plagal cadence

Playing Authentic and Plagal Tunes

by Steve Eulberg

Here are two words that may be unfamiliar to you, but which I find most helpful for determining where to look to play tunes on both mountain and hammered dulcimers:  Authentic and Plagal. (for more on Plagal, see below)

Authentic Tunes are those whose notes are generally found between Do and the octave do.

Plagal Tunes (in a use of the term by ethnomusicicologists) are those which are centered on Do, from Sol below Do to sol above Do.  This is illustrated by the chart below:

Now ho…

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