Cadence Types and Definitions

Cadence Types and Definitions: LadyDpiano

Awhile back I wrote a blog post about my understanding of different cadences. You can see it, here. Later on, I came across an excellent resource book regarding Cadence definitions and music theory in general called, Edly's Music Theory for Practical People. I highly recommend this one. Here's a short blurb from the book to give you an idea of what I learned from Edly's book.


What/When: Cadences occur at the end of a phrase, or the end of part of a phrase. A cadence consists of two or more chords that interrupt the harmonic momentum. The interruption can be temporary, in the form of arriving at a point of tension or arriving at a resolution. Analogies in language include phrases ending with a comma or question mark in the case of tension, or with a period in the case of resolution.

Why: The saying goes, "all good things must come to an end." This is equally true for music. If you can recognize the most common ways in which phrases end, you are that much farther ahead in understanding all musical phrasing.

Cadence Types & Definitions

The full cadence is V(7) -> I and again corresponds with moving from tension, and arriving at a resolution. In written language, this corresponds to a phrase ending in a period or exclamation point. Technically, a cadence is only "full" if the tonic is in both the melody and bass.

The half cadence is something -> V(7), that is, just about any chord moving to the dominant. In language, a half cadence corresponds to a phrase ending in a comma or question mark. A half cadence creates the expectation that something will indeed come next because of the unresolved nature of the dominant. The listener knows that the song or piece is not over at this point unless the composer or player is being cheeky, or deceptive. The chord preceding the dominant chord is often it's own dominant, or the V/V ("five of five," as it's called). In the same way that the dominant, creating the effect of a "temporary tonic." How temporary this ends up depending totally on the situation, and can be anywhere from a beat or two to a whole section of a piece.

The plagal cadence is IV -> I. You've heard it in the amens sung and played in church. IT shows up elsewhere, too, but usually to invoke that "churchy sound."

A deceptive cadence is simply any cadence that doesn't do what you expect it to. More specifically, a deceptive cadence is usually V(7) (since the dominant creates such a high level of expectation) to something other than I. The deceptive cadences found in classical, jazz, and pop music differ in destination chords, but the effect is similar in each case... one of foiled expectation. The mediant and submediant chords are the most standard tonic substitutes - the submediant (vim), in the case of classical music, and the mediant (iiim), in the case of jazz. (Notice that each of these two triads shares two of its three notes with the tonic triad! This might help you see how they might easily get away with replacing the tonic.

Most common deceptive cadences:

V(7) --> vim (classical and pop)
V(7) --> iiim (jazz and pop)
V(7) --> im (when key is major)
V(7) --> I (when key is minor)
V(7) --> bVI (various pop, classical, etc)

Learning about cadences is important. If you can recognize and identify cases, you will be able to recognize melodic and harmonic patterns much more easily and understand better how music is put together. Get the book, Edly's Music Theory for Practical People.


-- LadyD

 "The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King

Two Jimmy Buffett Songs

Ioa State Park l LadyDpiano

Our Summer is almost over and the first line of the lyrics to this Jimmy Buffett song caught my eye!

"Headin' up to San Francisco for the Labor Day weekend show."
Here in SoCal, I will be settling in for another new school year schedule, offering piano lessons. Where will you be, Come Monday?

Come Monday

Songwriters: Jimmy Buffett
Come Monday lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Key of C
4/4 Time (Moderately)

C                   F
Headin' up to San Francisco
G                             C
For the Labor Day weekend show,
I've got my hush-puppies on,
I guess I never was meant for
Glitter rock and roll.
F/D              F
And honey I didn't know
That I'd be missin' you so.
         F                   C
Come Monday It'll be all right,
          F                      G
Come Monday I'll be holding you tight.
            C               Em           F                G
I spent four lonely days in a brown L.A. haze
          F                    G                 C
And I just want you back by my side.
Verse 2

Yes, it's been quite a summer,
Rent-a-cars and westbound trains.
And now you're off on vacation,
Somethin' you tried to explain.
And darlin' I love you so that's
The reason I just let you go.
Come Monday It'll be all right,
Come Monday I'll be holding you tight.
I spent four lonely days in a brown L.A. haze
And I just want you back by my side.
Dmaj7    Gmaj7
I can't help it, honey,
Dmaj7                    Gmaj7
You're that much a part of me now.
Dmaj7                           Gmaj7
Remember the night in Montana when
Fmaj7                                         G7
We said there'd be no room for doubt.
I hope you're enjoyin' the scenery,
I know that it's pretty up there.
We can go hikin on Tuesday,
With you, I'd walk anywhere.
California has worn me quite thin,
I just can't wait to see you again.
Come Monday It'll be all right,
Come Monday I'll be holding you tight.
I spent four lonely days in a brown L.A. haze
And I just want you back by my side.

C                           Em           F               G
I spent four lonely days in a brown L.A. haze,
         F                    G                Bb  F  C              
and I just want you back by my side.

This is a very easy song to play. Fmaj7 sounds great, F/EAC and G7 with G/FGBD. Then ending with Bb/FBbD and F/FAC and C/EGCE.

Son Of A Son Of A Sailor

LadyDpiano l Jimmy Buffet

Songwriters: Jimmy Buffett
Son of a Son of a Sailor lyrics © Coral Reefer Music

Songs You May Know By Heart

Key of D
4/4 Time (Moderately slow, in 2)

     G / F / C / G /
As the son of a son of a sailor
           F               C                   G
I went out on the sea for adventure
      C                                    G
Expanding the view of the captain and crew
D                                              G
Like a man just released from indenture

As a dreamer of dreams and a travelin' man
           F                 C          G
I have chalked up many a mile
          C                                    G
Read dozens of books about heroes and crooks
          D                                                 G
And I learned much from both of their styles
F/G                C/G
Son of a son, son of a son
Son of a son of a sailor
F                                  C
Son of a gun, load the last ton
One step ahead of the jailer
Now away in the near future
Southeast of disorder
You can shake the hand of the mango man
As he greets you at the border
And the lady she hails from Trinidad
Island of the spices
Salt for your meat, and cinnamon sweet
And the rum is for all your good vices
Haul the sheet in as we ride on the wind
That our forefathers harnessed before us
Hear the bells ring as the tight rigging sings
It's a son of a gun of a chorus
Where it all ends I can't fathom my friends
              F          C                 G
If I knew I might toss out my anchor
         C                             G
So I cruise along always searchin' for songs
               D                           G
Not a lawyer a thief or a banker
F/G                          C/G
But a son of a son, son of a son
Son of a son of a sailor
F                            C
Son of a gun, load the last ton
One step ahead of the jailer
I'm just a son of a son, son of a son
Son of a son of a sailor
The sea's in my veins, my tradition remains
I'm just glad I don't live in a trailer

Repeat and fade: 


Enjoy these last days of summer!

-- LadyD

 "The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King

Three Dixie Chick Songs

Three Dixie Chick Songs:

Around 1997 I was listening to the country sounds of the Dixie Chicks. I loved hearing the violin and the excellent vocal harmonies. Along came the ever-popular song, Wide Open Spaces and from there, I knew I had to purchase the songbook.

I thought I'd share a few of their songs in the Key of E to start with. Of course, there are a few songs in A, like Give It Up Or Let Me Go, You Were Mine, and Loving Arms. Also, from the album, you'll find one in the Key of F and a few in C.

Here are 3 chord charts in E:

I Can Love You Better

Key of E Major
4/4 Time (Moderately)

C#m  B/C#  C#m          E 
Doodum doooh ooh oh
C#m            D D 
Hey hey hey oooh 
E             D                   A          
She's got you wrapped up in her satin and lace 
E       D                 A 
Tied around her little finger 
E                D          A     
She's got you thinking you never can escape 
E          D                     A     
Don't you know your heart's in danger 
B                        C#m      
There's a devil in that angel face 
    D                      A                        
If you could only see the love that you're wasting 


E      D         A            
I can love you better that that 
E              D         A 
I know how to make you forget her 
E        D             A              
All I'm askin' is for one little chance 
E           D         A             E ----D A 
Baby I can love you, Baby I can love you better 

E          D               A              
I'm gonna break the spell she's got on you 
E            D           A 
You're gonna wake up to find 
E          D              A      
I'm your desire my inten-tions are true 
E     D              A 
Hey babe, I know in time 
B                          C#m 
You're gonna see what you mean to me 
    D                       A              A  
So open up your eyes cause seeing is believing 


C#m  B   C#m    E 
Woooo oooh oooh oh 
C#m  B   C#   D   A7 
Hey hey hey oooh

E      D         A          A 
I can love you better than that
E              D         A 
I know how to make you forget her 
E        D             A 
All I'm askin' is for one little chance 
E           D         A 
Baby I can love you, Baby I can love you 
E      D         A 
I can love you better than that 
E              D         A         E 
I know how to make you forget her 
E        D             A 
All I'm askin' is for one little chance 
E           D         A 
Baby I can love you, Baby I can love you 
E      D         A               E 
I can love you better than that 
E      D         A     E 
I can love you better 
E      D         A 
I can love you better than that 
E           D         A                    E       
Baby I can love you, Baby I can love you better 

Wide Open Spaces

Key of E Major
4/4 Time (Moderately Fast)

Intro: E A/C# E A/C# E A/C# E A/C# E F#m7 E F#m7 A/B

E = E/BEG#
A/C# = C#/AC#F#
F#m7 = F#/C#EA

WEho doesn't kF#m7now what I'm Etalking about
Who's never left hF#m7ome, who's never stE/G#ruck out
To find a drAeam and a life of their oEwn
A pAlace in the clouds, a founA/B         Bdation of stone
  EMany preF#m7cede and many will fEollow
AE young girl's dF#m7ream no longer hEollow
It takes the sAhape of a place out Ewest
But what it hAolds for her, she hasn't yA/Bet guessed
She needs wEide oF#m7pen sp aces
REoom to mF#m7ake her big m istakeAs
She needsE neF#m7w faAces
She kBnows the high sEtakes F#m7   A  B
Verse 2:
SEhe traveled this F#m7road as a cEhild
WEide eyed and grF#m7inning, she never tEired
But now she wAon't be coming back with the rEest
If these are lAife's lessons, she'll take tA/Bhis test
(Repeat Chorus)
                             A/C#                             E
As her folks drive away, her dad yells, "Check the oil!"
                               A/C#                             E
Mom stares out the window and says, "I'm leaving my girl"
She said, "It didn't seem like that long ago"
When she stood there and let her own folks know
(Repeat Chorus)
She knows the highest stakes
She knows the highest stakes
She knows the highest stakes
She knows the highest stakes
E F#m7 A  A/B E
Wide Open Spaces
Let 'Er Rip

Key of E Major
4/4 Time (Slowly, freely)

      A7                                      E 
I can tell there’s something you don’t wanna tell me
       A7                                 B  Bb7 A7 
It’s killing you cause words are hard to find
Bb7    A7                          E 
I know you want to break it to me gently
           F#7                      B   C B B7#5 
Well sweet baby say what’s on your mind

            E            E 
Let’er rip,   let it fly

Come on baby say it do you think I’m gonna cry
      A7                            E 
ain’t about to bawl  I ain’t gonna die
             B                      A7 
so if you’re gonna say goodbye don't take all damn night
           E            E7 
let’er rip, let it fly

A7                                                E
Why the drama we don’t have to drag out the situation
          A7                                                   B
It wasn’t you, it wasn’t me, sometimes the chemistry don’t ignite
      A7                                                 E
There ain’t no rings, no mortgage there ain't any complications
       F#7                                             B 
Just a hyphenated word get it out I’m sure I’ll be alright


It ain’t no big deal, it ain’t no great loss
You and I are on the same train of thought
You don't have to tell me where to get off
Maybe I misunderstood you if you leave me baby would ya

            E            E 
Let’er rip,   let it fly

Come on baby say it do you think I’m gonna cry
      A7                            E 
ain’t about to bawl  I ain’t gonna die
             B                      A7 
so if you’re gonna say goodbye don't take all day and night
           E            E 
let’er rip, let it fly
             B                      A7 
so if you’re gonna say goodbye don't take all damn night
           E            E 
let’er rip, let it fly
Listen to the Dixie Chicks! Country Music Shop Country Sheet Music!

-- LadyD

 "The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King

Christmas in July Piano Practice

Piano Practice Tips: Bunnies Playing The Piano

"Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least."  -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The question I like to ask my students is... "When do you practice?" Pretty much their response is after school or in the evening. So, we work with that and for sure I can hear their progress with the ones who diligently practice. However, what I found with homeschoolers and older adult students is that early morning practice is the best!

Here are a few important reasons why morning practice works:

  • Sleep affects the learning of a fine motor skill in a very positive way.
  • Morning practice is not as forgotten as our busy day unfolds.
  • The discipline of morning practice establishes good proactive habits in other areas, too.
  • You're mentally alert, in a better mood and have peace.
  • Family members can hear you practice and make beautiful music.
What I have found to be true is doing a habit pattern over and over becomes built into the brain and you are more likely to keep up the new behavior... and that's a very good thing!

Here are a few approaches to practicing:

  • Make the quiet parts of the song as quiet as can be and the loud parts real loud.
  • Choose a song and count the rhythm quietly or aloud while you play.
  • Pick the hardest part of the song and play it at least three times in a row.
  • Play an easy song faster.
Some of my kiddos enjoy playing these chord progressions in their left hand:

FC /  GD /  AE /  CG

Perhaps you will combine notes from the D Minor 5 Finger Pattern with these L.H. Chords:

DA /  CG /  BbF /  CG

Another fun approach is having the right hand play a Pentascale while the left-hand plays the perfect octave interval as eighth notes. Start on C, move to F, back to C, then G to F. Try this in all the keys following the I - IV- V chords.

Congratulate yourself for having achieved what you set out to do! Now, let's take a look at an easy tutorial video on YouTube for Silent Night.

A great teaching video, Christmas Keys1, is a game changer. Here's what's inside:

Discover the power of "inversions" and how changing one note in your chord can totally alter the way a progression sounds!
 Beginners: How to play an entire song with only three-fingered major chords (...also known as "major triads").
 How to add fuel to your bass by understanding how "power" chords work in holiday music.
 Discover the power of "walk-downs" with basic primary chords ('ll learn this in "Silent Night")!
 How to sneak in "filler 13th chords" on your right hand to keep your holiday songs sounding full at all times.

Happy Playing!

~ LadyD

 "The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King

Called To Significance

Called To Significance: LadyDpiano

Called To Significance

 Exodus 3-4

People often allow their lives to be marginalized and diminished when in reality our God, who is the God of the second chance, longs to give you a life of real significance and true impact.

LadyD Piano Recital

End of the Year Recital

As I reflect on another school year ending and having a very successful piano recital performance from all my students... I firmly believe music educators change lives one lesson at a time.

Student playing piano at an assisted living place

Living a Life of Significance

So, I continually ask myself this question... What am I doing with the gifts God has given me? I know that it is very rewarding for me to teach young ones how to play the piano and improvise. I also love leading worship at the ladies morning Bible study. How about you? Here's some encouragement coming your way.
Piano student at his first recital

There is so much more meaning and purpose beyond this life!

  • Remember that making an impact is accomplished by God's power not human power. 2 Corinthians 12:9
  • Remember that the living God will always equip those whom He has called. John 14:26

Girl at the piano

In conclusion, you may be in the process of discovering your Spirit-given spiritual gifts. I sincerely hope you will look for opportunities to use them! My students were willing to perform several of their favorite songs (from pop music to movie themes) and the elderly at the assisted living facility in our hometown were deeply touched!!

If you're interested in taking a closer look at a 30-day trial training center, visit Musician Transformation & Gospel Music Training Center.



 "The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King

Time and Sound

For group lessons, I went to the piano and played an interval of two notes. I asked my students to name the higher sounding pitch. They were accurate in determining whether the pitch moved up or down. I got to thinking about the basic components of music and so, here I am sharing on sound from a huge resource that I often refer to when teaching young students, Basic Materials in Music Theory. I hope you will be blessed by this short scientific study of sound.

Paul Harder says, "The sensation of sound is produced by compressive waves in the atmosphere emanating from a vibrating body. Because time is required for the transmission of even a single wave, sound cannot be experienced except within a period of time." So, time and sound are the basic materials of music. Let's talk about the properties of sound.

  1. SoundA vibrating body is the source of sound.
  2. Ear or Listener - Sound waves transmit energy from the vibrating body to the ear.
  3. Sound Waves - The atmosphere transmits vibrational disturbances called sound waves.
  4. Ears - Our perception of sound results from sound waves transmitted from the vibrating body to our ear.
  5. Highness or Lowness - Pitch is a technical term which expresses the highness or lowness of a sound.
  6. Pitch - Frequency of vibration determines the pitch of a sound.
  7. Lower - The slower the vibrating body is caused to vibrate, the lower the pitch.
  8. Frequency - The pitch of a sound is determined by the frequency of vibration.
  9.  Pitch or Frequency - High and Low are subjective descriptions of the pitch of a sound.
  10. Lower - When the frequency of a pitch is halved, the resulting tone will be an Octave lower.

I remember as a child what fun it was to take a large piece of wax paper and place it inside my old upright piano between the mallets and the strings. What a delight to change the pitch to sound like more of a kazoo rather than an acoustic piano... Fun times, for sure!

  • Intensity - Loud and soft are subjective and relative terms. They refer to the intensity of a sound.
  • Timbre - The ear is capable of distinguishing not only differences in pitch and intensity but also differences in the quality of sounds. This is called Timbre. The property of sound which enables us to tell one musical instrument from another is called Timbre.
  • Duration - Sounds not only have pitch, intensity, and timbre, but also duration. (The length of tones).
To wrap it up, just remember the 4 properties of sound, which are a vital concern for musicians. Pitch is the high or low sound and varies according to the frequency of vibration. Each time the frequency is doubled, the pitch is raised one octave. Intensity is a loud or soft sound and is the result of the amplitude of the sound wave. The quality of a sound is called timbre and results, in part, from the number, relative intensity, and distribution of the harmonics present. Duration is especially important for musicians because it is concerned with rhythm, one of the basic elements of music.

Remember to take a look at Paul Harder Course. You may be interested in this comprehensive ear training Pitch Software.

Happy Sounds and all the best to you!

-- LadyD

 "The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King

Easy Play Method

Easy Method for Piano Playing

I'm back to teaching piano lessons this new semester. I like many methods of teaching. One approach I've been using is from Carol Tornquist. More specifically, her easy play method is about:

  1. Notation - eventually reading 4 octaves (including sharps, flats and ledger lines)
  2. Theory - necessary for a full understanding of making music (emphasis on intervals, chords, keys, and harmony)
  3. Melody - beginning on 3 black keys (L.H. and R.H.), then moving to C position (5 fingers) and other key groups.
  4. Rhythm - beginning with a simple meter (2/4, 3/4, 4/4) and an introduction of a compound meter 6/8.
  5. Chords - introduced I, V7, eventually using major, minor, diminished, augmented chords (block and broken)
  6. Keys - use of all major and minor key signatures, the order of sharps and flats.
  7. Accompaniment - Use harmonic intervals, then 3 note chords.
  8. Creativity - writing melodies, "questions"/"answers", harmonies for melodies.
  9. Transposition - encouraged to help students think in "keys"
  10. Technique - ear training exercises.
Happy Boy Plays Piano

By Level 1 and 2, my students know some music definitions. Here's just a few:

  1. D.C. al Fine - To go back to the beginning and play until Fine.
  2. Forte - Loud
  3. Transpose - To play in a different key
  4. Mezzo Piano - Medium Soft
Many boys and girls have learned some Italian words to describe TEMPO. For example:

  1. Fast - Allegro
  2. Medium Tempo - Moderato
  3. Andante - Slow
Level 1 Fundamentals

Introducing Patriotic songs for Level 1 students helps them to hear the interval distance. For example in the Key of F when they play America the Beautiful, students hear the first melodic interval, which is a 6th, from Middle C up to A.

So, kids have learned that an Interval is a DISTANCE between one note and another and that there are two kinds on Intervals: Learn Intervals

  • Melodic: 2nd (C to D), 3rd (C to E), 4th (C to F), and 5th (C to G)
  • Harmonic 2nd (C and D together), 3rd (C and E together), 4th (C and F together), and (C and G together).
  • An interval of a 7th is either: line to line (G to F) or space to space (F to E).
Boy Learning Half Steps

When students learn about half steps and whole steps, they start listening to tones. Many enjoy playing the Chromatic Scale at this time.

  • Half Steps - A Half Step is the shortest melodic interval there is on the keyboard. In other words, it's the distance from one key to the next... black or white... up or down. For example G to F#, E to F. C to C#, and E to Eb.
  • Whole Steps - A Whole step is a distance from one key to another, with just one key between them. For example G down to F, E to F#, C to D, and E down to D.
All ages on different levels like to practice scales, especially the C Major Scale. Every Major Scale has 8 notes grouped into a "pattern" of half steps and whole steps. Sliding your thumb under your 3rd finger on "F", play the C Major Scale from C to C (ascending). Then try it going down (descending) crossing your 3 rd finger over your thumb on E. One of the most well-known Christmas carols begins with the Major Scale descending, and that is "Joy to the World" by George F. Handel.

Many junior high students are writing their own songs using broken chords. In the Key of C, you  play 3 major chords:

C Major (I) = C-E-G
F Major (IV) = F-A-C
G Major (V) = G-B-D

Children and adults enjoy listening to seventh chords, hearing how they are alike or different. Many play 3 Dominant Seventh Chords in Level 1. History of Seventh Chords

G7 (C Major) - BFG
D7 (G Major) - F#CD
C7 (F Major) - EBbC

When a chord changes from one to another, it's called a Chord Progression. To help with more improv skills, one must learn left-hand patterns and chord inversions.

Remember that the I chord is also known as the Tonic. C root position = CEG
Also, the IV chord is called the Subdominant. (FAC)
And that the V chord is also known as the DOMINANT. (GBD)

Subdominant Chord Inversions

Root = FAC
1st = ACF
2nd = CFA
Root = FAC

Dominant Chord Inversions

Root = GBD
1st = BDG
2nd = DGB
Root = GBD

The Dominant Seventh chord is formed by adding the "7th" above the "root." (GBDF)
Since the Dominant Seventh chord has 4 notes in it, you may leave out 1 note and still have a triad:

Hope this helps. Keep practicing... I know I will!


-- LadyD

 "The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King
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