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A phrase in music is defined in Basic Music (TC 12-41/ NAVEDTRA 10244). Additionally, a phrase should convey a definite feeling of beginning and ending (repose). Repose is accomplished by melodic and/ or harmonic cessation (caesura), called a cadence. Two phrases form a period; the first called an antecedent phrase, the second called a consequent phrase. When there is similarity between the two phrases, they are parallel.

FIGURE 2.16: Parallel Phrases
When there is no similarity between the two phrases, they are contrasting.

FIGURE 2.17: Contrasting Phrases
Rhythms employed in the study of Harmony appear in the following order of frequency:
(1) Regular rhythm.
(2) Irregular rhythm.
(3) Uniform rhythm.
(4) Syncopation (used primarily with special melodic/ harmonic devices).


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