6.6 Deceptive Cadences in Continuous Periods

Jessye Norman sings "Ave Maria"
by Franz Schubert

The first phrase of the vocal part to Schubert's "Ave Maria"--performed above by Jessye Norman--ends with chords whose roots are V - vi. This harmonic formula at the end of a phrase is called a deceptive cadence (Dec). It is "deceptive" in that the dominant (seventh) chord sets up an anticipation of tonic at the end of the phrase, but instead the dominant is followed by vi. Though vi and I are similar to each other in having two common tones, the switch from the expected major I chord to the minor vi chord (or in minor, the switch from the expected minor i to the major VI) can be quite striking.

The two phrases notated above form another kind of continuous period. While the continuous periods on the previous page took two phrases to complete a single fundamental harmonic progression, I - V - I, the two phrases on this page complete a single circle progression, vi - ii - V - I. In this period vi has the dual role of both expanding the initial tonic (even after a cadential 6/4), and of beginning a circle progression. See the overlapping bracket and arrow.

The video to the left shows a continuous period with deceptive and perfect authentic cadences. The deceptive cadence begins a circle progression which lasts all the way until the end of the consequent. A deeper level (not notated) might have shown a tonic expansion lasting from the very beginning to the cadential 6/4.

The the third movement of Mozart's clarinet concerto also contains a continuous period whose first phrase ends with a deceptive cadence. In this excerpt IV substitutes for ii in the circle progression.

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