Phrygian cadence


Definition of Phrygian cadence

: a musical cadence in which the root of the final chord is approached from a semitone above especially : the cadence in which the first inversion of a minor subdominant (see subdominant entry 2 sense a) resolves to a dominant (see dominant entry 2 sense 2b) Mozart leads into it with a Phrygian cadence on E, the traditional setting for a question (here, “Which of the gods will give me aid?”). — Daniel Heartz, Haydn, Mozart and the Viennese School, 1995 — see cadence illustration

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First Known Use of Phrygian cadence

1854, in the meaning defined above

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