[Smt-talk] The Six-Four Portion Only

Ninov, Dimitar N dn16 at txstate.edu
Wed Feb 15 10:58:49 PST 2012

Dear Colleagues,

I do not know if we all have realized that, but the group which supported the T/D nature of the cadential six-four and the group which supported the packet V6/4-5/3 did not speak on equal terms.

We all talked about the "cadential six-four" which refers to a single structure - the 6/4 portion of a supposed dominant complex I6/4-V or V6/4-V5/3. But our colleagues who supported the full dominant function at the very beginning of this complex, kept calling the cadential six-four "V6/4-5/3". 

No, we are speaking of the 6/4 portion only - the one which they call "a dominant with suspensions"! V5/3 which follows V6/4 is not a dominant with suspensions, therefore, it should not be used as an argument when we test the qualities of the 6/4 structure!

Do not forget - the V6/4 structure, tested against a real dominant with suspensions such as V5/4 fails to produce an authentic resolution into the tonic. If the V6/4 structure were a real dominant with suspensions, we would be able to use it alone! This is just one of several reasons the "V6/4" label is wrong.

Best regards,


Dr. Dimitar Ninov, Lecturer
School of Music
Texas State University
601 University Drive
San Marcos, Texas 78666

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