Tip #197 – Andalusian Cadence

Continuing with the idea of the lament bass, we have the chord progression of the Andalusian cadence.

Built off of the lament bass line in minor, it is harmonized like this:

i – bVII – bVI – V

These chords can also include sevens and other upper extensions for an expanded harmony, but the core triads and bass line motion is what matters.

Not only does the Andalusian cadence appear in classical and pop music, but you can find it in the regional styles of flamenco, Arabian, and Greek music.

Try coming up with a riff based on this progression.

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Tip #196 – Lament Bass

I popular classical music trope that found its way into modern pop music is the lament bass. Before, the lament bass was used in what we regard as Classical and Romantic era music for sorrowful passages. Now, it appears in many different variations in today’s music/

The “original” lament bass is a diatonic walk-down from the root of the minor chord to the fifth in a span of a P4:

Each note in the bass is harmonized, and the descending motion gives the music a grieving feeling. You can hear by the minor tonality the need to resolve down.

Pop music does a similar thing, but with a “major” lament bass:

Compare how these two different, not only in pitch but as well in intervals.

Also, there can be a “chromatic” version of the lament bass, still spaning a P4 in distance travelled:

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