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

Ciro Scotto ciro.scotto7 at gmail.com
Sun Feb 12 10:14:50 PST 2012

Hi Dimitar,

Well, actually my point was that I wouldn't simply label the chord at the moment of occurrence with V6-4 alone. I would label it V6-5/4-3. Implied in your comment is the notion that you would label it V6-4 because we are just listening to the isolated perceptual slice that occurs on the strong beat. I could be wrong, but that is how I read your comment. However, at least for me, perceptions that result in functional labels are not isolated from prior events and the events expected to follow. For example, a stepwise bass leading up to the dominant note creates the expectation that the V chord will occur on the dominant note, which will in turn enhance my perception of the V6-5/4-3 function. Lewin wrote about this type of functional perception in his Phenomenology article in Music Perception. In this context, I would not have a problem with nested embellishments. Suspensions can be embellished with neighbor notes or even other suspensions, such as 7-6-5 over dominant bass in the present case, which would not sound like a suspension into a tonic chord, but a further embellishment of the V or V7 chord, especially if a root position tonic followed the V.

All the best, 


On Feb 12, 2012, at 10:44 AM, Ninov, Dimitar N wrote:

> 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,
> Dimitar
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Dr. Ciro G. Scotto             
Assistant Professor of Theory  
University of South Florida       
home:    (813) 443-6801
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