What is a cadence?

A cadence is a series of notes and/or chords which indicate the end of a phrase or section in a piece of music. There are many different kinds of phrases but the most common are perfect, imperfect and playgal cadences. A cadence often go to chord I - the root. A perfect cadence, for example, goes from Chord V to Chord I. A playgal cadence is Chord IV to Chord I. An imperfect cadence, as the name suggests, doesn't follow the rule and is any chord (often VI) to Chord V. This cadence doesn't have the same finished sound as the other cadences and can be tricky to hear. 

Shannon G. A Level Music tutor, GCSE Music tutor, GCSE German tutor

1 year ago

Answered by Shannon, a GCSE Music tutor with MyTutor

Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist


£18 /hr

Davina B.

Degree: Information Management for Business (ITMB) (Bachelors) - Exeter University

Subjects offered:Music, Science+ 3 more

Human Biology

“Enthusiastic Information Management for Business University student who loves Music. I play three instruments and took it at GCSE and A Level. ”

Alice J. GCSE Music tutor, A Level Music tutor, GCSE Spanish tutor, A...
£22 /hr

Alice J.

Degree: Music (Bachelors) - Bristol University

Subjects offered:Music, Spanish+ 1 more

Extended Project Qualification

“About Me: I am a final year music and Spanish student at the University of Bristol and I thoroughly enjoy both subjects. I hope that I will be able to inspire, inform and instil a passion for learning in my tutees. I decided to become...”

£18 /hr

Alex R.

Degree: Physics (Masters) - Edinburgh University

Subjects offered:Music, Physics+ 3 more


“About Me: I am a Physics student at the University of Edinburgh, however I also study Computer Science. I believe there is a beauty to Science and Mathematics, however it requires hard work and understanding to be fully appreciated. I ...”

About the author

£20 /hr

Shannon G.

Degree: Music (Bachelors) - Manchester University

Subjects offered:Music, German


“About meI am a second year Music student at the University of Manchester. My principal instrument is Trumpet, but my degree involvestheory, composition and history of music, in addition to practical performance. I love talking about ...”

You may also like...

Other GCSE Music questions

What is a cadence?

What is a cadence?

What are the main characteristics of the Baroque period?

List three traits of minimalist music

View GCSE Music tutors

We use cookies to improve your site experience. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss