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Joshua Pilzer

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MUS110H1 Lecture 5 Form I 10-12-07 2:08 AM
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Form I
- musical structure
- the shape of a musical composition as defined by all of its pitches,
rhythms, dynamics, and timbres
dynamics loud, soft, gentle
- the structure, shape or organizing principle of music
- has to do with the arrangement of elements in a piece of music to make it
coherent to the listener
- the word “formis generally used in reference to a structural plan on of a
composition or a movement of a composition
Variation Forms
Variations on a theme the presentation of a melodic idea,
composer takes the melody and writes a series of variations with it
o melodic
o i.e. Nicolo Paganini: Caprice 24 from 24 Caprices (c. 1830)
! plays 8 bar theme, then plays 8 bar variation, then
another 8 bar variation, then another 8 bar variation,
! final two variations are so elaborate and amazing
(climax), it would be stupid to create more variations to
follow, therefore they are the end
! variations create a build up to climax then end
variations on a recurring harmonic pattern
o chord pattern in each variation will be exactly same
o not tied to melody, but tied to harmony
o harmonic
o i.e. Johann Sebastian Bach: Chaconne from Partita in D minor
for Solo Violin (c. 1730)
! 32 variations
! chaconne - a piece that is derived entirely from
variations on a harmonic beat
! in order to end the piece it requires a more technical
buildup (climax then end)
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! book-ends’ the whole piece by ending it the way he
started it
ground bass
o variations built upon a recurring bass pattern (bass line is
always the exact samerepeats over and over)
o i.e. Henry Purcell, “When I am laid on earth(Didos Lament),
Dido and Aenaes (1960)
! musical texture always moving forward
! melody has a sense of drama
! piece is always moving and always changing
! bass line stays the same
Repetition and Refrain
Strophic works and strophic variations
o Literal or slightly varied repetitions of music for texts of
multiple verses or strophes
o i.e. Franz Schubert, “Du bist die Ruh(c.1820)
! text changes but the melody more or less remains the
strophic works with added refrains
o i.e. with section of repeated music and repeated text
! i.e. Thomas Morley, “Now is the month of Maying” (c.
ritornello form
o form based on the return (ritorno) of certain musical features
o the ritornello could be fragmented
! i.e. Antonio Vivaldi, “The Spring”, (early 1700s)
" ritornello - returns and interrupts the proceedings
over and over again
o may contain more than one set of repeated musical materials
in a variety of orderings, such as ABACADA or ABACABA
o in rondo form, “Acome back more completely and exactly
! i.e. Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Sonata, Op. 13, 3rd
Movement (c.1800)
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