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Cadence (Fr. cadence; Ger. Kadenz, Schluss; It. cadenza)locked

  • William S. Rockstro,
  • George Dyson,
  • William Drabkin,
  • Harold S. Powers
  •  and Julian Rushton


The conclusion to a phrase, movement or piece based on a recognizable melodic formula, harmonic progression or dissonance resolution; the formula on which such a conclusion is based. The cadence is the most effective way of establishing or affirming the tonality – or, in its broadest sense, modality – of an entire work or the smallest section thereof; it may be said to contain the essence of the melodic (including rhythmic) and harmonic movement, hence of the musical language, that characterizes the style to which it belongs. The term was also used in France to denote various types of trill (also known as ...

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