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Cadences


A cadence (or close) is a harmonic or melodic progression which ends a phrase, section, or composition.

There are five different cadences: perfect authentic, imperfect authentic, plagal, imperfect, and interrupted.


Perfect Authentic Cadence

A perfect authentic cadence is the motion of the V chord to the I chord with both chords in root position:

Figure 1: A perfect authentic cadence.


Imperfect Authentic Cadence

An imperfect authentic cadence is the motion of the V chord to the I chord with one or both chords not in root position:

Figure 2: An imperfect authentic cadence.


Plagal Cadence

A plagal cadence is the motion of the IV chord to the I chord:

Figure 3: A plagal cadence.


Impefect Cadence

An imperfect (or half) cadence is the motion of any chord to the V chord:

Figure 4: An imperfect cadence.


Inturrupted Cadence

An interrupted (or deceptive) cadence is the motion of the V chord to the vi chord:

Figure 5: An inturrupted cadence.


Also see Chords | Chord Progressions | Counterpoint.


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