Cadence and Different Types of Movement (Minor Edition) / Music Theory Lesson

Author: sleepfreaks

Minor Cadences

From our previous article, you should now have a better idea of the function of the Tonic, Subdominant, and Dominant chords in a minor key.
(Also called tonic minor, subdominant minor, and dominant minor)

In addition, we looked at adding leading tones in our 51st article to natural minor chords to create the V and V7 chords, so lets take a closer look at using these chords as well.

❇︎As mentioned above, we will focus on tonic/subdominant/dominant chords so you may find I written as T, SD(S), or D, but we will use the image below to make things easier to understand.

The dominant chord with a leading tone and tritone, which creates tension and a strong pull towards the tonic T (Tm), will remain written as D like in a major key.


This time we will be looking at using cadence (shortest form of a chord progression) to create a sense of story in a chord progression in a minor key.

We will compare it with the 3 basic cadences (seen in our 31st article) seen in major keys.
To make this easier, we will compare with the parallel minor key (C minor).


  • Tm→Dm→Tm / Im→Vm→Im, Cm→Gm→Cm


  • Im→Vm7→Im / Cm→Gm7→Cm



  • Im→V→Im / Cm→G→Cm


  • Im→V7→Im, Cm→G7→Cm


When heard in consecutive order, the difference in sound is easy to hear.

The second time is more powerful and has a sense of release from tension.
In addition, we can change the I to a 7th chord for a different effect.


  • Tm→SDm→Tm / Cm→Fm→Cm


This cadence has a more gentle landing.
Because it is in a minor key, we have a gentle skip from the sad and nostalgic feeling and land back on the Im.
Try it out with 7th chords as well.


  • Tm→SDm→Dm→Tm / Cm→Fm7→Gm7→Cm



  • Tm→SDm→D→Tm / Cm→Fm7→G7→Cm


It creates a very smooth motion, with a sense of safety to development, into tension (particularly the D chord), and back to safety. This is a very commonly used cadence.

These are the 3 basic types, but of course the cadence from our 31st article D→SD(Dm、D→Tm), is quite common as well.


This completes our look at some minor cadences, and now you have more tools in your toolbox to create music with!

Please continue to write/analyze music using the knowledge you have gained up until this point.
You are certain to make new discoveries that you may not have noticed before.

Article Writer: Kazuma Itoh

講師 伊藤
After moving to the USA at 18 years of age with a scholarship from Berklee, he completed a 4 year study focused on song writing and arranging there.
Using this knowledge, he works across a variety of fields from pop music, film music, and more.