Formal Clausulae

Unit 1.1, Examples 1 and 2

In earlier periods musicians conceptualized cadences as a combination of Formal Clausulae in each of the separate voices. This idea, which originated in the Middle Ages was still in use during the Baroque era and is still useful for us today.

A formal clausula will typically contain three notes labeled as:

  • Ultima (ULT) – the last note.
  • Penultima (PEN) – the penultimate note.
  • Antepenultima (ANT) – the 2nd to last note.

Discant Clausula

The discant clausula employs scale degrees 8-7-8 (or do-ti-do in modern movable do terminology).

Variants of Tenor Clausula

The tenor clausula always has scale degree 2 in the PEN position. Scale degrees 1 and 3 can occupy either ULT or ANT.

Practice these using Analytic Piano (discant)

Practice these using Analytic Piano (tenor)

Try identifying the Clausulae in the following exercise:

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