Talk:Andalusian cadence

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Requests for Clarification[edit]

Chord progression[edit]

It mentions the chord progression as iv-III-II-I. In the example, it states that for the key of E (assuming it's the major key of E), the chord progression would then be Am-G-F-E. However, wouldn't it be Am-G#-F#-E instead? Clarification is requested... because I could definitely be wrong. :-)) Thanks!Mumpsy 17:57, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

When I play the Am-G-F-E I always play the Cmajor scale, or it's relative minor, Aminor, over it.
I thought it was considered an E Phrygian mode of the C Major scale?
Or as best can be described by Western music since it has an Emajor is not one of its diatonic chords.
SantaCruzn 20:45, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Well, you now have your correct answer. It is to be found on the article page, there are also detailed explanations over the cadence's structure. Moreover, there is also an example of a IV-iii-ii-I progression (Nevermind the major/minor quality of each chord, when compared to the presumed "iv-III-II-I". What does matter is that the steps in the cadence coincide.), as opposed to a typical Andalusian cadence. That is Lovin' You by Minnie Ripperton, shown on the "twisted" examples section. (Impy4ever 17:33, 7 August 2007 (UTC))

Bach's Chaconne[edit]

I'd like to see someone point out to me the andalusian cadence in Bach's chaconne! Is there something real or should it be removed? --Kikimoïd 19:58, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

It is something real and, by far, one of the best examples in classical music. I see that you'd like to have someone else than me saying that. Voilà, I'm adding right now some interesting source. (Impy4ever 05:15, 19 August 2007 (UTC))
OK, it can be found from measure 53. Maybe that should be written in the article. --Kikimoïd 02:19, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Andalusian cadence in major key[edit]

The article says The Andalusian cadence may be notated vi - V - IV - III (if in a major key), but in major key we have iii not III, am I wrong ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:43, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

I think - and I'm no expert - that it's implied that you have to 'magically' change the minor iii into a MAJOR III, as a sort of 'tweak'. But I agree there is not normally a III in a major key in the sense of I - ii - iii- IV - V - vi - vii. And, Have a great day :) (talk) 21:28, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

Possible missing examples[edit]

What no "Stray Cat Strut"? -MrFizyx 21:27, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your suggestion; I must confess that I did not have a clue of the song. I've learned that the band is pretty well known, so I think this example should be illustrative. (Impy4ever 17:33, 7 August 2007 (UTC))

And while Dick Dale is certainly well known as one of the originators of "surf music", Miserlou is not all that much an example of an Andalusian cadence, this only being used in the trumpet solo bridge. A much better example, recorded several years prior to Muserlou, is the Ventures "Walk, Don't Run", where this chord progression is used not only for a major part of the main theme, but also the intro. This became rather iconic for the Ventures, who used this type of intro (or something similar) for several other songs, such as their arrangement of "Sleighride". Wschart (talk) 19:11, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

I knew about the Ventures' song, but for some unknown reason I'd picked something else. Thanks for the hint :) (Impy4ever (talk) 21:40, 19 June 2009 (UTC))

Redirect phrygian cadence[edit]

The term "phrygian cadence" ought to redirect here. In fact that's what this excellent article ought to be named. RichardJ Christie (talk) 05:18, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for your appreciation. Yet I'm afraid your remark isn't right. Andalusian cadences actually are phrygian cadences, but not all phrygians are also andalusians. That is, an andalusian cadence is a particular case of a phrygian cadence (a minor i-VII-VI-V progression). But a totally different phrygian cadence occurs in the second movement of the third Brandenburg Concerto by J.S. Bach: there the progression consists only of a iv6-V(3#) in e minor. It is called phrygian because the bass moves down from do to ti (a diatonic half-tone). The only resemblance to the Andalusian is the "V" featuring a leading tone for the final chord. While the Andalusian featured a whole phrygian tetrachord, this case only suggests it through its essential condition (that the last chord move use a descending diatonic half-tone in the bass). I mean the Phrygian cadence should become an article of its own. (Impy4ever (talk) 08:48, 4 September 2008 (UTC))
That's interesting, I hadn't considered that case as phrygian, I would have just classified it (perhaps incorrectly) as imperfect, although I do see that it is mentioned here: cadence (music). Are ther any other types we might not know about? If you largely wrote this article, may I request that you also write phrygian cadence, should you have available time <smile>. RichardJ Christie (talk) 09:48, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Hm, I ought to get more sources. While the Andalusian cadence is an easy subject (I mean, 70% or more of the theory explanations given in the article aren't really about Andalusians, but rather general remarks that point to it; the rest of less than 30% is really a piece of cake), the Phrygian is a vast subject and I know only patches of it. I don't even know whether anyone (and mostly fear that noone) has an actual strong and straight theory about it, because it covers an immense amount of information. I've tried to allude to it now and then in the article, as you might have already noticed, but my knowledge lacks a panoramic view of the subject you're requesting from me. If I get some good books, I'll start writing about it. As of now, I can only write some stub and maybe move or duplicate some information in the history section of the Andalusian towards the new article. (Impy4ever (talk) 13:44, 5 September 2008 (UTC))

Image copyright problem with Image:Minnie lydian.ogg[edit]

The image Image:Minnie lydian.ogg is used in this article under a claim of fair use, but it does not have an adequate explanation for why it meets the requirements for such images when used here. In particular, for each page the image is used on, it must have an explanation linking to that page which explains why it needs to be used on that page. Please check

  • That there is a non-free use rationale on the image's description page for the use in this article.
  • That this article is linked to from the image description page.

This is an automated notice by FairuseBot. For assistance on the image use policy, see Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. --08:16, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Done this, removed the red template. (Impy4ever (talk) 18:49, 20 September 2008 (UTC))

Classical Music Theory[edit]

As a student of (Western art) music theory, I was greatly perplexed when I came across this article. While "Andalusian cadence" might be the correct term for a bass line of this sort in Flamenco parlance, I have never once come across this term as a descriptor of classical music. The descending tetrachord bass is usually referred to as such, or as a "step descent bass" or the lamento or lament bass. No standard American harmony textbook that I'm aware of refers to this as an Andalusian cadence; are there British (or perhaps French or German) texts that I should refer to? I can't recall any reference to the term in Ellen Rosand's seminal article in the Musical Quarterly, either. ("The Descending Tetrachord: An Emblem of Lament") If this article is to be a description of chord progressions constructed over such a bass line, we should strive for a title that more accurately reflects the subject matter--especially since Bach's chaconne and Monteverdi's lamento are cited as prominent examples. (If, on the other hand, the article is restricted to a discussion of Flamenco practice, I think the current title is fine.)

As an article covering several different genres of music, however, this piece has several flaws. My concern is especially with the section titled "analysis". The subsection "modal vs. tonal" does not specify what genre of music is proposes to theorize: its claims seem outlandish to me from the perspective of classical theory. The section below, "harmonic peculiarities," is closer to speaking my language, but still has problems. The expostulation on harmonic functions doesn't belong here at all; it would be like an explanation of the basics of arithmetic in an article on calculus. The second paragraph is more or less correct, but confusingly worded. The third paragraph is, like much of the article, confusing because it alternates between two different roman numeral interpretations of the progression. If it means to imply that the fourth chord of the progression is a V, which is often followed by a i... that is correct, but that final i is not part of the progression itself, so it would be incorrect to claim that a step descent bass always concludes with an authentic cadence. In fact, quite often, step descent basses stop on that V chord, ending with a half cadence. If the third paragraph means to take the fourth chord of the progression as the tonic (i.e. a modal reading), that's fine, but I'm not sure that concepts of harmonic function (ESPECIALLY the neapolitan as a tritone substitute for the dominant) have any place in a modal reading, so I'm not sure how justified one is in claiming that this concludes with an authentic cadence. (My modal theory is admittedly weak, but I thought that "authentic" and "plagal" in such a context refer to the modes themselves, not to cadences.)

Finally, I have serious qualms about the section "Structure of a Typical Cadence". This may be an accurate description from the perspective of Flamenco music--again, I'm not an expert there. However, for a classical musician, the harmonization presented is far from the most common: one is much more likely to see something along the lines of i v6 iv6 V. Moreover, a discussion of this progression in a classical context ought to present it using proper voice leading--not with a chain of parallel fifths as presented here.

Although this article may appear soundly constructed and well-sourced to an theory layperson, it has serious problems. It betrays fundamental confusion about the genres of music that it attempts to describe, and (due to this confusion) makes many false implications about the theory of classical music. If the classical music ambitions are to be retained, it really needs to be reworked with reference to a mainstream harmony text. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:26, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Just because you haven't heard of a term doesn't exist or isn't used and on Wikipedia Wikipedia:Verifiability of information is what counts, not credentials (since we both could claim to be the King of Spain or three-year-olds). Regarding article titles see Wikipedia:Article titles#Common names. Regarding genres, classical music isn't the end all be all. See WP:NPOV for a description of how to describe differing or disagreeing viewpoints. Lastly, many of your concerns are as hazy as the problems they claim exist. Hyacinth (talk) 11:20, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

See lament bass and descending tetrachord. Hyacinth (talk) 13:54, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

Small correction[edit]

Be careful about Antonio Chacon : the linked wikipedia page doesn't mention anything about him playing guitar, thus contradicting what the present page states. As far as I know, I never read anything on the net mentioning any guitar skills of the Flamenco singer Chacon. Benouaste (talk) 02:49, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Problems with Lydian cadence example[edit]

The chord progression in the "Lovin' You" clip is Dmaj7 - C#min7 - Bmin7 - Amaj7. The note under the music claims this is in the key of E major, which is obviously wrong (it's A maj). But a more important point is that the "tonic" of this sequence is somewhat ambiguous. To my ears, at least, the tonic is the Amaj7 chord, not the Dmaj7 chord; this suggests the piece is in A major, not D Lydian. Furthermore, I may be wrong, but I think the song ends on Amaj 7, which further supports the interpretation of A major rather than D Lydian.

I'm sceptical that there is any such thing as a Lydian cadence. A more convincing example would be helpful. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:22, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

You say you are skeptical the centuries old concept and practice exists, yet you (presumably) just read an entire article about it.
You say you would like a better example. What about the two other examples in the article? Especially note the second image, which contains a citation that Am-G-F-E may be interpreted as in E Phrygian.
Lastly, note that the example you object to is uncited.
Hyacinth (talk) 16:46, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
I am referring to the Lydian cadence, not the Andalusian (Phrygian) cadence. I have no scepticism about the existence of the Andalusian cadence. I am not aware, however, of centuries' worth of tradition supporting the existence of a Lydian cadence. If there are such examples, it would be helpful to show them. The current example does not demonstrate a cadence whose "tonic" is D (the first chord Dmaj does not provide any convincing sense of closure), and it is much more reasonably analysed as being a chord progression in Amaj. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:51, 1 April 2011 (UTC)


A large part of this article seems to be about the chaconne, one of the principal musical genres of pre-classical music, and indeed it contains a (very short) laundry list of chaconnes, out of the thousands that have come down to us. It also seems to suggest that they make use of the Andalusian cadence. What sources are there for this idea, which appears to me to be a grave anachronism? The sources given, such as the "Compostition Description" of Michael Jameson, do not mention the Andalusian cadence at all. Neither do sources such as Silbiger's article on 'Chaconne' in Grove. Allmusic would not in any case seem to meet the standards of Wikipedia as a source, and should probably be removed. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 11:05, 23 August 2011 (UTC)


This is one of the most risible articles I ever read. Things may be different in Rumanian music theory (on which the article appears based), but I'd like to stress and comment the following quotations:

• "one of the most popular progressions in classical music" — I'd very much like to read a substantiation of this astonishing claim. The article quotes less than a dozen examples from classical music, which seems to me a trifle short.

• "A popular melodic pattern of Ancient Greece offers a possible starting point for the Andalusian cadence. Called the Dorian tetrachord..." — I very strongly doubt we know ANYTHING about popular melodic patterns of Ancient Greece: the few lines of Ancient Greek music preserved today may or may not have been "popular" and none of them contains this "popular pattern". There is no such thing in Ancient Greek theory as a "Dorian tetrachord" (this has been a mistake arising from 19th-century misreadings of Greek theory, as Gombosi has shown). There existed a diatonic tetrachord, which may be transcribed as A-G-F-E, and which, so far as one can tell, was but a theoretical construct and certainly not a popular melodic pattern.

• "Some theorists consider that the same structure may have occurred earlier in Judah" and "A sequence more or less close to the Greek tetrachord structure might have been known to the Moors in Southern Spain and spread from there through Western Europe." — This is pure speculation. Nothing is known today of the early music of Judah, and very little about Moorish music in Spain. I suspect that there is a confusion here with the existence of lamentations in poetry: nothing indicates that singing these poems involved a descending tetrachord.

• "The French troubadours were influenced by the Spanish music." Ah! Ah! So what?

• "The Andalusian cadence known today, using triad chords, may be no earlier than the Renaissance, though the use of parallel thirds or sixths occurred from the 13th century." — In what sense would the (somewhat limited) 13th-century use of parallel thirds or sixths have anything to do with the Andalusian cadence? Would the claim be that parallel thirds or sixths in the 13th century suggest triad chords? All this is nonsense.

• "Some sources state that the chord sequence was noted for the first time by Claudio Monteverdi in a choral work, Lamento della Ninfa, first published in the Eighth Book of Madrigals (1638) – other works in the same collection are known to have been played as soon as 1607." — On the one hand, the Lamento indeed is written on an ostinato bass A-G-F-E: why refer to "some sources" to state the evidence, why not read the score? And if it is to say that what these sources claim is that this was the first publication of the chord sequence, the claim should be substantiated (or, at least, a reference given). On the other hand, what is the point of saying that other pieces in the collection had been played (or sung?) as soon (as early?) as 1607? Is that an indirect way of claiming that the Lamento might date from 1607?

• "The progression resembles the first four measures of the 15th century Passamezzo antico; i – ♭VII – i – V." — What is characteristic in the Andalusian cadence is that the antepenultimate note of the descent (say, G in A-G-F-E) is contradicted by the major third of the last chord (say, G# on E). There is no such thing in the Passamezzo antico.

• "♭VII – ♭VI arose as a result of advancement in music theory.[citation needed]" — I second the request for a citation, and I wonder what music theory might have to do with such kind of advancement.

Etc. etc. I won't comment on the very odd and naive ideas expressed later in the article about the change from modal to tonal harmony, about the rise of triadic harmony, about tonal functions.

Utter confusion arises when the article eventually states:

• "The Andalusian is an authentic cadence, because a dominant chord ("V") comes just before the tonic "i". (Using modal harmonies, the third, and not the fourth chord – "♭II" – acts as the dominant, substituted to tritone. Even so, the cadence stays authentic. The fourth chord itself is the tonic, so the cadence need not return to the tonal tonic, i.e. modal "iv".)" — If the "Andalusian cadence" is to be described in terms of function, then one should decide whether it ends on V (a half cadence) or on I (a perfect cadence). If it ends on V, the cadence itself cannot be between the final chord and whatever may follow (i.e., V-i), especially if nothing follows! And ♭II cannot be a substitute to the subdominant in one case, a dominant in the other case. To discuss this in terms of "tonal" vs "modal" harmony merely indicates a total lack of understanding of what these three terms ("modal", "tonal" and "harmony") mean.

It would be more interesting to note that the descending diatonic tetrachord may have been conceived in the Renaissance as an image of an ideal, utopic Antiquity, and that a variety of contrapuntal devices were imagined for realizing it polyphonically, eventually leading to what is described here as Andalusian cadence. A link should be made not only with the Phrygian mode, but also with a possible (Arabo-)Andalusian mode, a "tzigane" mode, and various "oriental" modes (bayati, hijaz, sikah, etc.); also with de Blainville's "third mode" in the 18th century, etc.

In the meanwhile, I don't understand why this article has been rated B-Class.

Hucbald.SaintAmand (talk) 08:59, 18 September 2013 (UTC)

Agreed! What is more, vast tracts of it are completely without references. At a quick glance, all the points you raise all seem more than valid; I'd be very happy to see them addressed. I believe I tagged this article as needing attention a while ago. Meanwhile, it's a "C". Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 10:41, 18 September 2013 (UTC)

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