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2 WCT Fingerprints

If you are trying to write music in the Western Classical Tradition (and more specifically in the style of Haydn and Mozart) you should use the common phrase structures and follow the basic conventions outlined elsewhere on this site. In addition, there are a number of common features that are found in nearly all Classical pieces and if you include them in your composition it will sound much more authentic. Some of the main WCT fingerprints are listed below, with links to explanation and examples:

  • Common cadence types (using chord ii and cadential six fours)
  • Harmonic sequences (including circle of fifths)
  • Parallel motion
  • Pedal
  • Standing on the dominant
  • Augmented sixth chord
  • Diminished seventh chord
  • Octave unison
  • Pivot chord modulation