I–IV–V–I

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PAC (IV-V-I progression in C, in four part harmony About this sound Play )
IV-V7-I in C, on guitar. About this sound Play 

In music, I–IV–V–I or IV-V-I is a common chord progression and cadence that, "unequivocally defines the point of origin and the total system, the key."[1]

Composers often begin pieces with this progression as an exposition of the tonality:[1]

I-IV-V-I in Bach's WTC II, Prelude in C Major.[1] About this sound Play 
I-IV-V-I in Handel's Suite in F Minor, Prelude.[1] About this sound Play 

It may be viewed as an abbreviated circle progression:

I-IV-               V-I = I–IV–V–I About this sound Play 
I-IV-V-I in Scarlatti's Sonata in D Minor, K. 517.[1] About this sound Play 

"Along with motion toward the fifth (V), IV [the subdominant] appears as a corrective, depriving V (the dominant) of its independence and pointing it back in the direction of its origin [I]."[1] In the key of C, IV provides the note F and eliminates the possibility of G major, which requires F.[1] The progression is also often used at the end of works and sections.[1]

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Jonas, Oswald (1982). Introduction to the Theory of Heinrich Schenker (1934: Das Wesen des musikalischen Kunstwerks: Eine Einführung in Die Lehre Heinrich Schenkers), p.23. Trans. John Rothgeb. ISBN 0-582-28227-6.