Project 13: Elaborate Cadences

Today I finished my collection of four Elaborate Cadences. In this section I focused on the Dominant-tonic Perfect Cadence. Within this project I had to disguise an upcoming perfect cadence by remaining on the dominant in the bass while allowing the right hand to tickle, tease us and to keep the listener guessing as to what is coming up next.

My first cadence was mostly entirely based on the dominant apart from one bar where I ventured out in to a different chord.

Task A in Bb major

You will see that the majority of this study the chord is heavily weighted on the F with just a bare C to G progression. This is a trick to keep the listener trying to guess what key we are in and as to whether we are major or minor. Whilst I try at all costs to mislead the listener we can tell that the weighted F in the bass asserts the key this is written in. We are in Bb Major but the recurrent use of the G leads us to believe we could be in G minor. We progress to G minor in the 3rd bar but before we know it we end up on the major triad at the end of the exercise.

For my second cadence I tried to achieve a bouncy drinking song kind of feel with the use of the 9/8 time measure.

Task B in D major

You will note that the bass line is mostly based around the A major triad (V of D major) The melody has a very lively feel and with a very limited and quick use of dissonance. The exercise keeps its lively up beat and staccato feel. This is mostly a consonant composition apart from a few very brief clashes in the melody which are used, in this instance, to subconsciously generate some more interest in the melody. We are then given a very elaborate dominant 7 chord at the start of the perfect cadence because the 7th adds the craving to get back to the tonic.

My third cadence was in the style of a waltz, almost.

Task 3 in C major

I used stereotypical waltz traits of the quick 3/4 time measure and the typical waltz beats on 2 and 3 to maintain the waltz feel. This piece rarely leaves the dominant G chord, only in a passing F# in the third bar. The melody and harmony gets nice and colourful however as the bars modulate between the second degree A minor (3rd bar), and dominant of G, D major (4th bar) before reverting back in to G major for the penultimate bar and finishing on the tonic in the final bar. I enjoyed experimenting with the different chords over the bulging G in the bass line as I felt it added a much more developed and advanced grasp of how harmony works. It added a much more interesting sound, one I should like to explore further as my degree progresses.

I saved my personal favourite until last. I wrote it in my favourite key signature (C# minor) I feel there is a serene beauty around this key and I always feel mesmerised by it.

Task 4 in C# minor

Using the mechanism of dynamics, articulation, key signature selection and harmony, I composed a brief musical portrait of un-settling anticipation which eases in to a simple C# minor chord right at the very end. The melody doesn’t leave the dominant G# until the next bar when the melody is written around a D# chord. The third bar dabbles in A major then the penultimate bar starts with the arpeggio of F major 7 and is responded with an augmentation back in to F# minor(aug). This happens while the bass line draws in back to the perfect cadence. I found this to be a pleasant surprise! The Perfect cadence felt un-expected but still worked in the context of the piece.


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