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Cadence

A series of intervals or chords which end a piece of music or denote another stopping or pausing point.

Different cadences lend different feelings to a passage and are characterised as strong or weak. Mostly we do not notice cadences consciously but they do signal an end approaching. They can be used cleverly to lead the listener to the expectation of closure, only to divert off to another chord or interval rather than the expected one (an Interrupted cadence).

Cadences are relative to notes in the scale or key of the music being performed.

A cadence of V to I (e.g. G to C in the key of C) is a strong ending and is called the Authentic or Perfect cadence. Making the chord a seventh adds even more power to the resolution (G7->C). A huge number of songs and tunes end this way.

A cadence of IV to I (e.g. F to C in the key of C) is less strong and is called the Plagal or Amen cadence.

A cadence to the V chord from I,II,IV or VI rather than to the I chord is an Imperfect cadence ad is used as a temporary resting place in the music.