[Smt-talk] Nature and Labeling of the Cadential Six-Four-Samples

Ninov, Dimitar N dn16 at txstate.edu
Sun Feb 12 12:09:10 PST 2012

Actually, you may introduce a suspension to the tonic, but instead of harmonizing that suspension with the tonic triad, you may harmonize it with the second inversion of the tonic. When this second inversion falls on an accented beat and is followed by a dominant chord, it becomes a cadential six-four which is embellished at the moment of entrance. 

I have attached a sample of the idea which is also supported in musical practice as you will see in the attachment. Bellow is a verbal explanation.

Try the following progression. In C major,  introduce I, then II6 (with the root in the soprano), then tie the soprano note over a bar line and introduce the cadential six-four on the downbeat of the next measure. At this very moment, if you play in close position, you will have the following notes: G in the bass; E in the tenor, G in the alto, and D in the soprano. Then the tone D in the soprano will resolve into C (still above the cadential six-four), thus producing a 9-8 suspension as referred to the root of the tonic (which, if referred to the bass would be awkwardly labeled as "5-4"). At the moment of the collision with the cadential six-four, you will hear the tone "D" as a dissonant suspension to I6/4. Then, if you tie the tone of resolution"C" over the next bar line and follow with V, you will hear another dissonant suspension, this time over V. Thus a chain of two suspensions - one over the cadetnial six-four, and another one over V will be performed.

You can try the same experiment with a 4-3 suspension as referred to the tonic, but harmonize it with the cadential six-four. This time you introduce IV with the root in the soprano, or II6 with the third in the soprano, and then proceed in the same manner.

I hope this helps to grasp the main idea that the cadential six-four occasionally serves as a point of resolution. Such situations are more rare, but they defy the general equalization of the cadential six-four with V.

Best regards,


Texas State University
601 University Drive
San Marcos, Texas 78666
From: Eve Poudrier [eve_poudrier at yahoo.ca]
Sent: Sunday, February 12, 2012 12:59 PM
To: smt-talk at lists.societymusictheory.org; Ninov, Dimitar N
Subject: Rép. : [Smt-talk] Nature and Labeling of the Cadential Six-Four

Dear Dimitar,

You write: 

Unless I misunderstand, there is a contradiction here. I6/4 cannot be made-up of suspensions or appoggiaturas to I. The sixth and fourth above ^5 are chord members of I.

The next statement confuses me: "A 9-8 suspension to I, or a 4-3 suspension to I, each of them harmonized by the cadential six-four." What would that verticality look like? In the key of C, I imagine we would find G in the bass (the cadential element), then D (the "9-8 suspension to I"), and F (the "4-3 suspension to I"). Why would call this "cadential 6/4"? It is just a dominant 7 chord.

Ève Poudrier

--- En date de : Dim, 12.2.12, Ninov, Dimitar N <dn16 at txstate.edu> a écrit :

De : Ninov, Dimitar N <dn16 at txstate.edu>
Objet : [Smt-talk] Nature and Labeling of the Cadential Six-Four
À : "smt-talk at lists.societymusictheory.org" <smt-talk at lists.societymusictheory.org>
Date: dimanche 12 février 2012 10 h 44

Dear Ciro,

Thank you for the comment. At the moment of occurrence which occupies the beat taken by the cadential alone, you label it as V-6/4. This is what is confusing. But how would you label it when you resolve non-chord tones into it as if it were a tonic? Such moments defy the notion of suspensions or appoggiaturas to V, because what is being introduced is suspensions or appoggiaturas to I, only that the vertical sonority is not I but I6/4. A 9-8 suspension to I, or a 4-3 suspension to I, each of them harmonized by the cadential six-four. What would you say about that?

Best regards,

Smt-talk mailing list
Smt-talk at lists.societymusictheory.org</mc/compose?to=Smt-talk at lists.societymusictheory.org>

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