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Re: How to write a piano sonata? [Re: dlee1001] #1631271 03/02/11 08:39 AM
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There's always a place for modern reinventions of older styles. Dixieland bands doing original tunes exist. Bolcom's and Albright's revivals of Ragtime are brilliant. Arcadi Volodos, Stephen Hough, and Marc-Andre Hamelin write transcriptions and paraphrases that don't feel anachronistic at all. Even Radiohead's new album doesn't feel that much newer than what people like Kraftwerk, Pink Floyd, Kitaro, Jean-Michel Jarre, and Laurie Anderson were doing in the 70's and 80's.

Bach was old-fashioned in his day, as were Brahms and Rachmaninoff. Nothing wrong with that, they wrote what they felt.

Also, it's worth keeping in mind that sonata form is merely a dramatic archetype. Just as the love story will never go out of style, sonata form is probably here to stay for awhile. That being said, popular love stories today tend towards the "Twilight" variety and not the "Pride and Prejudice" variety. But even then, there are people for whom Pride and Prejudice is still relevant, and those who would read and enjoy something newly written in that old style.


"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)

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Re: How to write a piano sonata? [Re: dlee1001] #1929036 07/19/12 10:59 AM
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Hello. I'm coming late to this discussion and wonder if you are still interested in writing a piano sonata?

I have been working with my professor for over a year on keyboard sonata movements. We are writing in the "Galant" style (the period directly preceding & leading to the Classicism of Mozart and his generation).
Galant forms are somewhat more simplified and easier to tackle than later styles, but the simple courtly exteriors conceal very characteristic and often complicated gestures, schemes & progressions.

Writing sonatas is challenging, instructive & fun. It will help you as a student of composition in any genre. We can chat about it more if you like.

By the way, Dr. Gjerdingen at Northwestern Univ has a wonderful site which explores composition & teaching methods of the late Baroque & Classical. Check out
http://faculty-web.at.northwestern.edu/music/gjerdingen/index.htm

Re: How to write a piano sonata? [Re: MUhlenkott] #1929055 07/19/12 11:52 AM
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dlee1001 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by MUhlenkott
Hello. I'm coming late to this discussion and wonder if you are still interested in writing a piano sonata?

I have been working with my professor for over a year on keyboard sonata movements. We are writing in the "Galant" style (the period directly preceding & leading to the Classicism of Mozart and his generation).
Galant forms are somewhat more simplified and easier to tackle than later styles, but the simple courtly exteriors conceal very characteristic and often complicated gestures, schemes & progressions.

Writing sonatas is challenging, instructive & fun. It will help you as a student of composition in any genre. We can chat about it more if you like.

By the way, Dr. Gjerdingen at Northwestern Univ has a wonderful site which explores composition & teaching methods of the late Baroque & Classical. Check out
http://faculty-web.at.northwestern.edu/music/gjerdingen/index.htm


I have finished my freshman year of college. I'm a music education major and my primary instrument is piano. In my theory class, we did learn about the sonata form and even did an analysis project on the first movement of Mozart's K545. Basically what we had to do in that project was label the exposition, development, and recapitulation. The rest consisted of marking the phrases, motives, and sequences, along with the complete Roman numeral analysis.

In my piano lessons, I've been assigned the third movement of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, and also the first movement of Mozart's K333.

Where does all this lead to? Well, you can safely infer that I know much more about sonata form now than a year ago. Of course, there's still a lot to learn, and I have yet to apply what I have learned so far into recreating my sonata.

I have, however, applied some other things that I learned in my theory class, such as the cadential 6/4, phrases, and motives. Right now I'm contemplating what to write in order to apply my knowledge of secondary-function (secondary dominant) chords. You can see my other compositions on my MuseScore page here.

I once informed my piano teacher that I wrote a sonata and, upon me telling her that I used the first movement of Beethoven's "Patétique" sonata as a template for the first movement of my sonata (link: http://musescore.com/user/2127/scores/26530), it was revealed that I needed to add more to the composition and rewrite some parts of it. I'll have to find time to work on it.

Last edited by dlee1001; 07/19/12 11:55 AM.

Words from a lifelong friend: "Always stay true to yourself and don't let anyone take away your happiness."
Re: How to write a piano sonata? [Re: MUhlenkott] #1929490 07/20/12 05:01 AM
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Originally Posted by MUhlenkott


By the way, Dr. Gjerdingen at Northwestern Univ has a wonderful site which explores composition & teaching methods of the late Baroque & Classical. Check out
http://faculty-web.at.northwestern.edu/music/gjerdingen/index.htm


That does look interesting! Thanks for the tip.


Re: How to write a piano sonata? [Re: wr] #1929509 07/20/12 06:48 AM
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Damon Offline
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Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by MUhlenkott


By the way, Dr. Gjerdingen at Northwestern Univ has a wonderful site which explores composition & teaching methods of the late Baroque & Classical. Check out
http://faculty-web.at.northwestern.edu/music/gjerdingen/index.htm


That does look interesting! Thanks for the tip.



I guess, for once, you are happy to see a "zombie thread" resurrected?

Re: How to write a piano sonata? [Re: Damon] #1929527 07/20/12 07:24 AM
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wr Offline
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Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by MUhlenkott


By the way, Dr. Gjerdingen at Northwestern Univ has a wonderful site which explores composition & teaching methods of the late Baroque & Classical. Check out
http://faculty-web.at.northwestern.edu/music/gjerdingen/index.htm


That does look interesting! Thanks for the tip.



I guess, for once, you are happy to see a "zombie thread" resurrected?


"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds..."

And I didn't characterize it as a zombie thread, anyway - that's your characterization, not mine.








Last edited by wr; 07/20/12 08:29 AM.
Re: How to write a piano sonata? [Re: wr] #1929772 07/20/12 02:24 PM
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I thought I'd bring the topic back because it is an interesting and helpful one which got sidetracked a while ago by a discussion of relevancy.

Besides loving this music, writing in this style and trying to do it as perfectly as possible, it has been an incredibly helpful process for me. Learning how to construct logical, forward-driven and listenable (I hope) pieces of music would come in handy for any composer!

Anyway, there are lots of details and complexities to sonata writing. Expo, Dev & Recap are very general - really just the tip of the iceberg!

If it would be helpful to anyone, I've posted several of my Galant-style keyboard sonata movements (and a few other student pieces) at Soundcloud here:
http://soundcloud.com/search?q[fulltext]=michael+uhlenkott

Pretty basic stuff but writing these fairly simple pieces has helped me a lot!

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