Music Theory: Boss Piano – A Lesson In Cadences

Article by: Justyn Brodsky

It is nearly impossible for any piano player to not hear the word cadence at least once in their life. Before explaining the cadence meaning, I will start with the reference of what a musical phrase is.

As you might already know, it is a musical thought composed with four measures length in most cases, and incomplete also. A cadence is a chord progression composed usually of at least 2 chords that ends a phrase or a part of a piece of music.

The cadence has a really important role in any piece of piano sheet music because it gives a sense of resolution for that rhythm. There are some types of cadences that are authentic, deceptive, half, and plagal. They are divided into two groups: finished cadences and unfinished cadences.

The authentic cadence is the movement from the chord V to I of the key center. It is usually written V-I and is the most common and most frequently used cadence. For an example, when it comes to the C Major scale, try playing from V (G) to I (C) and you will notice by yourself how a great finish sounds, because the authentic cadence is also known as a perfect cadence and is well-known for its most finished contribution.

When it comes to the deceptive cadence, it is good to know that it’s also called the interrupted cadence. The name is very suggestive, as in this case, it ends on an unexpected chord. The music sounds reminiscent of something interrupting the piece. For this one, the most common chord progression is from chord V to chord VI, also written as V-VI. For an example, using the A Major scale, the chords are V which in this case is the key E and VI which is the key F sharp minor. Play it and listen carefully to get a familiarity to this type of cadence, so you will be able to use it in your own piano tabs.

When it comes to unfinished cadences, it is easy to anticipate that the sound will be unfinished. This happens because the unfinished cadences don’t end on chord I. By using an unfinished cadence at the end of a phrase in a piece of piano sheet music, it will give the listener the feeling that there is more to come in the next section and that the piece is not over.

In the group of unfinished cadences there is the half cadence. It is also known as imperfect cadence and it ends on chord V, while it can start on chord I, II or IV. For an example, in the G Major scale, we take the chords I (which is key G) to chord V (which is key D). Listen and you will notice that this is not the end, it’s more like a “wait for the next part” kind of feeling. When it comes to plagal cadence, the progression is from chord IV to chord I, also found written as IV-I.

Cadences are a great way to practice and develop piano techniques, and are also considered part of the little things that form the basis of piano for any player.

If you need material for rehearsal, here is a website where you can get piano sheets for free.

Connect with Boss Piano to get your copies now, and other great tips & information as well:

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Artist Review: Emmanuel Dalmas – “Father” Single/Music Video

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

An exercise in audio and visual chemistry, and a journey into dreamlike sequences and paralleled musicianship.

That’s just one small way of describing Emmanuel Dalmas‘ captivating piano & violin-driven single “Father”, accompanied by some powerful cinematography that shows a vast array of landscapes, geography, and amazement for the eye in an effective sequential format.

This instrumental composition is one that demonstrates not only production quality, but music theory and strong musicianship components as well. With brilliant measures of melodically crafted violin and piano, this is a great modernized take on the classical genre.

“Father” is especially effective with the music video’s cinematography adding to the chemistry to bring it all together into one dynamic masterpiece. From subtle swells to strong climaxes throughout the measures, the story-telling sensation you get from Dalmas‘ composing style really sets the tone for this song and leaves a signature stylization that really encompasses raw emotions. The chemistry between the entirety of the instrumental setting is definitely soundtrack-worthy, and could work in almost any film setting if placed properly.

“Father” is definitely an anthem within. A song that puts emotions and melody into the forefront and grasps at your body, mind, and soul altogether. However, with the enchanting cinematography that rides along with the composition, you’ll get the full sensation of just how powerful this song really is.

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Artist Review: Nina Kotova

Review by: Justyn Brodsky


Dynamic, innovative, with talent beyond every musical realm that Classical compositions can offer. This Russian masterpiece with some of the country’s most renowned musicians, including acclaimed Cellist Nina Kotova, really puts history into beautifully conducted and composed songs that has a five-star signature sound to the musical craft that emulates from this collection of beautiful compositions conducted by Vladimir Fedoseyev.

Each song represents a different mood and emotion that we hear and feel as well. From subtle measures to gradual buildups, we get an exploration of every angle that Nina Kotova displays throughout each measure with the Tchaikovsky Symphony adding to the spirituality and the perfect background that puts Kotova in the forefront; showcasing her dynamic and strong presence in every composition.

As a Classical music listener that’s familiar with Music Theory, this is music that speaks volumes to the ear. While each song uses similar formulas, they also offer up many different components and elements as well. What’s most noticeable about these songs are the differentiation among the progressions and tempos. While some stay subtle and soothing, others grasp onto more of an upbeat and bossa-nova type of feeling. And I believe that’s one of the defining factors of these compositions — feeling. Emotion. And the depth of how well put-together every song is. 

With a charismatic forefront from Nina Kotova backed up by the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Vladimir Fedoseyev, we have an all-star cast of Classical musicians that will soothe the soul, enamor the moods, and leave an everlasting impression on anyone that listens.

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