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Related to plagal: plagal cadence


adj. Music
Of or being a medieval mode having a range from the fourth below to the fifth above its final tone.

[Medieval Latin plagālis, from plaga, plagal mode, from plagius, plagal, from Medieval Greek plagios (ēkhos), plagal (mode), from Greek, oblique, from plagos, side; see plāk- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Classical Music) (of a cadence) progressing from the subdominant to the tonic chord, as in the Amen of a hymn
2. (Classical Music) (of a mode) commencing upon the dominant of an authentic mode, but sharing the same final as the authentic mode. Plagal modes are designated by the prefix Hypo- before the name of their authentic counterparts: the Hypodorian mode.
[C16: from Medieval Latin plagālis, from plaga, perhaps from Greek plagos side]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈpleɪ gəl)

adj. Music.
1. (of a church mode) having the final in the middle of the compass. Compare authentic (def. 4a).
2. (of a cadence) progressing from the subdominant to the tonic chord. Compare authentic (def. 4b).
[1590–1600; < Medieval Latin plagālis=plag(a) plagal mode (appar. back formation from plagius plagal; see plage) + Latin -ālis -al1]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


[ˈpleɪgəl] ADJplagal
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Appropriating a line from Horace, he castigates chants unfortunate enough to combine authentic and plagal ranges for being as unnatural as the union of a human head with a horse's tail.
Group A tunes he characterizes as 'major, heptatonic, and fairly equally divided between plagal and authentic examples.
Sub-elements and common terms and instructional terminology may include: key signature, key center, harmonic cadence, perfect cadence, half cadence, Plagal cadence, deceptive cadence, vertical construction vs.
When they had finished cleaning and preparing the lamps, they chanted the "Glory to the Father ..." and a hymn in plagal second tone.
This word pairs with a plagal cadence, and repeats in both the first and second verses.
The 'relaxed' nature of tonal motion towards the subdominant led to a flattening of the seventh above the tonic at final cadences, and thus to a digression towards a plagal cadence; combined with this is a liking for the minor chord on the subdominant (which, when the home tonality is major, provides more colour than the normal major chord on IV) - and there is a liking, too, for progressions in which the major chord on IV shifts to the minor.
Originally appeared in the December 31, 1998 issue of PLAGAL Memorandum at
Here, incidentally, all three closing measures surely comprise a decorated plagal cadence; the editor's emendation of a D-minor chord in m.
Leaving one of the best for last, the ground-breaking Greek band Mode Plagal will end this groovy journey on an ethnic jazz note.
They are in two vocal parts, the upper written in black ink, in the fourth echos, and the lower in red ink, in the fourth plagal (i.e., at the distance of a fifth).