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Cadences

A cadence is a chord progression that gives a sense of arrival or resolution. One particular cadence, the V-I (or V7-I) is especially powerful. In classical music, a V-I cadence is practically mandatory at the end of a piece, and it is the biggest gun in the composer’s arsenal when changing keys, or modulating. The following…

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Rosetta Stone

Almost all Western music, including my own, lives in the world of tonal harmony. This means: There can be, and usually are, multiple notes playing at the same time. There is a key center, or tonic, around which the notes are arranged. The tonic doesn’t always sound — it’s an intangible presence, the home from which you leave on your…

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Another Comma

One more comma shows up in the central portion of the lattice. In equal temperament, three major thirds adds up to an octave. The major third is an interval of four piano keys (out of 12) or 400 cents. Three of them is 1200 cents, exactly an octave. In just intonation, this is not the…