A cadence is a chord progression of at least two chords that indicate the end of a phrase or a end of a melodic section.
There are two principals type of cadences: Finished Cadences and unfinished Cadences.
Finished Cadences: A phrase that ends with a finished cadence sounds like ending.
Unfinished Cadences: A phrase that ends with an unfinished cadence sounds like not ending.
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Differences between British and American terminologies
About cadences, there are differences between British and American terminologies:
|Authentic cadence||Perfect cadence|
|Perfect Authentic cadence||No British label for that concept|
|Imperfect authentic cadence||No British label for that concept|
|Half-cadence (semi-cadence)||Imperfect cadence|
|Plagal cadence||Plagal cadence|
|Deceptive cadence||Interrupted cadence|
A phrase that ends with a finished cadence sounds like ending. There are different kinds of finished cadences:
A perfect cadence is a cadence from V to I (dominant to tonic).
There are 2 kinds of authentic cadences: Perfect authentic cadence, imperfect authentic cadence:
Perfect authentic cadence
A perfect authentic cadence is a cadence from V to I (dominant to tonic) with two other necessary conditions: Chords are in root position and the upper voice ends on degree I.
Imperfect authentic cadence
An imperfect authentic cadence is a cadence from V to I (dominant to tonic) that fails to meet requirements of perfect authentic cadence (root position and I on upper voice)
Here are some reason of the failed requirements:
One of the chord is not in root position:
The upper note is not the first degree (I):
A plagal cadence is a cadence from IV to I (Subdominant to tonic).
A phrase that ends with an unfinished cadence sounds like not ending. There are different kinds of unfinished cadences:
Half cadence / Imperfect cadence
A half cadence () or an imperfect cadence () is a cadence ending on degree V, whether preceded by any other chord. This cadence sounds like incomplete or suspended, it is like a pause in the music.
Deceptive cadence / Interrupted cadence
A deceptive cadence () or interrupted cadence () is a cadence from V to VI. Normally after the degree V, we are expecting for the degree I but the degree VI make a feeling of interruption and suspension.
Finally! So many different resource use different names for the same cadences. I’ve been studying on my own for weeks to prepare for an exam and couldn’t make sense of this because I didn’t know there was a difference between British and American cadence terminology. Thank you so very much for explaining this. You have truly helped me resolve some puzzling questions that were causing me great frustration and taking up a lot of my time. I can’t thank you enough! I so appreciate your help!
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Happy that it helped you.
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