CHAPTER 5 (PART 3)
EXTENSIONS WITHIN THE BASIC STRUCTURE
The Static Coda
All the techniques explained in the previous chapters for prolonging the tonic in the opening section static harmony can be applied to the prolongation of the tonic chord in the cadence. These are:
Whilst similar to the static harmony in the opening section of the syntactic structure, in practice, static codas are often simple oscillations such as I [ V ] I or I [ IV ] I. Static Codas are very common but occur most frequently at the ends of main sections in a piece of music.
The following figure shows the form of a complete phrase extended by a static coda:
The static coda is similar to the static harmony of the opening section of the standard phrase structure but is part of the cadence and therefore performs a different function. It often reprises melodic ideas from opening section static harmony. As for opening section static harmony, in the static coda the tonic sometimes takes on a minor 7th when moving to an auxiliary chord IV.
In the following example from the Mozart: Sonata K545, the final chord I is prolonged by a simple I [ V ] I chord oscillation. This is a common type of static coda, especially in the classical period.
Following is a full description of this phrase:
The figure above shows the syntactic structure for this phrase. It forms the repeat of the second subject in the recapitulation from the first movement of the Sonata.
Static codas based on I [ IV ] I static harmony are also very common, especially in church music. As for the opening section static harmony, auxiliary chord V suggests secular music and IV suggests sacred music. A good example of this is the last few bars of Handel: Hallelujah Chorus. This example contains a brief dominant prolongation of one bar duration followed by a static coda of 7 bars involving 8 repeats of the I [ IV ] I pattern.
The IV to I chord succession (repeated 8 times in this example) is sometimes referred to as a plagal or amen cadence. However, this is not in reality a cadence, merely the result of the I [IV] I static harmony prolonging the cadential tonic chord. The true cadence in this example is the movement from the last chord of the brief dominant prolongation in bar 87 to the first chord of the static coda starting in bar 88. A true plagal cadence only occurs when the syntactic V - I is replaced by IV - I.
To avoid any confusion it should be made clear that there is no relationship between a static coda and a formal coda. A static coda is a syntactic element and performs a syntactic function in a musical phrase. The only purpose of the expression static coda is to explain the syntax of the musical phrase. A formal coda may contain a whole syntactic phrase or more.