[Smt-talk] Plagal cadence

Cristóbal García garciagallardo at terra.es
Sat Apr 18 11:34:20 PDT 2009

Dear List,


I would like to ask about plagal cadence in 16th (and 15th) century music. What is interesting to me is the fact that this cadence seems to escape the basic cadential process of this kind of music: the progress from an imperfect to a perfect consonance (usually major 6th to octave) in a two-voice framework (usually proceeding stepwise by contrary motion), typically preceded by a dissonance (the 7th as a suspension).


I have two main questions:


  a.. Does somebody know about theoretical explanations of the plagal cadence in 16th century music?

  a.. Was plagal cadence seen as conclusive enough by itself to end a work (since it is usually preceded by a more usual cadence)?

(I must say that I'm not an expert on 16th century music theory -though I´ve read on the subject-, so forgive me if these are too simple questions)




Cristobal Garcia-Gallardo

Conservatorio de Malaga (Spain)

garciagallardo at terra.es

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