The Secondary Theme (S) and Essential Expositional Closure (EEC)

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:
The Secondary Theme (S) and Essential Expositional Closure (EEC)

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The secondary theme strides onto the stage through the entrance opened by the medial caesura. If there is no medial caesura, then we are confronting not a two-part exposition but a continuous exposition for which the concept of secondary theme is inappropriate. Responding to the medial caesura, the secondary theme launches the second phase of the two-part exposition. Part 2 may be occupied completely by S or it may be subdivided into a secondary theme and closing-theme zone (S/C). This demarcation between the two zones is the point of essential expositional closure (EEC). Because of the role of the secondary theme in larger structures, it is the most privileged zone of the expositional rotation and is assigned the task of laying down the planks of musical space that lead directly to EEC.

Keywords: secondary theme; medial caesura; exposition; concept; musical space; EEC; expositional rotation

Chapter.  17407 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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