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Phrase Deviations, Cadential Deviations and Framing Functions CH.5

Date : 19/12/2017


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Uploaded by : Juan
Uploaded on : 19/12/2017
Subject : Composition

This Article is a summary based on W. Caplin`s work Classical Forms. I found this book incredibly useful in order to understand and process Haydn sonatas.

Phrase DeviationsIn most of the cases, we can reconstruct a more normative version.

Extension: Extra material is added so the function is stretched in time. Adding and stringing together content.

Common usesRepeating material -sometimes like an echo-

Extending a continuation with additional fragments (more suitable than expanding them). The continuation function main feature is fragmentation together with harmonic acceleration and rhythmic acceleration, these features fosters the appearance of shorter units rather than longer. Due to the later, extending this function is much more viable than expanding it.

Extending continuation or cadential functions by repeating earlier material following a cadential deviation.

Extending continuation or cadential function after an IAC

Differences with interpolationIn the extension the newly added material continues to express the same function. In the interpolation the new material doesn t connect neither with the preceding nor with the forthcoming function.

Extension is far more commonly seen than interpolation.

Expansion: The elements of a functioned are lengthened. Applicable mainly to cadential and initiating functions not to continuation function. Swelling out of content.

Contrasting Idea replaced by Continuation Phrase: The contrasting idea of the consequent is replaced by a 4m continuation phrase.

Interpolation: It doesn t belong neither to the preceding nor to the following function. It can be eliminated without disturbing the formal syntax.

Compression: The elements or members of a function are shortened.

Cadential DeviationsThey happen when the perfect cadence is promised but doesn t happen


The deceptive chord is still the goal of the cadence. The deceptive event groups backwards with the cadence.

Deceptive resolution: Any progression from V-VI

Deceptive cadence: The tonic of an implied authentic tonic is replaced by other harmony or tonic in first inversion. Imminent thematic closure is required

Evaded cadence: The problem is the tonic. The final tonic of a promised authentic cadence fails to appear. Instead we find material that seems to backup towards reinstating the cadence in this second attempt.

The goal chord fails to materialize. The new material doesn t belong to the cadence. Evaded cadences can happen even when resolving root position.

Abandoned cadence: The problem is the dominant. When the cadential dominant is omitted or weakened through inverting it. It feels like the music blends into another cadence which gives end to the piece instead of the one we ve just passed through. Sometimes the abandoned-cadence-proper cannot be spotted clearly.

Framing FunctionsThe principal boundaries of a theme are marked by the beginning of the basic idea and the moment of cadential closure. An introduction can precede the basic idea and a postcadential material can happen after the cadential closure - after authentic cadence, closing section after half cadence, standing on the dominant -.

Thematic introduction: Short unit, normally no more than two measures -sometimes even two chords. Minimal thematic content. Accompanimental figuras that continue through the beginning of the theme. Harmony: tonic prolongation.

Closing section: After a perfect authentic cadence can elide into a closing section or can ignite a closing session starting on the following bar. It prolongs both the tonic harmony and the tonic scale degree achieved in the cadence. It comprises a series of codettas.


Size: A length ranging from 1 chord to 4 measures


Tonic prolongational (most common)

Cadential progressions (most common)



Deceptive (after which the PAC arrives)

V-I alternation (most common)

Subdominant-emphasis-within-a-codetta counteracts the weight of the dominant preceding the PAC resolution. This is an agent of relaxation and therefore it is recessive in character.

Melody: It will not open the game for a new idea.

Revolves around the tonic scale degree

Engages with other scale degrees but finishes in the tonic anyway

Codettas are not cadences mainly because they don t count with the right harmonic support.

Standing on the dominant: After a half cadence at the end of the theme. It shares the same features with the closing section but it is dominant prolongational.

Dynamics of framing functionsWallace Berry speaks of progressive and recessive dynamics. This term refers to the liquidation or build up or intensity through texture thickening and accelerated harmonic and/or rhythmic rhythm. In general introductions are progressive and postcadential material is recessive, but it is not always the case.

Melodic OverlapIt happens when the downbeat of the previous phrase marks the beginning of the new one, therefore all the measure in question belongs to the new idea.

Deviations in GeneralSymmetrical vs. Asymmetrical DeviationsExamples:

Symmetrical: 5+5

Asymmetrical 4+6

Generally the first phrase always keeps the normative length.

In the case of the period, though different phrase deviations may be used, an equilibrium is maintained between the antecedent and the consequent.

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