By Vidas Pinkevicius (get free updates of new posts here)
Would you like to know how to play a chord progression that sounds sweet and gentle?
It's called the Plagal cadence and it consists of the subdominant and tonic chords.
In C major (from the bass upwards):
1. F-A-C-F C-G-C-E
2. F-C-F-A C-C-E-G
3. F-F-A-C C-E-G-C
4. F-C-A-F C-C-G-E
5. F-F-C-A C-E-C-G
6. F-A-F-C C-G-E-C
In A minor:
1. D-F-A-D A-E-A-C
2. D-A-D-F A-A-C-E
3. D-D-F-A A-C-E-A
4. D-A-F-D A-A-E-C
5. D-D-A-F A-C-A-E
6. D-F-D-A A-E-C-A
The Plagal cadance is the usual "Amen" cadence because most instances of Amen in the Mass can be harmonized by subdominant and tonic chords.
The extended Plagal cadence usually ended most of the Renaissance and Baroque period compositions.
Only towards the end of the Baroque, when the Galant style was becoming fashionable, forward-looking composers (J.L. Krebs, C.P.E. Bach, among others) tended to end their pieces with Authentic cadences - dominant to tonic.
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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