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:
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.
DOMINANT to the TONIC.
V – I
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.
Ends on the DOMINANT.
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.
SUB-DOMINANT to TONIC.
IV – I