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12-4  CADENCES

11. Leading Tone Resolution.

In previous lessons, you were taught that in a perfect authentic cadence, the leading tone must occur in the soprano voice and resolve by half step to the root of the tonic chord. When both chords are in root position, the doubled root in the outer (soprano and bass) voices creates a strong cadence. Figure 12-22 shows this leading tone resolution in a perfect authentic cadence.

Figure 12-22. Leading Tone Resolution in Perfect Authentic Cadence

12. Leading Tone Resolution in Inner Voices.

a. The leading tone can also occur in an inner (alto or tenor) voice at an authentic cadence; however, following normal voice leading rules results in an incomplete tonic chord. In Figure 12-23, the third of the tonic chord is omitted.

Figure 12-23. Incomplete Tonic Chord at Cadence

b. To avoid this unacceptable voicing, an alternative method of voice leading must be used. Instead of resolving the leading tone upwards by half step to the tonic of the tonic chord, it can move to the fifth of the tonic chord. This voice leading results in a complete tonic chord.

c. The leading tone can resolve to the fifth of the tonic triad when the soprano moves from the fifth of the dominant chord to the root of the tonic chord (measure 1, Figure 12-24). The leading tone also resolves to the fifth of the tonic triad when the soprano moves by leap (measure 2, Figure 12-24).

Figure 12-24. Soprano Movement at Cadences

d. To complete the resolution, write the bass voice (Figure 12-25).

Figure 12-25. Write Bass Voice

e. Then, write the two remaining voices in similar motion (Figure 12-26).

Figure 12-26. Write Two Remaining Voices in Similar Motion

13. Tripled Root at Final Authentic Cadence.

Previously you were taught to voice a root position tonic triad at a final cadence by using two roots, the third, and the fifth of the triad. Occasionally, at the final authentic cadence, it may be necessary to voice a root position tonic triad using three roots and the third of the triad while omitting the fifth of the triad. Tripling the root of the tonic triad creates a greater variety of notes available for the soprano voice while eliminating undesirable or awkward voice leading in all four voices.

14. Voice Leading Tripled Root at Final Authentic Cadence.

a. Write the root of the dominant chord to the root of the tonic chord in the bass voice (Figure 12-27).

Figure 12-27. Write Root Movement in Bass Voice

b. Resolve the leading tone (third of the dominant chord) to the doubled root of the tonic chord (Figure 12-28).

Figure 12-28. Resolve Leading Tone to Doubled Root

c. Move the fifth of the dominant chord to the tripled root of the tonic chord (Figure 12-29).

Figure 12-29. Move Fifth of Dominant Chord to Tripled Root

d. Move the second root of the dominant chord to the third of the tonic chord (Figure 12-30).

Figure 12-30. Move Root of Dominant Chord to Third of Tonic Chord

NOTE: Do not omit the third of the tonic triad as it leaves the quality of the triad questionable. The empty sound of the open fifth between the root and fifth of the tonic triad is unacceptable.

SELF REVIEW EXERCISE 12-3

a. Part-write the following leading tone resolutions (Figure 12-31).

Figure 12-31. Part-Write Leading Tone Resolutions

 

b. Part-write the following final authentic cadences (Figure 12-32). Triple the root of the tonic chord.

Figure 12-32. Part-Write Final Authentic Cadences

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Answer Key

David L. Heiserman, Editor

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Revised: June 06, 2015