The Andalusian Chord Progression

The Andalusian cadence is a term adopted from flamenco music for a chord progression comprising four chords descending stepwise.

Published: Sep 10, 2013 Updated: Oct 7, 2016 Visits: 2

ANY ukulele Subjects: progressionsrepertoiretheorysongwriting

The Andalusian cadence is a term adopted from flamenco music for a chord progression comprising four chords descending stepwise. It is otherwise known as the minor descending tetrachord. Traceable back to the Renaissance, its effective sonorities made it one of the most popular progressions in classical music.


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The upper tetrachord of minor scales varies: in C minor, the sixth may be Ab or A while the seventh may be Bb or B. To avoid confusion the chords of the progression may have accidentals added. The Andalusian cadence may then be notated **I bVII bVI V** rather than simply I VII VI V. The bVII note and chord is called the subtonic. In the final chord V the leading note replaces the subtonic.

Example in C major: C Bb Ab G.

Example Songs

  • Maui, Hawai'ian Sup'pa Man
  • Babe I'm Gonna Leave You - by Led Zeppelin
  • Basketball Jones - by Cheech & Chong
  • Believe - Elton John
  • China Girl - David Bowe
  • Feels Like the First Time - Foreigner
  • Fever
  • Good Vibrations - The Beach Boys
  • Guitar Tango - The Shadows
  • Happy Together - by The Turtles
  • Hey Joe - by Deep Purple
  • Hit the Road Jack
  • I Will Survive - by Gloria Gaynor
  • I'll Be Back - The Beatles
  • Layla - by Eric Clapton
  • Love Child - by The Supremes
  • Maneater - Hall And Oates
  • Pipeline - by The Ventures
  • Runnaway - Del Shannon
  • Science Fiction Double Feature - Richard O'Brien and Richard Hartley
  • Smooth Criminal - Michael Jackson
  • Stray Cat Strut - The Stray Cats
  • Walk Don't Run

One progression and lot of songs.



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This series of lessons are extracted from my book for use with individual private and on-line students-members.

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