Definition and background:
A stylized close in music which divides the music into periods or brings it to a full conclusion. See Authentic Cadence (alsosPerfect Authentic Cadence, Final Cadence, Full Cadence, Full Close Cadence), Plagal Cadence (also Amen Cadence, Church Cadence), Deceptive Cadence (also Interrupted Cadence), Half Cadence (also Half Close Cadence, Imperfect Cadence), and Phrygian Cadence. Also [Fr.] cadence; [Ger.] Kadenz or Schluss; [It.] cadenza; [Sp.] cadencia.A 17th and 18th century French term for a shake or trill.Generally, the beat of any rhythmic activity. In marching, a cadence is used to keep a marching unit synchronized and stepping on the same foot. The cadence can be performed through verbal commands with non-musical military units and typically include a call and response form of song or, with musical units, through a drum cadence. Some marching bands and other marching units such as a Drum and Bugle Corps typically employ very complex drum cadences with choreographed movements. See also Drum Cadence.Closing of a phrase or section of music.The end of a musical phrase. A cadence typically has some kind of closing gesture and a concluding note; its finality is judged by the relationship of the concluding note to the final (that is, to the central pitch of the piece). See ouvert, clos, landini cadence, medial cadence, sixth-to-octave cadence. The melodic or harmonic ending of a piece, or the sections or phrases within a piece. A chord progression that gives a feeling of resolution, or conclusion.
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary