A cadence is a chord progression that, after building up a tension through dissonances, leads back to the tension-solving root note. If the dominant stands before the final chord, then the cadence is called authentic; if the subdominant, it is called plagal.

In a cadence a tension comes to rest.1)

Important authentic cadences

  • Major cadence (1451) (I-IV-V-I) and variants
    (1151, 1251, 1351, 1451, 1551, 1651)
  • fourth cadence (14736251) (I-IV-vii-iii-vi-ii-V-I)
  • Jazz cadence (251) (ii7-V7-I)
  • Swing cadence (16251) (I-VI-II7-V7-I)

Important plagal cadences

  • Blues cadence (141541) (I-IV-I-V7-IV-I)
  • Pop cadence (15641) (I-V-vi-IV-I) (expanded: 1564141)