In classical music, a cadence is a melodic and harmonic formula that punctuates a piece, or a musical phrase. It is also an improvised part in an opera or a concerto.
In jazz, a cadence takes the meaning of sequence of chords giving a frame and a accompaniment to a piece of music.
In tonal harmony, a cadenza is a harmonic progression from one chord to another, intended to mark the end of a piece or, more generally, of a musical phrase, by its conclusive or suspensive character:
In this precise sense, the cadences are comparable to the various punctuation marks of the literature. We can also say that cadences are the breath of musical discourse.