Sonata Form as a Whole

James Hepokoski and Warren Darcy

in Elements of Sonata Theory

Published in print August 2006 | ISBN: 9780195146400
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199850983 | DOI:
Sonata Form as a Whole

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Sonata form is the most important large structure of individual movements from the “common-practice” tonal era, but the term “sonata form” was almost surely unknown to Haydn, Mozart, and early Beethoven because it seems to have surfaced only in the 1820s and 1830s. Sonata form seems to have been a familiar term by the mid-1820s, at least in A. B. Marx's Berliner allgemeine musikalische Zeitung circle, where it referred both to the multimovement cycle as a whole and to the form of individual movement. In 1838 and 1845, Marx put the stamp of approval on the term “Sonaten-form” with regard to the individual-movement structure. Haydn's conception of what was customary within sonata form in 1770 differed somewhat from Beethoven's conception in 1805, but they shared certain crucial genre-defining features.

Keywords: sonata form; Sonaten-form; common practice; tonal era; structure; movements

Chapter.  5461 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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