A Musical Sentence


Just like the English language, music has “sentences” – we call them “phrases”!



A Harmonic Pattern that Helps You Know the End of A Phrase


The most routinely used cadences include:

Authentic Cadence

The Authentic Cadence in music is kind of like a period or an exclamation point at the end of a sentence. It usually sounds VERY final, and is often used at the end of a piece of music.

Authentic Cadence


V – I

Half Cadence

A half cadence is like a comma or a semi-colon; it is used in a phrase where we want the listener to expect something else to come afterwards.

Half Cadence

Ends on the DOMINANT.

?- V

Plagal Cadence

A plagal cadence is similar to an Authentic Cadence because it is usually used at the end of a section or end of a piece. It isn’t as forceful of an ending as the Authentic cadence.

If you’ve ever spent time at a church where they sing “A-Men” – this is the harmony you are singing during that part of the hymn.

Plagal Cadence


IV – I