Sonata Form

 
 
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Sonata Form
also called ABA Form

       
This form has three sections.

Essential Vocabulary

What Is Form?

Hearing Sonata Form

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Essential Vocabulary:

Contrast

Two or more things that are different.  In Sonata form the B section sounds different from the A section. 

Form

The overall plan of a piece of music. 

Theme

An important melody that is heard several times in a piece of music.   Sonata form usually has two themes.  They are introduced in the Statement.  

Sonata form

A piece of music with three sections, also known as ABA form.  The Statement is the first section, the Fantasia is the second section, and the Restatement is the third section. 

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What Is Form?

Form is the way we organize sound. Just as we can see shapes of objects with our eyes, we can hear shapes of music with our ears.  When we hear patterns of sound in music, we are beginning to understand form. 

When shapes are put together in different ways, they create different forms.   These forms can create images like tress, houses and people.  A composer does the same thing.  He uses pieces of music and puts them together in different ways to create different musical forms. 

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Hearing Sonata Form

Let's take a closer look at Sonata Form using Mozart's Piano Sonata in C Major.  It is divided into three sections: 


The first section of Sonata form is called the Statement.   This is where the main themes are introduced.  Themes are like characters in a book.  There are two themes in the Statement section.  They are called the Theme 1 and Theme 2. Can you identify them when you hear them?


The second section is called the Fantasia.   This is where the composer plays with the two themes.  Listen for the minor key.

 


The third and final section is called Restatement.   This is where the first section repeats, usually in a key five steps higher than the first A section.

 

To hear the entire piece, click here.


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