Music 1710F/G Lecture Notes - Relative Key, Structural Level, Sonata Rondo Form

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6 Feb 2013
October 1 Readings/Class Notes – History
How can we define Sonata Form?
18th, 19th and 20th centuries
still effects composition today
Sonata Form
Sonata: A multi-movement instrumental work vs...
Sonata form: a musical form characterized by the resolution of a harmonic
dissonance at the structural level of the piece.-
Can be explained:
By its thematic content
By its harmonic underpinning. When brought down to the most basic
elements, we see that the sonata form is defined by the resolution of a harmonic
dissonance at the structural level.
Exposition – opening material. First theme – not necessarily only one theme eg.
Mozart symphonies can have many themes.
- I or i,
- Transition – from stable area of the tonic, to more uncertainty
then V (major key) or III (minor key – relative major)
Closing material – either the same or new thematic material. Confirms the
new key. Structural
Wright suggests that you can see it as an ABA, but it is better to see it as AB
form at its initial phase – because we have the exposition.
Development – tonally unstable – we tend to move to a variety of different keys.
Thematic material from exposition mixes the themes displayed in the exposition.
Dissonant – poses a kind of question that asks for musical resolution.
Recapitulation – I or i – drawn out resolution of the structural dissonance.
Restatement of the opening thematic material, but this time, it is all in the tonic.
Sonata form can be explained by its harmonic underpinning.
||: I V :||: (?) I I :||
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