Sonata Form in Minor Keys

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 in Minor Keys

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Some minor-mode sonatas are dominated by the minor throughout, or sternly reaffirm the minor mode at the ESC and beyond. Since many minor-mode structures do attain a major-mode ESC in the recapitulation and do sustain that major mode for the rest of the composition, the sonata process can function as a strategy capable of transforming tonic minor to tonic major. The possibility of a tonic-minor to tonic-major trajectory is rich in metaphorical implication, but most composers turn to the minor-mode sonata to project an either successful or unsuccessful modal action, even though all the other criteria for the sonata process are to be satisfactorily met. Within the eighteenth-century style the minor mode is typically a special negative condition operating as a conventionalized exception to the more normatively prevailing major mode.

Keywords: sonatas; minor mode; structure; recapitulation; composition; metaphorical implication; composers

Chapter.  8156 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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