Definition of perfect cadence in US English:

perfect cadence


  • A cadence in which the chord of the dominant immediately precedes that of the tonic.

    • ‘On the organ this is strange: why did Bach not use a perfect cadence, and follow the convention of substituting a major chord for the final minor chord?’
    • ‘The old devices are cadences, with a dissonant version of a perfect cadence in D occurring as Christ exits, and a dissonant version of a Plagal cadence in D as the ghost exits.’
    • ‘F functions as the relative major of D minor, and a perfect cadence is made on D in bars 21-22.’
    • ‘The refrain is introduced by a B major chord (following G sharp minor), and it ends with a perfect cadence.’
    • ‘Although this is a perfect cadence, a sense of continuing forward motion is achieved by the use of a rhythmically adapted form of the initial motif ‘x’, followed by a mutation of ‘y’ (about which more will be said below).’