Perfect Cadence

Authentic Cadence

"Perfect Cadence", also called "authentic 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 perfect 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 perfect 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 perfect 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 perfect 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 Perfect Cadence

The Perfect Music Cadence - Music Theory Crash Course