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#1210168 - 06/02/09 04:22 AM An 18th-century style sonatina movement
nlogn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/02/09
Posts: 108
I thought I would share a composition that I wrote for a class assignment two years ago, "A movement in sonata-allegro form and 18th-century style."

Score: http://www.box.net/shared/1d5qqo4tpy
Audio: http://www.box.net/shared/4srq9gxdcp

And now for the story:

Two years ago I was taking a class largely on 18th-century compositional styles and techniques, basically the only music theory class offered at this school. I was initially a good student and followed all the rules for the assignments, sticking to the style in question, but very soon I started to feel my creative freedom being restricted. I wanted to have fun composing music, not turn in drudgery assignment after drudgery assignment of following the rules. So I started to disregard the rules and frequently submitted assignments deviating far from the required style, much to the professor's vexation. For the midterm project we were supposed to write a piece in G major and rounded binary form, along with various other harmonic and structural requirements such as inserting an augmented sixth chord in the A section, writing at least a certain number of measures for the B section, and so on (which by the way I always adhered to). I turned in a "piece in G major, rounded binary form, and quasi-18th century style," the key word being "quasi." It was a clever little creation in my own evaluation, filled with little tricks that I very much enjoyed coming up with, but the professor obviously did not find this work to his liking. I ended up having to compose an entirely new piece, which I titled "Allegro boredo."

The final project involved the composition of a sonatina movement in a key of our own choice, in sonata-allegro form and again with certain other requirements. Now in my own time I had been working on a piano quartet in my own compositional style (which was certainly not anything close to 18th-century style), and as the project due date approached I had just finished the quartet. As it was in sonata-allegro form I decided to turn that in. At this point the professor seemed resigned over my continual defiance, and gave in by allowing me to submit the quartet provided that I could offer a complete harmonic analysis of the piece. As far as I remember I had less than a week to do this. As the week progressed it became apparent that there was no way on earth I was going to do this, as my compositional style went far beyond the confines of the analysis of 18th-century music which was what we had been learning about. Finally, late into the night before I was to meet with the professor I hastily put together a sonata movement in about 3-5 hours, went to sleep, overslept, and barely caught the professor the next morning. Having not had the expectation he seemed relieved to finally receive a work from me that conformed to the standards more than I ever had. I still had little regard for rules imposing limits on creativity; the meter change between the exposition and the development is thus one of the last remaining vestiges of my defiance against the rules. Nonetheless I decided that the word "quasi" was not necessary in the title "A movement in sonata-allegro form and 18th-century style."

Today, almost exactly two years later, when I attended the recital at which current students of the class had their works performed by the professor, I found that a handful of the compositions deviated quite far from the 18th-century style.

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#1211738 - 06/04/09 03:28 PM Re: An 18th-century style sonatina movement [Re: nlogn]
Kreisler Offline

Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13837
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I tried to look but box.net says the file is no longer available.
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)


#1211793 - 06/04/09 05:28 PM Re: An 18th-century style sonatina movement [Re: Kreisler]
nlogn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/02/09
Posts: 108

Edited by nlogn (06/04/09 09:56 PM)

#1212110 - 06/05/09 08:25 AM Re: An 18th-century style sonatina movement [Re: nlogn]
Tendu Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 21
Loc: United States
Hi Jack,

I, too, tried to listen, but the file has been removed. I'll check back in a few days to see if you've been able to fix it.



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