Definition of plagal cadence in English:

plagal cadence


  • A cadence in which the chord of the subdominant immediately precedes that of the tonic.

    • ‘Not only does the subdominant come too late in the movement for this key to function as anything other than a component, on a large scale, of a plagal cadence.’
    • ‘The massive chords at the end can seem rather simplistic on the organ, and the very final cadence is unusual in two ways: it is a plagal cadence, and ends in a minor chord.’
    • ‘Additionally, the final plagal cadence of Der Doppelganger has connotations of traditional church music, and the AA'B ‘bar form’ used in the song is not only relatively unusual in late Schubert, 35 but may even be an archaism.’
    • ‘Imagine if Perotin had copyrighted the plagal cadence, or Jelly Roll Morton the flattened fifth?’
    • ‘Now we live in a society where it's perfectly possible to grow up not knowing those moods, not being able to come upon a plagal cadence and realise ‘It's churchy’ in some special way.’