Palette Surfing 1

For beginners, it is helpful to do a few simple exercises to get used to the layout of Palettes.

Simple Cadence

Visit the Palette page and select a Standard Palette in Minor from the Circle of Fifths. Now recall a preset Layout > Preset > Harmonic Functions for a layout that shows harmonic functions instead of chord names.

Select a Sketch from the Playback menu that puts some emphasis on the chords, for example, Pop Push w/Guitar.

Don't get confused by the symbols. All you have to know now is that T stands for Tonic, D for Dominant, and S for Sub-dominant. The lowercase letters are for minor, and the uppercase are for major. These chords are also called the Primary Functions of a key, according to the Theory of Harmonic Functions.

Now play the sequence

 t – S – D – t

It will probably sound very familiar to you because this is a Cadence. Cadences clearly indicate to a listener which key we are in. This is most obvious with an Authentic Cadence that passes from D to T or t, or in Roman Numeral notation from V to I, also written V – I or 5 - 1.

Tip: As a rule of thumb, a V - I authentic cadence is always a good way to close a progression, or establish a new key after a key change.