Tip #23 – Finding a Good Modal/Synthetic Cadence

Today is a small tip on how to use your ears and basic knowledge of voice-leading when it comes to building a cadential sound when in a tonal mode – or using a synthetic scale.

First, know where is your tonal center, or I chord. This will obviously be your home base.

Now, find scale degrees that can act as sol/5 or ti/7 to the root of the scale.

Next, find other leading tones and see if they can be added to the previous incomplete V structure.

Finally, experiment with these tones, adding and subtracting, to build a cadential chord that has a strong pull back to your I chord with an unresolved sound. Easier said than done, for sure, but this exercise will certainly train your ears more to know how your compositions flows within a mode or synthetic scale.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Author: Bryan M. Waring

Bryan Waring is a graduate of USM's School of Music with a B.M. in Performance – Composition and is now attending Belmont University for a M.M. in Commercial Media – Composition & Arranging. During his time at USM, he studied violin with Dino Liva and composition with Dr. Daniel Sonenberg, as well as has premiered several pieces during the semiannual Composer's Ensemble concert series. In 2017, Bryan was a writer for the original musical theater work of "Molded By The Flow," directed by Paul Dresher and Rinde Eckert. Outside of school, Bryan has been involved with writing music for videogame developers at Portland's CI2 Lab, collaborating with the King Tide Party, and studying with Larry Groupé (Straw Dogs) in San Diego. Now living in Nashville. Along with composing, Bryan teaches music to children, receiving the Master Teacher Award for his work at ESF Camps; and does audio engineering for live ensembles. Besides talents in music, Bryan is a team-player in any competitive work environment; equipped with skills in leadership, organization, mathematics, creativity, communication, and managing. On the side, Bryan has worked as a model for several skilled artists in the New England area. Among his other accomplishments include obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout in April 2013 with a project of building a side parking area with guide rails for Webb Mountain Park in Monroe, CT.

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