What is a cadence ?

A cadence is the point at which a piece of music is brought to a close. It is a resolution of discord, a point of stability, rest and consonance.

There are differing degrees of closure - it may be the absolute end of a symphony or pop song, or a brief pause at the end of a musical phrase. Each type of closure demands that its cadence be articulated with the harmonic, melodic, rhythmic and dynamic means necessary to its function.

In the following two pages I will be examining the harmonic means of articulating a cadence in tonal and harmonic music (i.e. music which can be said to have a sense of key, and uses chords).

Cadential Progressions - here I examine chord progressions that function effectively as cadences in each of the eight tonal harmonic scales. These include many unconventional and unusual progressions.

Cadential Forms - here I examine in detail the different ways that these cadential progressions can be presented and altered to achieve different tonal effects.