cadence, 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 harmony, 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).

Cadence may refer to: In music:

  • Cadence (music), a particular series of intervals or chords that ends a phrase, section, or piece of music.
  • Cadenza, a long, unaccompanied, freely played, and sometimes improvised solo passage in a concerto
  • drum cadence, a drumline piece played in a parading marching band between or in place of full-band pieces
  • Military cadence, a chant that is sung by military personnel while parading or marching
  • Football cadence, a particular series of vocal calls, intended to keep an offense in rhythm and coordinated to when the quarterback will hike the ball.
  • Cadence Records, an American record label during the 1940s and 50s.
  • Cadence Magazine, a monthly review of jazz, blues and improvised music.
  • Cadence Jazz, a record label issued by the above magazine
  • Cadence Weapon, a rap artist from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
  • "Cadence", a song by Anberlin.
  • "Cadence", an all-female a cappella group from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • "Cadence", a song by Japanese band, TOKIO
  • Cadence, an a cappella band from Canada.
  • "Cadence of Her Last Breath" a song by symphonic power metal band Nightwish


  • Ring cadence, the ringing pattern announcing a telephone call
  • Cadence (cycling), the number of revolutions of the crankset per minute
  • Cadence (gait), the number of steps per second
  • Cadence (film), a 1990 film directed by Martin Sheen.
  • Cadence Design Systems, an electronic design automation company
  • Cadence, a girl's name of growing popularity, featured in films such as Shallow Hal and American Pie - The Wedding
  • cadence, a fall in inflection of a speaker's voice, such as at the end of a sentence

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