• Inverted IAC (1st example) : Either one, or both chords, are not in the root position.
  • Root position IAC (2nd example) : Both chords are in root position, but the highest voice of the final chord is not the tonic.
  • Leading-tone IAC (3rd example) : The V chord is replaced by the VII chord. enter image description here

When were the three types of IAC invented?

  • 1
    I wonder if "leading-tone IAC" is the best description of your final example, since it doesn't actually use the leading tone.
    – Richard
    Feb 22, 2019 at 15:35
  • Invented? Discovered? Named? Considered? Evolved? Noticed? Theorised upon?
    – Tim
    Feb 22, 2019 at 18:45
  • I wonder if your first example really is inverted. What work is it from? I'd like to know what is the bass note in the passage where the chord is V (your example shows only that passage's last beat).
    – Rosie F
    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:29
  • Rosie F // The first two beats of the measure are a Cadential 6/4, while the third beat is V4/3. However, I don't really know the song.
    – user53472
    Feb 23, 2019 at 8:42

2 Answers 2


You've been asking a series of questions about when various musical devices were 'invented.'

I think you should try to get out of this mind set. These things were not 'invented.' "How did they evolve' or perhaps 'how has their use changed over time' would be a more informative way to look at them.

You probably need to go back to musica ficta to get the origins of the classical cadences.

My cursory understanding of that topic is that treatises from that time reflect unwritten performance practices that had already evolved!

That's the problem you will run into with this and similar questions. Theory texts listing and defining cadences or other musical devices will describe long established practices.

This question is analogous to asking when were thee and thou invented in English, when did their usage end?

These things are about how cultures evolve. At best you may find an era and region about origins, and for some things first know recorded usage.

  • 2
    "You probably need to go back to musica ficta to get the origins of the classical cadences": the origins can be seen in medieval melodic cadences without the need to consider musica ficta. But the general point in this answer is quite correct: theory mostly follows practice rather than the other way around.
    – phoog
    Feb 22, 2019 at 16:12
  • Yeah, I was think about clausula vera but I don't know the primary sources. Fux in translation is the oldest thing I have actually read. Otherwise most of what I know comes from summaries in Gjerdingen's Music in the Galant Style. Feb 22, 2019 at 16:19

I think the TERM 'Imperfect Authentic Cadence' may be quite new. I've only started hearing it quite recently, and always, I think, from the direction of America. (Where that sort of cadence, if not the name, certainly WASN'T invented :-)

  • Well, it isn't really new. The term "imperfect authentic cadence" in its modern meaning was commonly used even in the late 1800s, though it might have first entered English as an American term back then. Before that "imperfect" cadences were known in several other languages going back at least to the early 1700s, though what actually constituted an "imperfect cadence" varied quite a bit: some early meanings of "imperfect" followed the American sense of V-I cadence with inversions, while others followed the more British sense of a cadence to V; others applied the term "imperfect" to both.
    – Athanasius
    Dec 14, 2019 at 18:58

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