Authentic Cadence

Perfect Cadence

"Authentic Cadence", also called "Perfect Cadence", is a musical term used to describe a specific harmonic progression that often signifies the end of a musical phrase. It typically consists of the V and I chords, representing the fifth and first degrees of a scale, respectively. Because of this, it is also known as a "V-I" cadence. This type of cadence creates a sense of closure and finality, providing a natural point of conclusion for a musical segment.

The authentic cadence is a common and stable harmonic progression that holds a sense of resolution and balance. It often occurs at significant points of modulation or at the conclusion of musical phrases, indicating to the listener that a musical section has come to a complete end. In a authentic cadence, the V chord (dominant chord) carries a strong tension, while the I chord (tonic chord) imparts a sense of resolution. This contrast creates an engaging harmonic transition.

For instance, in the key of C major, a authentic cadence would involve a transition from the G chord (V) to the C chord (I). This chord progression is frequently employed to conclude sections of a piece, signaling emotional closure or the completion of a musical idea.

The authentic cadence is an essential concept in music composition and analysis. It serves not only as a technical element but also impacts the emotional and expressive aspects of music. Alongside other harmonic progressions, it contributes to diverse musical structures and provides captivating harmonic changes for the listener.

Example of Authentic Cadence

The Perfect Music Cadence - Music Theory Crash Course