists think different things. In the end think only that the leading note of the scale (in this case B) will want to go to C, and F will want to go to the 3rd, e. If from the G B D F position you resolve to C (octave) C G E, you can avoid the issue of the doubling, but there are other rules to take into account. Of course, also this depends on if you have it as an open chord or not, what movements the voices make.

Depending which movement you make, the resolution also changes. So long as you end with a I chord in root position the cadence will properly work, regardless of V7 or V. The V7 chord is generally used as artistic preference, there's no stronger or weaker. But go figure, there's a lot of arguments about it because of the double resolution of the dissonance, what goes where and what is the convention.

etc.

bi.

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You don't have to end with a I chord in root position to have a strong cadence. Imperfect authentic cadences (either vii in first inversion to I or V I where either the tonic isn't the highest voice in I or one or both of V or I are inverted) are only slightly less weak than perfect authentic cadences (V to I where both are in root position and the tonic is the highest voice in I).

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In early romantic and viena classic styles the cadence is always ending in the tonic with the bass note the tonic.

IE, no inversion. It's basically just how it was done back then, there are examples of otherwise here and there but the general case is that always the cadence must end with the tonic in root position (tonic in bass.)

In the viena school it was very typical to see Dominant to tonic 1st inversion -> subdominant -> dominant > tonic root position, as a conventional cadence.

Even so as repeating the last part various times for effect. (Look up Mozart's concertos for examples of this. Beethoven is also a good example, Schumann and Brahms both use this same rule. But late romantic is more complicated harmonically. A good example to see this in practice is looking at Schumann's Album for the Youth and Kinderscenen.)

As seen in the last piece from Kinderscenen, it's completely possible to also make a cadence which avoids ending in a classic dominant -> tonic way by means of transposition of the tonic triad, but of course the end WILL have the tonic in the bass (root position) always still.

There are cases where the 1st inversion will also be used as a trick(false) cadence, and it goes into whatever else, only to come back to the root position for the end. But this example is not so often found in the viena classic school or in early romantic.

It's always important to remember that the reason the tonic is standing in the bass is to give the resolving end chord in the cadence a sense of tonal balance. If the first inversion is used (with the 3rd in bass) the 3rd will want to always move and it gives the chord an unstable nature (and thus its use as a trick/false cadence chord, but more often the tonic parallel (relative minor, or major as the case may be) is preferred in the romantic period.)

Under no circumstances an ending chord in these schools will end in a 2nd inversion of the tonic, as the 2nd inversion was only used in very specific ways such as during specific movements of the bass note in relation to the soprano, and also when it is a passing chord in a progression (not in the central beat figure.) It was also used when a cadence used suspension, in which case the 2nd inversion went to the dominant in the suspension, and resolved thus in tonic root position.

Later on, with Debussy and those guys the cadence starts taking a much less strict sense. So much so that like in some of the preludes or images, or in many of Satie's works, the cadence is only signaled by use of rhythm or melodic intervals, rather than harmonic functions proper. This work also is impossible to properly analyze in harmonic terms, so these methods don't come as a surprise.

The seventh with suspension is also another issue, but as function it serves nothing more than the same function as the dominant chord would. The dominant 7th is always used in the same way as the dominant chord when it is found in root position (8357) but the use for the inversions is much more case-specific depending on what composers are analyzed. The dissonance of the inversions due to the sharp 2nd produced and the consonances produced above and below the 2nd give each inversion a specific character.

In this manner it is safe to say that, when the dominant 7th is used, care must be taken as to where it can resolve and how it should resolve. If an inversion is to be used, it must be with justification, like the inversions of the tonic chord the dominant 7th inversions were used by romantic (specially late romantic) composers in very specific ways.

There are other things that sometimes show up, and are considered "ok", for example when in the final cadence progression the leading note appears in the alto or tenor, it is POSSIBLE for the leading note to move DOWNWARDS into the 5th, only, if only, the proceeding function is tonic in root position. This is not so often found but it is one of those cases where the leading note can go either way. But when the leading note is in the bass or soprano it MUST always rise.

It is thus simply not done to construct a proper cadence because of this that ends in a 1st inversion tonic, due to the nature of the rising 7th. (The dominant in root will have the 5th move downwards into the tonic (or upwards depending on where it is, but always in this fashion.) This consonant interval jump of a 5th in bass to the tonic gives the progression dominant > tonic (root) a very stable ground, so it was preferred.)

Another thing that is important to mention about dominant 7ths is the fact that they can appear "verkurz", or shortened. In root position that is to say, for example in C major, the 7th degree chord of B D F can be considered, depending on its function, as a shortened dominant 7th (which means the root note G is omitted.)

This is also a possibility, in which case the characteristic dissonance produced by the minor 7th in the chord is gone, and thus the need to resolve strictly to the tonic is also lessened. But this is really something that goes case-by case. General rule is still that dominant goes to tonic regardless of the shortening. If it is shortened it is also likely that it can go from 7th to regular dominant.

Go look up some of the works I mentioned, you'll find tons of examples of these things being used there.

I hope this clears it up better. :x

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okay so you want the strongest cadence.

well that doesn't exist.

if you want the strongest cadence according to the baroque/classical standards, go PAC. Perfect Authentic Cadence. because that's PERFECT. What you do with that V chord doesn't really matter. Go ahead and put a 7th on it, make it a 6/4-5/3 suspension, but all that matters is that you resolve that V so both the soprano and the bass are playing the tonic. That, i'm pretty sure, is a by the books strong-as-fuck resolution.

But that's a couple hundred years old so if you don't do that in your techno/funk remix then don't worry about it

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Second Above poster.

The "strength" of a cadence actually refers to dynamics, stress, and things of that nature. Sometimes the strongest cadence is a short one, like in Beethoven's fifth (arguably long)

If I play V7 - I with the soprano resolving up (leading tone) to the tonic with the bass landing on the tonic I can increase or decrease the strength of it by playing it again, using a "cadential extension" by playing the bass note again or playing a scale and repeating the cadence, holding the I chord longer than the V7, trilling the top note, using suspensions, etc...

The first thing you should figure out in song design is what kind of cadence you want to end in, which in my writing changes like my underwear. If you are playing a sad song, you won't want to end on a PAC unless you are trying to be positive. You might choose a half cadence like many pop songs, I-V or anything to V, which is considerably strong anyway due to its nature of makeing you feel like the song pushed you off a cliff without a parachute. Then after deciding what type of cadence you want, then you choose the strength. The chord progression and the dynamics and speed of the song BEFORE the cadence play just as much of a part in strength as the actual cadence itself.

Final point for me, if the song is fast and loud at fff, then a piano to forte V-I with a long of stress on the I won't be very powerful, but in a slow mf song, the same cadence would be strong.

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  • 3 weeks later...
One of these days I should actually learn theory so I can read these topics and have some clue what you're talking about.

(Actaully, I do have somewhat of an idea, but not enough of one to answer)

This kind of theory talk is overly complicating things. Most music theory is logical but you would think a question based on the science of music would only have one answer. The way some people write music ,you can almost program a computer to do it for them.

Being too technical and following too many rules or trends can lead to boring compositions, which is why jazz used to be more popular then it is today. Now even most jazz players fall into trends even when dealing with complex phrasing.

I say when in doubt follow your ears.

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This kind of theory talk is overly complicating things. Most music theory is logical but you would think a question based on the science of music would only have one answer. The way some people write music ,you can almost program a computer to do it for them.

Being too technical and following too many rules or trends can lead to boring compositions, which is why jazz used to be more popular then it is today. Now even most jazz players fall into trends even when dealing with complex phrasing.

I say when in doubt follow your ears.

I'm still trying to understand music theory. I used to play piano when I was a kid, and took lessons for quite a few years, but I don't remember much of it.

I'm looking on wikipedia, but I still can't understand half of what's being said. I think it's the lingo. While I don't EXPECT to make a masterpeice without learning a little about music and having a little skill, I do need to apply the knowledge I'm taking in. I have a goal in mind for a remix, but I don't know at what point to reach for it. While I am an artist, I'm probably going to tackle this subject on a more technical level, since I lack the skills intuitively do it, and I'm not interested in waiting 5 years before starting.

right now I figured I'd try and see if the wikipedia page on music theory wouldn't be better than jumping to a specific section like music scales or music keys or music chords.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_theory

one thing I'd like to know how to do is make sure I use compatible notes. I notice in some songs when they layer two ... melodies, I suppose, there's a note or two that sounds "off" because of it's contrast to a note on the other layer. There's some sort of incompatibility, but I don't know the term for it, if the layers are in different keys, or different scales. I would like to learn to mix two different melodies compatibly. I wonder if there's a way to adapt one so that it fits when normally it doesn't.

Actually, one of my FAVORITE OCremix tracks has a lot of these off notes. actually, most of them I'm not really certain on, but it does sound a little strange in too many places.

Chrono Trigger 'Millenial Mountain (Delightful Disco Mix)

http://www.ocremix.org/remix/OCR00652/

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I'm still trying to understand music theory. I used to play piano when I was a kid, and took lessons for quite a few years, but I don't remember much of it.

I'm looking on wikipedia, but I still can't understand half of what's being said. I think it's the lingo. While I don't EXPECT to make a masterpeice without learning a little about music and having a little skill, I do need to apply the knowledge I'm taking in. I have a goal in mind for a remix, but I don't know at what point to reach for it. While I am an artist, I'm probably going to tackle this subject on a more technical level, since I lack the skills intuitively do it, and I'm not interested in waiting 5 years before starting.

right now I figured I'd try and see if the wikipedia page on music theory wouldn't be better than jumping to a specific section like music scales or music keys or music chords.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_theory

one thing I'd like to know how to do is make sure I use compatible notes. I notice in some songs when they layer two ... melodies, I suppose, there's a note or two that sounds "off" because of it's contrast to a note on the other layer. There's some sort of incompatibility, but I don't know the term for it, if the layers are in different keys, or different scales. I would like to learn to mix two different melodies compatibly. I wonder if there's a way to adapt one so that it fits when normally it doesn't.

Actually, one of my FAVORITE OCremix tracks has a lot of these off notes. actually, most of them I'm not really certain on, but it does sound a little strange in too many places.

Chrono Trigger 'Millenial Mountain (Delightful Disco Mix)

http://www.ocremix.org/remix/OCR00652/

Well when you layer two different melodies that are in harmony. You can play the same scale and use different melodies that won't have any bad notes. I do that at the end of my thunder march jam. On my page if you clicky the banner.

I mean knowing theory isn't that big of a deal. You could know all the scales and every chord and still not have a creative musical mind to make something interesting. but you can go to progression theory to give you help when trying to write or understand a song.

AS far as roman numerals go they represent the notes in a scale

so if you were playing on the c major scale cdefgabc c=1 or I d=2 II ect.

So lets say we are dealing with the major scale. Well we can makes lots of chord sounds in C but lets take the basic one the C major chord. We need a 1st a 3rd and 5th so we look at our scale there and i guess that means we need the notes C E and G I III IV.

Now the other way we can use roman numerals and numbers is when people us progression theory in the very basic form it tells you what notes make interesting progressions. But it's more used for chords.

So lets say you want to make or understand a song. Well the starting point would be understanding what key it's in. The key is the scale of it, this can be confusing when some songs are made in modes or changing keys.

so lets stick with c major. so now you want to write a cool chord progression on piano or whatever. Well basic lol. So you can look in a progression book and find a formula in there like cycle 5

I'll keep it basic with III VI II V so if we are basing this in the key of c major scale (cdefgabc) your going to play the chords

E, A, D, G and the progression will have a certain sound and you can go from there. There are many progressions and some you will like and some you will not. But it's just musical science. I can just hear stuff, but in music school ug lol you have to do the work even if you can just hear it and play it.

And the last way they are used is when they are set next to chords like Cmajor And Cmajor7 it's pretty logical the Cmajor7 adds a 7th to the chord which would be a B note and that note changes the tone of the chord.

And you will see lots of different chord formulas and and different variations in names and thats all it means.

And as long as you stay in key you will never have bad notes. but of course there are notes that just sound better together to certain people.

I play around with lots of different harmony intervals. 5ths seem to be the most popular in music today.

Also when writing melody there are patters and other things that you can learn. I love what J.S. bach did, I believe his sense of melody was the greatest in the world.

If you learn songs you can kinda get a feel of what you like to hear and take it where ever you want to go.

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"Following your ears" isn't going to help much if you're auditioning for a spot in an orchestra and you're not able to read the music.

What does reading the music have to do with music theory? And I am talking about song creation/composition. In an orchestra all you need is technique and the ability to sight read and a decent memory?

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