Definition of cadential in English:



  • Relating to a cadenza or cadence.

    ‘I can see little musical advantage in excessive cadential ritardandos’
    • ‘For instance, two of his sonatas, one for violin, gamba and continuo and the other for two violins, gamba and continuo contain similarly decorated cadential material.’
    • ‘Sometimes, sonorities more remotely related to the tropos are incorporated to produce a sense of harmonic instability and cadential delay.’
    • ‘If you do take time over the second subject because it contains more melodic high, large intervals, you make up the time later when you reach that cadential point that marks the return to the home key, and you're rushing home to the close.’
    • ‘The G-based octachord which seems to be the harmonic goal of the piece is framed by quiet chanting, the voice supported by the unearthly koto and the severely cadential chimes of the ensemble.’
    • ‘One hears other evocations of the 18th century, particularly in cadential trills from the strings, in little minuets, and in passages of ‘Turkish’ music, that Classical-early Romantic craze.’
    • ‘In plainchant melodies the commonest cadential close is a descending step to the final from the note above; other formulas, such as a descending 3rd or an ascending 2nd, are also found.’
    • ‘Poetry is the domain of the lovers, and the contrast between their inflated cadential tropes and the poet's neatly articulated phrase endings, where musical and verbal sense perfectly coincide, points up the difference.’
    • ‘I represents the formal and cadential structure of the Allegro under this different interpretation.’
    • ‘Yes; but the talk was about rhythm, and cadential six-four chords have rhythmic implications - they determine strong beats.’
    • ‘The final measure vividly transmutes the symphony's opening theme (full of upward fourths) to an idea both melodic and harmonically cadential and thus brings the work to a great, substantial close.’
    • ‘At bars 143-45 of his anthem what appears to be a de facto tenor-register part, bearing the crucial cadential 4-3 suspension, is transmitted in the Durham organ part but is conspicuously absent from the extant voice parts.’
    • ‘He is quick to reassure: his twin rejoinders could scarcely be more tender, his cadential harmonies more ravishing, or the intervening scintillating cascade more bewitching.’
    • ‘What is likely to arrest this stepwise progress is the need to form a cadence: leaps are generally felt to be necessary to provide the decisive articulation that best performs the cadential function.’
    • ‘The former is a cadential passage in the dominant.’
    • ‘They should bring to life the droning intonations and cadential prolongation his music shares with the undulating rhythms of Russian prayer.’


Mid 19th century: from cadence, on the pattern of pairs such as essence, essential.