The Cédez Expression in Music

In music, there are many indications of expression that are notated by composers and editors alike. Common languages include Italian, French and German, which were the languages that most influenced the development of Western music theory. 

Cédez is an expressive word that comes from the French language and means to "yield or slow [the music]." It is an indication that the performer should gradually decrease the tempo of the music. Other common musical terms that have a similar meaning include the Italian ritardando, French en retardant and German verlangsamend.

Use of Cédez in Music

There are many different ways that a composer might employ this expression. Sometimes, it is used at the end of a piece or a movement. If the tempo is winding down, it creates a finalizing effect, as if the music is coming to a rest. Other times that cédez might be used in music is in between sections of a movement where the tempo is accelerating and deaccelerating frequently. The ebbs and flows of music with various tempi are quite common in French impressionist music as well as compositions from the Romantique era, such as those by Polish composer Frédéric Chopin.

Cédez is the opposite of an accelerando, which means to speed-up or gain in tempo.