|WikiProject Music theory||(Rated C-class)|
I question the use of the word "subject" to describe themes. "Subject" is best reserved for fugue.
In the case of sonata-allegro form, it is better to describe the main ideas as "Main Theme" and "Subordinate Theme" rather than "first subject" and "second subject" as in this article. The problem with the terms used in this article becomes apparent when one needs to label subsidiary theme that are part of a group. For example, the 2nd subordiate theme would, in the terminology of the current article, be described as the "second subject of the second subject group." Accordingly I have switched terms.
- Well, "subject" is pretty widely used in the literature, but OK. I don't really like "main theme" and "subordinate theme" because I don't think the terms are very widely used in this context, and also because the suggestion that one theme is "subordinate" to the other is midleading. If you don't like "subject", how about "group"? That's pretty widely used, and (referring to your above example) something like "the second theme in the second group" is pretty clear, I think. --Camembert
"Theme group" is better. It still requires such awkward locutions as "the second theme of the second theme group." How much more elegant is "second subordinate theme?" The use of "principal" (or main) and "subordinate" themes is also widespread in the literature (e.g. Wallace Berry & Leon Stein). If the objection is that "subordinate" implies inferiority to the main theme or subservience to it, the proper interpretation is this: the subordinate theme derives its existence from the main theme. If there were no 1st theme, there would be no 2nd. Therefore, the designation "second theme" is dependent upon there being a first and is therefore subordinate to it. In some instances this subordination involves a literal contrapuntal derivative (as in Beethoven Op. 57 'Appassionata' 1st mvt). In other cases it is a figural or thematic correlation. At the least, the 2nd theme is subordinate if only by virtue of its order (one meaning of "subordinate" as per the OED, although admittedly rare).
- I think most of the time, the second theme (or subject, or group or whatever) is "subordinate" only in a temporal sense - some sort of motivic connection is the exception rather than the rule, isn't it? To me, it's putting it rather strongly to call it "subordinate" simply because it arrives later in the piece. My concern is that somebody coming along with no knowledge of sonata form is going to think that the "subordinate theme(s)" is not as important as the "principal theme(s)". I can see your point about it leading to clumsier sentences in some cases, but I think it's more important to avoid any chance of confusion. I will add a note on the "princpal/subordinate" terminology, however, so people are aware of its existence, and so they can decide to use it themselves in articles on individual pieces if they want to (I've not read Berry or Stein on this, by the way - thanks for mentioning them). --Camembert
Romantic music vs ahistorical approach
It seems to me that a lot of the recent additions to this article aren't about sonata form as such, but rather about Romantic music in general. For example:
- As the 19th Century progressed, the complexity of the sonata form grew, as new ways of moving through the harmony of a work were introduced by Brahms and Liszt. Instead of focusing exclusively on harmony which related by the circle of fifths, they used movement along circles based on minor triads or major triads. Liszt, in particular, emphasized the "Diminished 7th" as both a sound and as an organizing force for music.
I don't really see what this has to do with sonata form beyond that it is about Romantic music and, of course, some Romantic movements are in sonata form. The same goes for most of the "Sonata form in the postclassical era" section. Would most of this stuff be better located at Romantic music? --Camembert
Better to simply describe practice and let other people fight out the metaphysics of what a "sonata" movement "really" is. Liszt, Mahler, Brahms, Prokofiev, Sibelius, Hindemith, Milhaud and Debussy all thought of themselves as writing sonata form, or using symphonic structure, their works are so labelled and someone wanting to make sense of them needs to know what they were doing.
Someone looking the subject up might be interested that some music theorists, id est Rosen, believe that a sonata form is exclusively the product of the classical era, but it certainly isn't the only opinion out there. Indeed the very influential theorists Schenker and Schoenberg both thought of the sonata form as being continuously renewed, Schoenberg with his theory of "continuos variation" and Schenker with his ideas on Urlinie. Liszt and Berg scholar Searle is particularly, ah, vehement, in his rejection of the "sonata form is classical only" theory.
What might be useful is to have a better description of baroque and post-baroque sonata forms, which were harmonically more varied than the classical model, while being much more restricted in their schematic, and relative sizes of the sections. See Bocherini, Telemann and the keyboard sonatas of CPE Bach for examples of this era of sonata structure.
- I think the section needs a lot of pruning, but I think it is very important to discuss the variety of definitions and treatments of sonata form. Especially since its contentious.Hyacinth 01:01, 10 Jan 2004 (UTC) See: Susan McClary
Suggestion: have a much reduced general history of the word "sonata" and the works it is attached to, and then have separate sections on the different periods of practice, noting where different theorists disagree over various points. Stirling Newberry
- Hang on: we shouldn't be discussing the history of the word "sonata" at all - this page is about sonata form. Stuff about sonatas should live at sonata. Let's be clear here: the term "sonata form" does not mean "the structure of a sonata" (ie, four movements, quick-slow-minuet-finale or whatever). It is, as the first part of the article explains, a label attached to a particular way of structuring a single movement which may or may not be a movement in a sonata. I wonder if there's some confusion over this point.
- I'm not saying we shouldn't discuss the history of the form and how it has been stretched to breaking point by some composers - of course we must discuss those things. But my point is that most of the "romantic" and "modern" sections of the article aren't discussing that - they're discussing Romantic and 20th century style in general. Anyway, I'll leave this for a few days and see how the article develops. --Camembert
"...however, coming as it did after Beethoven's death and long after the heyday of the form as used by composers, it already had a slightly abstract and retrospective character. It still has wide currency and provides the theorist with a range of indispensable analytical terms, therefore before the larger arguments over sonata form can be considered, it demands a summary."
Wow! That was such a stupid (and unfounded and un-researched) statement that I felt incredibly motivated to remove it. Many composers after Beethoven used sonata form. As a matter of fact, a GAZILLION composers in the 19th Century after Beethoven used sonata form. A huge number of 20th Century folks used it and I've been noticing that here in the 21st Century, though it is not as popular as it was in the 19th, composers from time to time really DO use sonata form.
There's other garbage in this article but I'm already beside myself with... I don't know, but I'm beside myself with something!... that I just can't bother to correct anything else in this article. Please, please, please, someone who knows what they're doing... will you please fix this article and deliver it from its current lowly form and exorcise the imbecilic demons that possess it? Gingermint (talk) 04:17, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
Requires historical approach
I think a lot of the problem is that it's impossible to produce a clear characterization of sonata form in all eras at once. So I've compartmentalized:
- labeling the basic description of sonata form as specifically covering the Classical sonata form
- moving all discussion of Romantic and Modern sonata form to their own sections.
I've also deleted my summary (and Stirling's amplification) of Rosen's view that the Romantic composers were "cooking a dish for which the ingredients were no longer being prepared". Since Rosen's point is controversial, it seems better (at least for now) to approach the Romantics afresh; that is, in their own terms, and not as deficient classicists.
I hope Romantic music experts among us will consider reorganizing and tightening the Romantic and Modern sections--these sections will need help of this kind, given that I imported extra material into them.
Opus33 01:40, 10 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I think Opus 33's solution is the best. Let each era speak for itself as to what it is doing, we can document it and other people can make up their minds. I will reiterate - the 19th century is loaded with composers who thought they were composing sonata forms, or at least trying to, and made changes to music to fit their conception of the idea. Again, it is best to leave to others the metaphysics of what "sonata form" really means, and document what different waves of musicians, critics and composers meant by it as it applied to their music.
That Rosen thinks that Tchaikovski's 6th symphony first movement isn't really a Sonata Allegro form is interesting, but irrelevant to the question of what Tchaikovsky is doing in the work.
I have removed this paragraph:
- Increasingly through the 20th century criticism has focused, not just on works, but on recordings, and hence on different interpretations of the same work by different orchestras and conductors. This has lead to a focus on audible features of a recording, such as taking repeats or not, and on the manner of presentation. One controversial area is the rise of "Historically Informed Performance", which seeks to use scholarship to discover the playing and intepretive styles used to perform works at periods in the past. The hotly debated questions of the feasibility or advisability of this project often overshadow the questions of tempo, dynamics, relative weight of sections of the sonata and "meaning" which are brought to bear in interpretting works and performances.
I don't see as it has anything at all to do with sonata form. Historically informed performance isn't limited to works in sonata form (indeed, many such performances are of works which predate the emergence of sonata form). --Camembert
- Thanks, Camembert, for taking this on; I agree with you completely. Opus33 18:10, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Sonata vs Sonata form
Once again the generic term for a work in sonata form is "sonata". Hence when discussing the sonata form, "sonatas" refers to all works in sonata form, not merely "piano sonatas". Stirling Newberry
- Is that really true? Such a general meaning of "sonata" is new to me, and I'd have to say it's non-standard. Can you (or anybody) give an example of a writer using it in this way? In any case, it seems to me misleading at best to call a tone poem (for example) which happens to be in sonata form a "sonata", so I think it's a usage best avoided in the article.
- I feel similarly about the use of "sonata form" to mean "the structure of a sonata" (ie, four movements, quick-slow-minuet-quick) - even if some writers do this (do they? if so, who?), it is unusual and potentially misleading: the normal usage of "sonata form" (at least in my experience) is in reference to a single-movement structure. --Camembert
- I agree that 'sonata form' is (almost?) universally used to refer to the scheme of a single movement, and not the form of pieces which are multi-movement cycles. Stumps 10:43, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
When did sonata form come to dominate all movements?
I've removed this paragraph:
- The final quartets of Beethoven also had an effect on the layout of "sonata" works, in that gradually it became more and more common to have all of the movements of a work be in "sonata-allegro" form. While Charles Rosen has argued that, properly understood, this was always the case, in the 19th and early 20th century, it came to mean specifically the use of the academically laid out first movement form.
because the use of sonata form for all movements (except, of course, the minuet/scherzo) was common long before the late quartets of Beethoven. Thus, for example, Haydn's "Philosopher" symphony (ca. 1765), Mozart's 40th Symphony, and Beethoven's Sixth and Eighth Symphonies all use sonata form for every movement except the minuet/scherzo.
The paragraph segues into the "academicization" of sonata form in the 19th century, but this can hardly be from the influence of late Beethoven. Opus33
- I've put it back. Stirling Newberry
- Hi Sterling,
- Looks like the software is giving trouble--I thought I had reverted it myself by accident. Hence the sequence "delete"-"revert"-"delete"-"revert", which gives more of an impression of an edit war than what is actually happening.
- This aside, I gave a reason for what I did, and I urge you to do the same. If you really think you are right, it would be appropriate for you to cite examples from the late Beethoven quartets that prove your point. Opus33 17:55, 25 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I'm simply quoting the "received" wisdom on the subject, for example:
"In addition, Beethoven realizes the essence of the most important of classical forms - the sonata form - with strongly differentiated first and second theme groups, highly dramatic development sections and codas that sometimes rival the development in size. The importance of the sonata form can be particularly seen in a work such as the first string quartet of Op.59, where even the slow movement and scherzo are in sonata form."
as well as WS Newman and Tovey.
If you feel that we should revisit this revealed wisdom and make a more careful argument, or that I have phrased the old one poorly, by all means we should make amendations and improvments. Stirling Newberry
- Perhaps we have a minor misunderstanding over which quartets of Beethoven were influential in this regard. Op. 59 no. 1 is a "middle period" quartet, and I think Krenetz is right about these being influential. If one single formal idea predominates in the late quartets, I think it is variation, not sonata at all, which comes in third behind fugue as an organizational/developmental principle. (On an aside, I think it could be argued that the scherzo of op. 59 no. 1 is not in sonata form at all--if it is, it is one of the most bizarre I have ever heard!) Maybe we just need to edit out the word "final" from "final quartets." Peace, Antandrus 03:50, 26 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Stirling Newberry I've rewritten the section on "sonatification". I think this version is more NPOV, since it lists this as a theory and who held it, more accurate, since it takes into account the examples from Opus33 and probably better written. I hope people will read and comment on whether this is heading in the right direction.
- Just out of curiosity: who is Allen Krenetz? I've never heard of him. Who is WS Newman, for that matter? Ernest Newman I know about, but WS is a new one to me. (Don't worry - I know who Tovey is ;) --Camembert
Stirling Newberry Krenetz is a prof of musicology who specializes in Beethoven. I don't think he is famous particularly.
Stirling Newberry I'm feeling old now, WS Newman's three volume work was considered the latest in scholarship when I was learning composition.
- Oh heck, he's even in Grove Concise, which I have, and checked, but somehow I missed him... I shall now write a stub on him to atone for my shortsightedness ;) --Camembert
- A predecessor of sorts of sonata form, the suite movement (differing in its most advanced state - at least according to C Thorpe-Davie whose musicology, I will readily agree, is probably not only years old but also years out of date too - in one detail, from the simple form of 'sonata form' as later known: the repetition, in the dominant, of the opening bars at the beginning of the second repeated section) had taken over entire, or almost entire, pieces towards the end of the Baroque in any case... between the typical suite movement, and the earliest sonata-movement, he argued (I believe) that there was a gradual change. (As to WS Newman, the last especially of his three volumes was responsible for my introduction to the music of among others Felix Draeseke and Robert Fuchs.) Schissel 04:42, Dec 2, 2004 (UTC)
What is sonata?
Please someone knowledgable modify the introductory paragraph. The first line should mention that its a musical term (somhow). If someone has no idea what western musical terms mean, he would be completely lost at the end of the first paragraph. I mean words like movement dont mean much to people not familiar with western classical music. Also metion in the first paragraph if sonata is a piano heavy composition or not, my impression is that it is, but maybe I am wrong.
Hope this helps...
--Spundun 01:10, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)
i need to translate an article for the italian wikipedia, about the sonata.
i know it's ignominous, but we still miss this entry.....
thanking you all in advance --joana 15:25, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
"Thus,the second subject of the Waldstein sonata for piano is in E major, four fifths higher (C -> G -> D -> A -> E) than the tonic key of C major (...)" As far as I know the relationship between E and C is not normally thought of as being "four fifths higher", although it is technically correct. More acccurately, E major has a median relationship to C major, because they are a third apart. Beethoven got very interested in these median relationships, i.e. he would modulate to keys minor and major thirds "above" and "below" the tonic. -Rich
- You're quite right. I've edited the article accordingly. Also I removed the remark about how Beethoven never modulated two fifths higher, which is speculative and also pointless if you consider the "four fifths higher" thing as a mediant instead. The answer to that question would of course be that he never modulated from, say, C to D simply because it's not a dominant or mediant, the two relationships commonly employed. You might as well ask why he never modulated a tritone of a major seventh. EldKatt (Talk) 11:21, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Sonata Form versus Multi-movement cycle
The article currently starts out saying that the term 'sonata form' can be applied both to a single movement and to multi-movement pieces in the form of a sonata, but then goes on — without being particularly clear about it — to discuss the single movement usage of the term. I think as it stands the opening sets the whole thing off in a confusing manner. I think the term 'sonata form' is almost always used in the single-movement sense, and I propose that we tidy up the opening to put less emphasis on the multi-movement interpretation of the term. Anuone violently disagree? — Stumps 13:53, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
Merge-with Sonata forms
I have removed the merge-with Sonata forms tag, and the matching tag from that article. I have replaced the mereg-with of Sonata forms with a cleanup tag. The Sonata forms article is a verbose, confused, and opinionated mess copied from 1911 Britannica. The content - which mostly related to multi-movement cycles (see previous discussions above on this page) does not belong here, as it is - at least nowadays - a very non-standard usage of the term 'sonata form' (bordering I suspect on the erroneous). Confusing the multi-movement scheme of sonata-like pieces with the exposition/development/recapitulation scheme of single movements in 'sonata form' (standard usage) would simply detract from this article. Stumps 10:59, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
- In a n effort to cleanup up the oldest article tagged for cleanup I am redirecting 'Sonata forms' to 'Sonata form' since it appears to be mostly copied from 1911 Britannica. I did not merge any of the lengthy 41k long 'Forms' article into this already meaty article. Please see it's revision history if you would like to extract material. I am not familiar with the subject and probably not the best candidate to pick and choose which content to include (if any). Barkeep Chat | $ 16:55, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Classical, "normative", and "post-normative"
Stirling Newberry, what do you mean by "classical and normative" and "post-normative", according to your edit summary. Marcus 23:47, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
- CPE Bach can't be considered part of the Classical period. Should he be removed from the statement in the second paragraph, or should the term "Classical" be modified or added to in that statement?
- Why only the "early" works of Beethoven as models?
- Does Rosen argue that there is "a single tonal background which defines all sonata movements"?
This article needs major rewriting. Tony 03:50, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
- Pre-Classical and Classical period maybe? I'd rather change the period designation than remove CPE, since I think he was significant in the early development of sonata form.
- I'd include "middle" period Beethoven as well, but you can find non-standard sonata forms almost anywhere in Beethoven.
- Don't know; I don't have a copy of that on hand. Schenker certainly does. Antandrus (talk) 04:25, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm afraid that I've removed a lot of definition stuff at the top. Having announced what the article is about, with a brief point about the other use of "sonata", the article should proceed to the meat of the matter. I've used "18th century" rather than a style in the discussion of the origins (which, IMV, should mention Sanmartini, who first used an identifiable sonata structure). The origins of sonata form were evident in the baroque (binary dance movements), the roccoco and the early classical periods. This should be stated in the lead. The reference to Rosen and Schenker, and harmony and common practice period, are all of questionable relevance to the lead, which should summarise the topic by stating the defining features of the form, and its history. I think the lead still needs to be completely rewritten.
I hate the quoting of another encyclopedia in the first section, and the Rosen quote seemed to revisit the obsession with the other usage of the term that was clouding the lead.
Tell me if I'm wrong, but I think that the essential points to be covered in the lead are:
- the two basic meanings of the term;
- the historical origins and scope of the form;
- the fact that it's based on the drama of key change, with the home key and another key in opposition, each typically, but not always, assiciated with distinctive musical ideas;
- the fact that it comprises three sections: exposition, development and recapitulation; and
- that fact that there are two dramatic peaks - (1) a return to the opening material, typically two-thirds to three-quarters of the way through, and (2) the final chord.
Tony 13:25, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
- I like your summary of points to be covered in the lead, and certainly agree about Sammartini (G.B.; I think there was another one, but doubt he was significant). We do need to mention, as you note, that the binary forms of the Baroque were the point of origin, or one of the points of origin of the sonata form. Antandrus (talk) 15:18, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
- The lead is now much cleaner. Thanks, Tony. The whole matter of sonata versus sonata form is easily dealt with, by simply resolving and declaring how we are going to use the terms. I think we should go with the large majority, represented by the heavyweight Rosen, and not bother with the long disquisition in the present Overview section. I agree with Antandrus: the points you suggest for the lead are worthy ones, Tony. It may be well to pitch the whole article at the user who follows a link from Sonata, Symphony, Concerto, etc. Such a reader doesn't want all this fuss and confusion, but a treatment of sonata-form movements occurring in those larger structures. This could and should be delivered briefly and without curlicues in the lead, followed by orderly analysis in the remainder of the article, for those that want it.
- (For technical reasons I can't easily edit right now.) Trivial matters like getting consistency with multimovement versus multi-movement should be fixed, of course. Yes, there are two Sammartini (note spelling), and the distinction ought to be made; the "other" one (Giuseppe, older brother of GB) wrote in less progressive ways, and is not so relevant here. We don't see a lot of Jan Křtitel Vaňhal or Karl von Ordoñez in these discussions, do we? I think we should.
- The article remains wordy, obscure, and in need of focus; even more pressingly, the whole suite of articles related to sonata (this one, Sonata, History of sonata form, Criticism and sonata form, the very odd Sonata forms, etc.) needs rationalising. They should all be considered together for restructuring and rewriting, I say. Let's hope we can find a way to achieve that in harmonious collaboration, calling in a few more of the editors who work in music articles. – Noetica 21:54, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
- I agree, Noetica, and thank you and Antrandrus for you comments. Regrettably, the next six weeks will be quite taxing for me: scientists crawling up the wall wanting help with research grant applications. But I'll try to help when I can find time. Tony 14:51, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Clean up 'Overview' section
Currently the 'Overview' section starts with two quotations. This seems a little odd, and reads as though it may be debris left from a POV dispute. The sentence "Since the clearly most frequent usage is to use the term sonata form to describe the form of individual movements, and the term sonata without hyphen as applying to whole works, this article will focus on the schematic of the sonata allegro form as a movement layout" also seems to much like a barrister carefully stepping through an argument (Quite possibly I'm the guilty editor! I remember making some sort of attempt to remove the multi-movement discussion from the article a longish time ago).
I'd prefer to see a simpler more direct statement of the consensus position, and we could put the quoted excerpts in the footnotes if we really thought them necessary. Any objections? Stumps 07:03, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
- Nice assessment, Stumps. Yes, this may indeed be seen as an old battleground of sorts. I do hope that the battles are long over! As things stand I don't want much involvement with the article. If you agree that the term sonata form should be understood as applying to a single movement only, usually one of several movements in a larger work, it would be great to see the lead and the overview section simply saying that, clearly and without fuss. I think the Rosen and EB quotes would go very well in footnotes. And if you were to tidy what you can of the remainder of the article, that would earn you points in music-article-editor heaven. I'll be happy to step in to do some copyediting if that seems necessary later; and I'm sure others will want to come back then also. Beyond that, I still think that the whole suite of articles connected with sonatas needs reform: preferably coordinated reform. – Noetica 09:29, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
- I think Stumps's suggestion is just fine. Opus33 21:20, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
I am unfamiliar with any sonata forms that utilize an "unresolved recapitulation." I think it would fitting to provide some examples of this, or remove this text. Tjonp 18:52, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
- I've never heard of this either, and unless someone provides a source, I'd be happy to see the section get deleted. Opus33 21:20, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
- I went ahead and removed the section, if someone can provide examples, they are welcome to undo my edit. --Tjonp 18:22, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
1. Help out with in-text references! 2. Or, wait a minute...?
1. -if you reasonably agree with my Development revision, that is. Or in the rest of the article. I agree with the "More citations" template, but I, too (?), am the kind who takes in knowledge and forget where I got it from. Keinstein 23:35, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
- [P.S. just not to be misunderstood: I didn't mean I'm uncritical. I think I can assess my sources well enough - when I tap them.]Keinstein 12:28, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
2. I am new on Wikipedia. And I did this, no masterpiece but an improvement, to the best of my judgement, in good faith. But after reading some previous discussion here: Am I being naïve? Stepping into a beehive? Is this worth any effort? Keinstein 23:48, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
Obviously not. Keinstein 01:16, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
- Hello, Keinstein, sorry if I was mean. But I do have two points I would like to make.
- The bit about reference sources is meant to be very serious - we are supposed to be tranducers from legitimate reference sources to the pages of the encyclopedia, and nothing more than that. You can add footnotes with <ref>Citation here</ref>. The footnote will show up at the bottom.
- Be sure to add material at the point in the article where it belongs. If you put it in way up front, we get a rambling, unorganized introduction, with too much detail.
- I'm actually a bit (over?)sensitized to possible problems with this article, because a few years back it had major problems with certain editors putting in marginally relevant, unsourced material--possibly just rants or their own invention. The article has been seriously improved more recently, largely by editors who follow the textbook standard in this area, and I encourage you to do likewise. Sincerely, Opus33 03:45, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
- OK, no hard feelings. I know the kind of problem myself. And thanks for the practical tip!
But two opinions of mine: 1)While there can of course be no introduction without mention of the traditional rôle of key in sonata form, I think a (verified) remark that the form - or, matter of definition, its "concept" etc. - doesn't hinge on it also belongs there. 2) I am not certain just what you mean by "textbook standard", so I just put down here: I think, where good schools or scholars differ, that also should be reflected in a good article. On its due place, of course; but there is a delicate balance between puzzling the reader, and giving the impression that the form is more hewn in stone than it is. Regards, Keinstein 15:41, 24 July 2007 (UTC)~
- And that "matter of definition" of course poses a problem that must be addressed in some legible way. Pardon my oversight. 16:25, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
- OK, no hard feelings. I know the kind of problem myself. And thanks for the practical tip!
Because of the dramatic power of sonata forms, and because most composers of opera have written works in which one expects sonata form, even if few (a symphony by Georges Bizet, a string quartet by Giuseppe Verdi, and a piano concerto by George Gershwin -- none of these being trivial works), one should not be surprised to find sonata forms within operas. Operatic overtures such as those of Die Zauberflöte and Die Meistersinger are obvious enough, as are such stand-alone works such as Brahms' Tragic Overture and Mendelssohn's overture to the incidental music for A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Such an operatic scene as the triumphal celebration of the Egyptian defeat of the Ethiopians in Giuseppe Verdi's Aïda seems to have a sonata form. Would a section mentioning operatic works and oratorios be appropriate? To be sure, we may be more attentive to the vocal performances within operas to notice any musical structures, but that is no excuse (in my opinion) for neglecting opera. Even the most operatic of symphonies and song-cycles -- let us say Mahler's Eighth Symphony and his Das Lied von der Erde are themselves in sonata form.
It's a suggestion because I have no qualification as a creator or critic of music; I am merely a consumer.--Paul from Michigan 14:50, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
- Hmm, we would need to cite reference sources. My own knowledge is limited here, though I can point out that Charles Rosen likes to treat certain sections of Mozart's operas (e.g., the "finales" at the ends of acts, or the sextets in The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni), as inspired by sonata form. I find these particular assertions by Rosen to be more intriguing than proven, but wouldn't mind seeing them reported in the article. Opus33 17:10, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
Subsections of single-movement works...?
"Subsections of works are sometimes analyzed as being in sonata form, particularly single movement works, such as the Konzertstück in F minor of Carl Maria von Weber."
And what on earth does this mean??
"Exceptions to the recapitulation form include Mozart and Haydn works which often return to the second subject group when the first subject group is elaborated at length in the development."
From my opinion, in chapter "History of sonata form" the term "by the likes of Czerny and so forth" should better be modified or deleted. Czerny as composer - in some of his works at least - was certainly not one of the "likes and so forth". In his first 100 works there are several most remarkable ones. An example is his Sonata in A-flat op.7 which is far and wide being recognized as masterwork.
The subsequent term "the composers of the day - both major and minor masters - were writing works that flagrantly violated some of the principles of the codified form" is - without giving exaples (Who are those "major and minor masters", and of which kinds are their works?) - a Weasel term. So, also this should better be modified.22.214.171.124 (talk) 09:59, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
The section on monothematicism needs some work. Firstly, there are two conflicting value judgments concerning the practice: in the third sentence, it is suggested that even though Mozart was capable of writing many melodies, he sunk to the level of a melodically less inventive composer in writing a monothematic exposition; contrast this with the fifth sentence, which elevates Haydn for doing the same thing. Secondly, as the section itself points out, "monothematic" is misleading, as such expositions have multiple themes. What is really meant is "main theme transposition", i.e. the theme initially presented as the principal one reappears in the second half of the exposition transposed into the new key. EvanCortens (talk) 02:10, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
Ludicrously incompetent analysis
Who is responsible for that ridiculous and incompetent attempt at analysing a Haydn exposition? It is COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY WRONG. Whoever did it clearly knows nothing about what sonata form involves; is deaf to harmony and tonality; and can't even tell when his music example is repeating a subsection of music that should not be repeated. A truly shocking display of cluelessness - which will do damage to young people and beginners who will think that all that clever stuff with graphics and sound files must somehow be right. What an awful spectacle. Pfistermeister (talk) 17:29, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
- This gets madder and madder. Whoever it is has just added two successive statements of the recapitulation -- and called them 'coda'... Words fail... Pfistermeister (talk) 17:58, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for finally or temporarily determining the difference between an article and a talk page. You could also begin the discussion by explaining what is awful about the spectacle rather than simply declaring it so.
- You are an utterly incompetent analyst. Kindly leave the topic alone. You have managed to include the entire transition within what you think of as the first theme -- because you cannot hear harmonically. You have called the start of the second subject 'transition' -- even though it is entirely based on D major harmony and isn't transitioning anywhere -- because you cannot hear harmonically. You have not labelled the codetta of the exposition -- because you do not know what one is. You have called the entire recapitulation 'coda' -- because you do not know what one is. And your music examples play the end of the exposition twice and all of the recapitulation twice -- because you are completely out of your depth musically and technologically. Kindly go and do something else. Pfistermeister (talk) 18:36, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
- You don't own any article or intellectual topic, and are not allowed to tell readers and editors hands off.
- Personal attacks are not allowed on Wikipedia. Please comment on the content, not the contributor.
- For example, how could we or I improve the article? Why and how should the musical examples be altered and how would that improve the article? Hyacinth (talk) 18:41, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
You know, this isn't a terribly difficult subject. I would fix the article myself except every time I start reading it I turn purple and start pacing up and down and ranting! Really, it is a straight enough and simple a subject and I'm begging that someone (preferably someone who isn't very dumb) fix it. Gingermint (talk) 04:25, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
More incompetent analysis in the music examples...
Another day, another burst of inept pseudo-analysis: we are now presented with a Mozart 'coda' which actually contains some material that isn't coda, being merely the end of a perfectly straightforward recapitulation.
The contributor, who is obviously completely out of his depth musically, will not accept correction or re-labelling of the fruits of his utter analytic incompetence, and (inevitably) cannot present sources or references to back up his clownish errors. So the music examples are *all* 'Original Research' as well as Obvious Rubbish. They must be deleted. Pfistermeister (talk) 17:27, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
- Ooooh, look! He's finally agreed to stop pretending that the Haydn recapitulation is a coda! We might almost be about to see baby correct the other nursery-level mistakes! Fingers crossed! Pfistermeister (talk) 22:01, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
- Your behaviour so far has been so incompetent, evasive and dishonest that your 'agreement' is utterly worthless. And you are still misrepresenting even correct parts of the analysis shown in the book -- which I have in front of me, so stop pretending that your examples follow it. Can't you get someone to explain it to you? Pfistermeister (talk) 09:35, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
- First theme Haydn's Sonata in G Major, Hob. XVI: G1, I, mm. 1-12 THIS DIAGRAM SAVAGELY MISREPRESENTS THE PUBLISHED ANALYSIS ON WHICH IT PURPORTS TO BE BASED (SEE FIG. 8.1 IN THE BOOK CITED). I'VE TRIED TO EXPLAIN THIS TO THE INDIVIDUAL CONCERNED, BUT HE JUST POSTS WIKI-DRIBBLE TO ME ABOUT MY 'MISOGYNY', AND REVERTS MY CORRECTIONS. THE TRUTH IS THAT *HE HAS LIED, AND CONTINUES TO LIE, ABOUT WHAT THE PUBLISHED EXAMPLE SAYS*. AM I THE ONLY PERSON WHO CARES? Pfistermeister (talk) 22:27, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
Sonata form pyramid
The following comment had been left in the article:
- THIS DIAGRAM IS *COMPLETE BULLSHIT*: IT SHOWS THE TRANSITION AS PLACED *BETWEEN THE EXPOSITION AND THE DEVELOPMENT*, WHEREAS WE ALL KNOW -- DON'T WE? -- THAT A SONATA TRANSITION LIES *BETWEEN THE FIRST AND SECOND GROUPS*, AND THEREFORE *WITHIN THE EXPOSITION*. FROM WHERE IS ALL THIS UTTERLY WRONG AND INCOMPETENT ANALYSIS COMING? THIS PAGE NEEDS PROTECTING FROM WHAT IS BEING DONE TO IT.
In this case it was coming from Pfistermeister, who analyzed the image the way he described above, rather than "correctly": with the transition as a part of the development. Though we may attempt to display dozens of opaque objects atop each other, obviously, this is the best that may be done visually. Hyacinth (talk) 02:36, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
- Uh, pardon me, but it is *utterly wrong* to 'analyze the transition as part of the development'. The transition is *located within the exposition*, and thus at least *one whole tonal-thematic statement away* from the start of the development.
- What is more, the new version of the diagram, recently added, is as bad as the old one; i.e. utterly misleading as well as unsupported and unreferenced. The Freytag diagram's authentic (non-musical) form [see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dramatic_structure] shows a 'rising action' to a 'climax', and a 'falling action' afterwards, leading to a 'denoument'. In the clownish example that has been fabricated as a 'sonata form' equivalent, the 'development' is presented as the peak, with an (unlabelled, implied) 'rising action' before it and a 'falling action' apparently after it. But this is ridiculous, improvised nonsense: no textbook would claim that a sonata development is reached by a 'rising action' beginning after the exposition... and the musical listener knows that calling the development 'climax' violates their experience of a majority of sonata structures. And where does anyone claim in the theoretical literature that a sonata recapitulation corresponds to a drama's 'denouement'...? This is all nothing but *amateurishness* and *fantasy* -- from a contributor who has already shown himself to be out of his depth in this topic. The diagram -- which, as I have said, has no support in the literature and is vacuous OR -- must be deleted. Pfistermeister (talk) 09:56, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
- What ridiculous rubbish! YOU are the one unilaterally pretending that a pyramid diagram developed in the analysis of novels and 5-act dramas should now be applied to a musical form that is harmonically binary and thematically ternary. YOU are the one imposing this inept Original Research on the page; YOU are the one seriously out of your depth and *totally lacking references*. The pyramid diagram in this context is *unsupported garbage*. Get rid of it, before I remove it. Pfistermeister (talk) 21:57, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
Merge: Recapitulation (music)
Merge: Exposition (music)
This might sound like a stupid question, but what's a "Home Key"? I've never come across the term before. I only know of the following ways to describe a relationship between keys
- Leading Note
- As mentioned in the article, home key is a commonly used term for the tonic. (see Exposition, First subject group).--Francesco Malipiero (talk) 18:36, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
I've never heard it been referred to as the Home Key, but I can't be bothered to rename it to tonic - this page needs sorting out enough anyway. But thanks for the clarification. PS- Hyacinth, I'm not sure weather or not your response was serious or not, but it wasn't in the slightest helpful. :)Gaymanrory (talk) 09:59, 30 October 2010 (UTC)
I don't suppose any of the geniuses that have made this article into the piece of sub-logical wreckage it is today have even the *faintest idea* what is wrong with an opeing sentence that goes-- "Sonata form . . . is a musical form that has been used widely since the early Classical period"...?? Pfistermeister (talk) 19:57, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
- "The first required section is the exposition. The exposition presents the primary thematic material for the movement: one or two theme groups, often in contrasting styles and in opposing keys, connected by a Bridge Passage (not to be confused with the term 'transition', which has a very different use)."
Since the article goes on to use "transition" exclusively (as far as I tell), the parenthetical statement quoted above makes this article self-contradictory. It is also something of mystery to me, as most of the literature I've read prefers "transition"---in fact, though I've heard the term "modulating bridge", I've never seen the term "Brigde Passage".
Any objections to changing it to:
- The first required section is the exposition. The exposition presents the primary thematic material for the movement: one or two theme groups, often in contrasting styles and in opposing keys, connected by a transition. (or, perhaps, ...modulating transition)?