Cadences In Music

Cadences are an essential factor in understanding music theory. Learning about what they are and how to utilize them will save you a lot of time when it comes down to playing or reading music. You may have several questions, which is why we are here to break down everything you need to know about cadences in music.

What Is a Cadence?

A cadence acts like punctuation but in a musical sense. It is typically made up of at least two chords that are next to one another at the end of a phrase.

Phrase?

When we speak or write, we tend to group words into phrases to create sentences. In music, we do the same with notes, to create rhythm and melodies. 

Cadences assist in making the music feel complete, like a period in a sentence, or create a sense that there is more to come, like a comma. They help build the music up or wind it down, giving it a sense of direction. 

Types of Cadences

As you begin to come across cadences, you might notice that there are some that sound complete while others do not. The reason for this is that there are four main types of cadences that you will hear: 

The Authentic Cadence  

The authentic cadence, also classified as a perfect or imperfect cadence, moves from the dominant chord V and the tonic chord I. Of all the cadences, this is the one that sounds the most finished. 

  • Perfect Authentic Cadence: The chords will be in root position, which means they will be placed in the bass, whereas the tonic will be the higher voice in the final chord. This will produce a stronger type of cadence found in music.
  • Imperfect Authentic Cadence: There are three different kinds of imperfect authentic cadence. The root position IAC is where the highest voice is not featured in the tonic area. An inverted IAC is similar to an authentic cadence, but one or both chords will be inverted. A leading tone IAC is when the V chord is replaced, but the tonic will still end on the I chord. 

The Plagal Cadence

A plagal cadence consists of the chord progression IV and I and is used at the end of a phrase in music, creating a sense of finality. It is often referred to as the “Amen cadence”, as it was commonly used to end Hymns. 

The Half Cadence

The half cadence is when any cadence ends on a V chord despite whatever chord comes before it. It will usually sound incomplete and sometimes suspended, resulting in it appearing weak and calling for more. Half cadences are not typically used to end a piece of music but can be found in the beginnings of choruses or verses. 

The Deceptive Cadence 

The deceptive cadence (sometimes called an interrupted cadence) is the progression in which the V chord will move to a chord that is not the I chord. It is called “deceptive” due to the listener expecting to hear the resolution with the I chord but receiving an incomplete feeling instead.

Other Factors

Rhythm and Melody 

As cadences are crucial in putting music together, other elements such as rhythm and melody play accompanying roles in producing a cadence. There are numerous possibilities and important aspects to remember when piecing it all together:

  • The top notes in a phrase impact how an authentic cadence works. 
  • You will get a better sense of finality when a tonic note sits on top of a tonic chord.
  • A strong or weak beat can impact the effect of a cadence. You may want to consider having the final chord fall on a strong beat instead of a weaker one. 
  • Keeping both chords in a root position can create a stronger cadence. 
  • If the chords are inverted, the cadence ending will be reduced. 

How To Use Cadences

Understanding cadences is a helpful tool when it comes down to composing or arranging music. By knowing the basics, putting together different types of musical phrases will feel a lot easier. You can have anything from phrases that finish with a grand sense of finality, like with an authentic and plagal cadence. You can get a sense of continuation or of idleness in a phrase, like with a half cadence or deceptive cadence. 

By combining different types of phrases, a bigger section of music can be produced, which can be identified as a “period.” A period is two or more phrases that go together. 

When structuring music, a cadence should be at the end of every phrase, with the last cadence of a period being the strongest in the group. Phrases will usually come in groups, sometimes two, three, or more, but the last one will always be the strongest. 

Music Radar suggests that listening to other songs by acclaimed musicians can aid in understanding and spotting cadences. Songs like I Will by The Beatles or Guilt by Nero are a couple of examples of a deceptive cadence and a perfect cadence. Listening is a useful tool in discovering how music works, especially in cases where cadences are involved. 

Common Misconceptions 

  • Not every cadence has to act as a moment of rest in a song, nor does it need to end on a long note. You will notice many cases where this is present, but it is not a requirement in writing music. 
  • A cadence does not always need to end a song, as some of them are designed to create tension or bridge different parts of the song together. 
  • Some musicians may ignore their relevance, but cadences continue to influence music even today. Understanding the differences of plagal cadences and how to use a half cadence will be useful in composing music. 

Anyone can access information about cadences through online music lessons provided by Academy of Music. We strive to ensure that your music knowledge expands and that any needs will be met with our lessons and information. Sign up today to improve your understanding and strengthen your musical talents.

How To Stay Focused While Practicing Piano

The piano is one of the most universally iconic and enjoyable instruments, appearing in countless forms of entertainment. It is no surprise that it is a go-to instrument for many who wish to master music. However, learning piano requires a great deal of concentration, time, and practice, which is why so many individuals do not go through with completing their piano journey. 

To stay focused in an age where your concentration can be broken by so many distractions is no easy feat. Piano practice has to be met with dedication, and that can often be thwarted with temptations from our devices or hanging out with friends, etc. Despite how much you may love the piano, it may always seem like something is pulling you away. Here are some helpful tips to assist you with practicing: 

Tips

Create Goals

Taking on the piano can be intimidating at first. Creating goals for yourself in a journal or agenda can help you maintain concentration and organize how you go about practicing, ridding you of any unmotivated feelings. You can even be competitive with yourself, which will result in you putting in more effort and having fun. 

Take a Break

Practicing for a lengthy period can be exhaustive and could indirectly halt your progress. Feel free to take breaks when appropriate or set an alarm for five or ten-minute breaks, but use that time wisely. Get a drink, a snack, walk around or give yourself a rest to improve those energy levels. Pianist Magazine highly recommends taking a moment, as it can increase your learning retention and effectively keeps you focused. Use your break effectively and wisely to avoid any distractions.

Designated Time

Choosing one designated time each day can help in creating an organized schedule. You will not be as tempted to make plans when you know you have a piano practice session. Pick a time of day that works for you. Other pianists may have an ideal time to practice piano, like in the morning or the evening. Choosing a time can be beneficial in the piano learning process.

Warm-Up

The idea of a warm-up before practice may seem time-consuming. Warming up is wise for many reasons, from preventing carpal tunnel or tendonitis to simply improving your flow when playing. You will spend less time being rusty during practice which is always a bonus for developing playing skills. 

Slow Down

Putting pressure on yourself to learn specific songs that require a lot of work might not be good for you. Learn them at half speed and when you feel comfortable, play faster. Use a metronome and pay attention to the speed and listen to the notes; you will notice a difference in your piano performance. 

Enjoy the Music

As a pianist, you want to enjoy the music you play. If you are playing music that you don’t like while you practice, you’ll find yourself unable to concentrate and may begin to feel unmotivated. Choosing tunes you enjoy will boost your interest and help you stay interested.  

Be Positive 

Making mistakes and having trouble learning the piano is perfectly okay, as it is a part of the journey. Most musicians and composers found difficulty mastering their instruments, whether piano, guitar, or saxophone. Make sure to keep playing and continue your practices, as you will find that it will only be a matter of time before you start to sound like a focused and professional pianist. 

Signing up for piano lessons can help further your training and strengthen your musical understanding. With classes and practice, you’ll definitely hear significant improvements.

Why You Should Learn At Least A Little Music Theory

You may be someone who has formed their life around their love of music. Whether it is by playing an instrument, like guitar or piano, or simply the enjoyment of following musicians and their musical works, there are so many ways to enjoy it. 

If your appreciation of music has led you to the desire of wanting to learn how to play an instrument, carry a melody, or form a basic knowledge of how music is created, then understanding music theory is a fun and fantastic first step to begin your musical journey. 

Some musicians may tell you it is as simple as picking up an instrument and learning your own way, but a basic understanding of how it all works is extremely helpful to develop your listening and playing skills. Here are some reasons as to why you should study theory if you want to go down the right course toward music knowledge: 

How Does It Help?

Comprehension

The great thing about music is that there are so many different instruments you can pursue and different approaches you can take as you begin. A great asset to possess when you begin your journey is forming your music theory knowledge. There are many ways music theory helps a beginner:

  • It is like learning a new language, and doing so will help you read music notes and develop how you begin writing music.
  • Once you understand it, you will be able to communicate with other musicians.
  • You will comprehend what scales are and be able to clarify information like the difference between a major chord and a C major chord.  
  • Music theory helps you understand different techniques and styles of playing.
  • Becoming familiar with music theory can assist in speeding up the learning process.
  • Understanding how music works will give you a better sense of right and wrong, as well as ease you closer toward performing and playing your instruments of choice. 

How Can I Learn?

Lessons

You do not have to go on your journey to learn music theory alone. If you are looking to be taught about music theory, there is a convenient way to go about doing it. 

  • The ability to learn music theory online is available to anyone who wishes to take lessons.
  • Learning music theory from a professional can make life a little easier for you.
  • Your teacher will be able to give you notes and information that will guide you down the right path in discovering how music works.
  • Good music theory books can be found online that will help you understand the language of music.
  • Just like playing guitar or any other instrument, you need practice. Test yourself on the knowledge needed to understand music, and you will begin to master your instruments in no time.

Are There Other Benefits?

Besides forming an understanding of music theory, you may wonder how else it can benefit you as a musician. 

Creativity

  • If you study theory, it can play a big part in your overall creative musical endeavors.
  • Your creative process may be hindered if you lack the required technical knowledge to adapt to other forms of music.
  • It will assist you in trying different things when you write sheet music. 
  • You will have improvisational skills when you play instruments like piano, guitar, drums, violin, etc. By understanding how notes work and what goes into writing a song or a melody, you can freestyle and be more adventurous as you play.
  • It can assist you in understanding, as well as playing music in other genres. 
  • According to Liberty Park Music, understanding the basic rules of music can help you determine when it is appropriate to break them and try something new. This informs creativity rather than deterring it. 

Sound

  • You will sound a lot better when you begin to play.
  • Theory can help how you listen and perform and can be a bonus when you want to know if what you are playing sounds good. 

Performance

  • Music theory will help you play and write more professionally.
  • A strong understanding of music theory will add to your immersive experience on stage and in front of an audience. 
  • If you are playing in a band or an orchestra, music theory will help you understand what role everyone else plays.

Patience and Discipline 

  • It is a lot of work to study theory, but you can form a great deal of patience and discipline by learning. 
  • You will be able to attribute it to how you go about playing and will eventually make the job easier as mastering instruments themselves require a great deal of time. 

Independence

  • You do not want to always rely on others to guide you.
  • Music theory can help in the long run as you will know how to create pieces without the assistance of others. 

Versatility 

  • If you study theory, you will be able to become more versatile as you begin your career or venture into music, as this is widely important in the music scene.
  • Some musicians do not always get to play what they want, and general knowledge about different styles and techniques can help you gain more experience. 
  • You may become someone who can do a variety of different jobs that require different instruments and genres.

Is It Fun?

Learning to do anything music-related can be hard work, but it can be extremely satisfying. Figuring out a major chord or chord progression, as well as performing and writing your own songs, can be some of the most fun experiences you can have in your life, especially if shared with others. Many musicians have made wonderful memories and incredible music and most definitely had an eventful time along the way. 

If you are deeply passionate about music and everything that goes into making it, visit the Academy of Music, where you will be able to find any lessons you require or wish to try. You will have the opportunity to learn all there is to put you on a course toward your musical triumphs.

Are Online Drum Lessons A Good Alternative To In-Person Lessons?

The world we live in is always expanding and modifying how it operates on a day-to-day basis, which requires us to adapt to the way things are progressing. The same can be said about music, specifically learning how to play our favourite instruments. 

A treasured instrument that is loved by many music enthusiasts is the ever-expanding drum set. The mastering of this incredibly fun instrument takes time. You have to learn every bit of this instrument, from snares and tom drums to the cymbals, and eventually increase beyond a four or five-piece drum set. That is where lessons come in, and luckily, we now have the option of taking lessons from the comfort of our own home while being connected to a variety of instructors online. 

For some, you may want to begin your drum education, but this may not be an appealing option to you. Perhaps you are not tech-savvy, or maybe you just learn better by being with one teacher. You may wonder, are online drum lessons a good alternative to visiting a teacher? What are the perks if you plan to learn how to play the drums through online lessons, rather than private lessons? Here are the advantages any students can benefit from if you are interested in online drum lessons:

 

Advantages

Convenient/Productive

  • You will not have to worry about the commute to a drum teacher studio or home, as you would if you were in person.
  • No stress over being late for a lesson.
  • Weather conditions will not be a factor in deciding if you have to cancel a music lesson.
  • Being at home may be a more comfortable and convenient environment for you to learn drums, as you can go at your own pace. Whether it is a few months, or a few weeks, you will notice a difference. 
  • You’ll have more time for practice and warming up before and after lessons. This way, you will not be rusty before a lesson, and you will have more time to go over what you have learned.
  • You can always record a lesson; this way, you can go back and give yourself a refresher which is helpful as a student. 
  • Your stress free drum lessons can be watched as videos on whatever device works for you.
  • Teaching may come through clearer when you are able to view it online. Not everyone can learn as well on the spot.
  • Sheet music is easily accessible online which may prove beneficial for you. You can take the sheet music in printed form, or have it directly on any device.
  • Not everyone gets a feel for it right away. Due to how lessons can be filmed or displayed, you may get a closer look in videos, such as how drummers hold their drumsticks while playing and an overall better sense of hand placement. 

Affordable

  • Online lessons are less expensive and more affordable than private lessons.
  • In person lessons may require more money due to whether the drum teacher would have to meet you or consider the charge for a studio space. 
  • There are many teachers out there that will have different rates for you to choose from.
  • If you are planning on taking lessons, you will either already have a drum kit or anticipate purchasing one. Owning your drum kit will assist in the learning process quite a bit; however, there are many options you can take into a cost-effective mindset. 
  • You can always rent drums or invest in an electronic set that has the option of plugging in a headset, minimizing any noise in consideration for your neighbours or loved ones.

Flexible 

  • You will be able to make your lessons work around your schedule. Many other students will most likely do the same, which can open up more opportunities.
  • Private lessons may not be as flexible as they can be when you are practicing social distancing. 
  • The teaching process can be shorter or longer due to not having to worry about whether or not another student is outside waiting for their turn.
  • If you have to miss a lesson, rescheduling availability may be easier with online lessons.

Safe

  • Due to the state of the world, you will be keeping yourself, your instructor, and any other students and drummers safe by staying home and avoiding group lessons. 
  • Classes can be a lot harder when you are distanced or wearing a mask in person.
  • No germs or viruses can be spread on the drums or with the teacher, like you would if you had to sit across from them. 

Feedback/Encouragement

  • You may have your drum teacher look over and listen to what you have been working on by recording yourself.
  • Your teacher can watch your recordings, see what you are doing, improve anything you might be doing incorrectly, and give you positive feedback. 
  • The rate at which you can receive and answer questions can be done promptly online. 
  • According to Music House, drum teachers may be able to give you tips and recommendations on techniques and other experienced drummers and drumming techniques to look up online.

It is very fun to take on a new hobby, especially when you want to learn drums, and there are clearly plenty of advantages to be had by taking online drum lessons. If you are passionate and motivated by drumming and want to get a start on the learning experience, sign up and start seeing progress. With the way we are excelling with technology, there is virtually nothing that can stand in your way to becoming an experienced drummer and getting a good drum education.

The Hardest Instruments To Learn & Why

Mastering an instrument is an incredibly rewarding experience—but some musical instruments are easier to play than others. Perhaps you’ve been practicing for a while, and you’re looking for a greater challenge. Why not step outside of your comfort zone and pick up a new instrument? There’s no shortage of new things to learn in the world; don’t sell yourself short! Almost anyone can learn to play the instruments listed below, even though they’re more challenging than most.  (more…)

10 Best Musical Instruments For Beginners

The journey of learning music can be intimidating – how do you begin when there are so many options to choose from? When you start to play an instrument, you want a beginner-friendly one. To ease this process, we’ve put together a list of the instruments that are best-suited for new players:

 

  • Piano. Nearly every song has the piano in it, which allows beginners to find music they will enjoy playing. This instrument is easy to pick up but challenging to master. If you can’t afford a grand piano, don’t worry! You can use a keyboard instead. 

(more…)

Academy of Music Celebrates 30 Years With Online Expansion To Satisfy Increased Demand For Classes

MANITOBA, Canada – The Academy of Music, one of the leading music lesson providers in Manitoba, Canada, is pleased to announce that they are celebrating their 30th anniversary. Formed in Winnipeg in 1990, the company has continued to grow and flourish over the years, and in the process, has taught thousands of people how to play musical instruments.

The passion and dedication of the owners of the company remain undiminished. In response to increased demand for their services, the Academy of Music is now launching an online music lesson service. This new method of teaching, while exciting and forward-thinking, will provide the tutors with some interesting challenges. Every team member is committed to the process and looking forward to seeing where this expansion takes them. (more…)

Where Does Your Taste In Music Come From?

music-tasteHave you ever wondered why people have different tastes in music? Some prefer slower, quieter music, yet some love their music fast and loud. Is it random? Are some of us predestined to like certain chord progressions over others? Does our DNA dictate our preferences between complex rhythms over simplicity? Are we born with a certain musical connection, pushing us towards certain styles of music? (more…)

Top 10 Love Songs

What do you think of on Valentine’s Day? Your significant other? Cinnamon hearts? Roses that suddenly cost a lot more compared to any other time of the year? At Academy of Music, we’d like to take this opportunity to remember some of the greatest love songs ever written. It was impossible for us to mention all of them, and we could only scrape the surface, but here are our Top 10 Love Songs, to commemorate Valentine’s Day! (more…)

What is The Best Age To Start Music Lessons?

The age-old question of when to start music lessons is a good one!

History is full of child prodigies in the world of music, from Beethoven to Stevie Wonder. Whether in school or church, almost everyone knows of someone in their own family, or another, that has a tremendous gift for a musical instrument. This often allows parents to feel pressured to enroll their child into music lessons at a young age. Could this young exposure to music be one of the secrets to success? There are studies that have shown this to definitely be a helping factor! (more…)

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