Word of the Day

Thursday, November 27, 2008

cadence

\KAYD-'n(t)s\ , noun;
1.
the measure or beat of music, dancing, or a regularly repeated movement
2.
a rising and falling sound; modulation; also, the falling inflection of the voice, as at the end of a sentence
3.
a series of chords bringing part of a piece of music to an end
Quotes:
I notice that when Hillary is experiencing turbulence she lapses into a rhetorical style similar to that of John McCain's: a sing-song rhythm in which every sentence is delivered with the exact same cadence and ends on the same predictable beat.
-- Jacques Berlinerblau, The God Vote, Washington Post, May 5, 2004
"Every pitcher has a body cadence and rhythm," says Brock. "Once you've learned to read it, you can tell whether he is about to make a pick-off throw, and you can know exactly when you can start toward second."
-- The Premier Pilferer, Time, July 14, 1970
Harmonic richness and variety entered victoriously where stereotyped cadences, barren and threadbare progressions, had reigned ad nauseam.
-- Carl Engel, Jazz: A Musical Discussion, The Atlantic, August 1, 1992
Origin:
c.1384, "flow of rhythm in verse or music," from Middle French cadence, Old Italian cadenza "conclusion of a movement in music," literally "a falling," from Vulgar Latin *cadentia, from Latin cadens prp. of cadere "to fall." In the 16th century, sometimes used literally for "an act of falling." The Italian form cadenza was borrowed 1836 as a musical term for "ornamental passage near the close of a song or solo."
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