Phrase

DEFINITION

A musical unit, often a component of a melody. The phrase may be regarded as a dependent division of music, such as a single line of poetry; it does not have a sense of completion in itself. Usually two or more phrases balance each other, as in a period. A small section of a composition comprising a musical thought. Comparable to a sentence in language. a phrase in music, on the analogy of syntactical use, is a recognizable musical unit, generally ending in a cadence of some kind, and forming part of a period or sentence. Phrasing in performance has a less precise use, indicating the correct grouping of notes, whether as phrases in the technical sense or in smaller distinct units, corresponding to the various possible syntactical uses of punctuation.

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