A harmonic movement from one chord to another is called a chord progression and a cadence is a harmonic device that refers to the form of ending a musical thought. Cadences may appear in the end of a phrase or section of the music piece. This means that cadences can be closely related to the overall architecture of the music piece – see form.
A change in the harmonic rhythm, or even the tempo; or certain melodic inflections; are some of the devices used to accentuate the cadences that can be more or less strong as indicators of the tonic in the piece as whole, or in any given section of the musical piece.
Below you will find some of the most common cadences:
Do you like what you read?
Subscribe to the blog and get a free sample of the Beyond Music Theory eBook, or simply share on social media!
All my music training and most articles in the internet define an imperfect cadence as ending on V, normally I-V. This is the first time ever I’ve seen it defined as the same as V-I but with one or more of the chords inverted?
Yes, it is how you understood. An imperfect cadence is the same the authentic but where one of or both chords are inverted. About conflicting information from other sites, all I can do is point you to a great source and reference where you can confirm the name of cadences – Arnold Schoenberg “Structural Functions of Harmony”. Happy composing 🙂