Phrygian cadence

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Phrygian cadence (plural Phrygian cadences)

  1. (music) A type of imperfect cadence frequently found in Baroque compositions. The gesture consists of a iv6–V final cadence in the minor mode at the end of a slow movement or slow introduction. It implies that a fast movement is to follow without pause, generally in the same key.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The term Phrygian is, strictly speaking, inaccurate: the cadence does not represent or belong to the Phrygian mode. The name presumably arose because of the half-step movement (flat submediant degree to dominant degree) found in the bass, which to an extent resembles the II-I cadence of the Fifteenth century.