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in music, the ending of a phrase or composition. In singing the voice may be raised or lowered, or the singer may execute elaborate variations within the key. In instrumental music, with development of the theory of harmonyharmony,
in music, simultaneous sounding of two or more tones and, especially, the study of chords and their relations. Harmony was the last in the development of what may be considered the basic elements of modern music—harmony, melody, rhythm, and tone quality or timbre.
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, the cadence became completely dependent on the change of chord. If the dominant chord comes before the tonic, the cadence is authentic, or perfect; if the subdominant chord comes before the tonic, the cadence is plagal. If the dominant chord leads into another harmony, the cadence is called deceptive, or interrupted. The reverse order of tonic to dominant is a half cadence, or imperfect.


See W. Piston, Harmony (3d ed. 1962).



a harmonic or melodic formula that occurs at the end of a section in a musical work and imparts a completeness and wholeness. In harmony the distinction is made between full (concluding with the tonic triad) and half cadences (concluding with the dominant or subdominant). In turn, full cadences are subdivided into authentic (tonic is preceded by the dominant) and plagal (tonic is preceded by the subdominant), perfect (tonic appears as last chord, with the tonic note in the soprano, and either the dominant or subdominant preceding it, both in root position) and imperfect (in which the conditions for forming the perfect cadence are not observed). Interrupted cadences replace the tonic in the authentic cadence with another chord. By dividing a musical composition into separate sections, cadences help to establish a definite logical and functional relationship among them.

Cadenza. A cadenza is a virtuoso solo episode in an instrumental concerto; it may be a free fantasia based on the theme of the concerto. The Viennese classical school left the composition or extemporization of cadenzas to the performer. Later composers (beginning with Beethoven), striving for a structural and stylistic compositional unity, wrote their own cadenzas.



, cadency
1. a rhythm or rhythmic construction in verse or prose; measure
2. the close of a musical phrase or section


(1) The pattern of video frames created from a film source. See telecine and cadence correction.

(2) (Cadence Design Systems, Inc., San Jose, CA, A company that combines electronic design automation (EDA) software technology with a range of professional services to produce chip design technology. Cadence products are used worldwide to design and develop integrated circuits and systems for computers, telecom and networking equipment, automotive electronics and consumer goods. In 1988, two pioneering EDA companies, ECAD, Inc. and SDA Systems, merged to form Cadence Design. Today, Cadence is the world leader in EDA software and services.