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Re: Best book(s) on Sonata Form? [Re: SonatainfSharp] #2596542
12/20/16 02:58 PM
12/20/16 02:58 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,906
guess where in CA and WA
laguna_greg Offline
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laguna_greg  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2013
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guess where in CA and WA
Well then, the most accessible, least technical/introductory and comprehensive material I know is is the "Sonata" chapter in Aaron Copland's "What to Listen for in Music", which is still in print. As a matter of fact, the OP should read the whole book.

However, even Copland discusses the form in typical harmonic and rhythmic analysis terms, which the OP says they don't want. So then I'm really not sure what to say, other than what I've already said. Because anything less technical won't tell them anything, anything from the new deconstructionist school of analysis will just confuse the issue in every way, and something more "literary" will give them the wrong ideas entirely.


Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/greg-dempster/34/325/6b9/ (my day job)
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Re: Best book(s) on Sonata Form? [Re: ICW] #2596546
12/20/16 03:09 PM
12/20/16 03:09 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 53
I
ICW Offline OP
Full Member
ICW  Offline OP
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I

Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 53
I'm a bit overwhelmed by all these posts. Thanks for your replies.

Although I've been listening to baroque/classical/romantic music for 15+ years now, I own no music books except:

the Oxford Companion to Music,
Piston's Counterpoint,
Bairstow's counterpoint/harmony book,
Walter Carroll's "First Lessons in Bach",
Schmitt's Op. 16,
Brown's scale/arpeggio book,
and the grade/level 1 repertoire & etude books of the Royal Conservatory (Canada).

I've always loved the Sonata as an idea of perfect balance, and hope to play one some day, like a Clementi.

As for wanting to study the Sonata form while only being in Grade/Level 1-2, just know that I like structures, forms, blueprints, and how beauty is applied to them. So please forgive my amateurishness. I can't afford to have private lessons before the next conservatory term begins in January, so I'm sitting in musical purgatory for a month and a week. One can't sit at the piano all day, as a beginner. wink

"Sonatainfsharp", you understand my intention. I like to see repetitions, so as to better understand how a piece, or a section, or even a phrase, works better. I get hopelessly lost without seeing patterns.

"Carey", thanks for the scribd links. Anything like that is helpful; not just wiki descriptions or google results, but something like that. Yes, I want to understand the expo-dev-recap form of the Sonata-Allegro movement better.

Re: Best book(s) on Sonata Form? [Re: ICW] #2596555
12/20/16 03:27 PM
12/20/16 03:27 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 137
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jonnyboy126 Offline
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Posts: 137
Absolutely, Charles Rosen. And get his companion to the Beethoven Sonatas and follow along to watch how the great master plays with sonata form

Re: Best book(s) on Sonata Form? [Re: ICW] #2596558
12/20/16 03:38 PM
12/20/16 03:38 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,906
guess where in CA and WA
laguna_greg Offline
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Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,906
guess where in CA and WA
Hi ICW,

Well THAT explains it!

I'm very sorry if I came across as rather scolding in my posts. After reading your last post, it is much more clear what you are looking for and why.

The suggestions you list are all very good. However, I would steer clear of the college texts for the time being, coming to them later. The dictionary and encyclopedia articles will all help a good deal, right at the level you need. I also strongly suggest the Copland book I mentioned previously, as it was designed just for people like you, with a minimum of technical training yet needing a serious exposition of the subject. It's also a very fun, chatty read.

I would also suggest that you look for material on the history of the sonata and it evolution over time. It's a fascinating story that starts with Monteverdi and his circle in Rome and is still unfolding with us today. The typical text for this subject is Donald Grout's "A History of Western Music". But the book itself is quite dry and presupposes that you already know a good deal of theory. It is nevertheless an excellent reference, and you can pick it up used on Amazon for a buck or two.

You could also start articles in with wikipedia. A lot of the musicological entries contain very good information, and their bibliographies could be a useful starting point for further reading.


Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/greg-dempster/34/325/6b9/ (my day job)
Re: Best book(s) on Sonata Form? [Re: ICW] #2596582
12/20/16 04:17 PM
12/20/16 04:17 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 53
I
ICW Offline OP
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ICW  Offline OP
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I

Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 53
Thank you Laguna Greg. I like the sound of the Copland book.

Re: Best book(s) on Sonata Form? [Re: ICW] #2596588
12/20/16 04:48 PM
12/20/16 04:48 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,440
Urbandale, Iowa
S
Steve Chandler Offline
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Steve Chandler  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,440
Urbandale, Iowa
Originally Posted by ICW
but because if I had been asking from that standpoint, this thread might've been moved to the Composers' Lounge, which seems to be inactive... so I posted here with the hopes of lots of replies.

The Composer's Lounge is definitely not inactive. Of course it'll never be as active as this, but that's because composers are a subset of pianists (here). Most of the active members are also active here, so you should get more responses here, but you may get more interesting responses there. There's no law against posting a question to both forums.

Re: Best book(s) on Sonata Form? [Re: wr] #2596621
12/20/16 06:11 PM
12/20/16 06:11 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 561
Northern CA
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Parks Offline
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Parks  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 561
Northern CA
Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by Parks
The Classical Style, by Charles Rosen
When I read that book, many years ago, it seemed interesting and reading it was worthwhile, but it was rather hard to absorb. Maybe I should pull it off the shelf and try slogging through it again - sometimes books seem very different on rereading after some years.

I've read it through several times, and often reference it. I know what you mean, it's dense. I've also met him in person and attended his lectures. Lots of knowdge there!


Michael

"Genius is nothing more than an extraordinary capacity for patience."
Leonardo da Vinci
Re: Best book(s) on Sonata Form? [Re: laguna_greg] #2596640
12/20/16 06:38 PM
12/20/16 06:38 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,271
Maine
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PianoStudent88 Offline
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Maine
Originally Posted by laguna_greg
Donald Grout's "A History of Western Music"

Is this the one that now has Burkholder and Palisca as co-authors? My local library has it... off to indulge in BOOKS! Anything that starts with Monteverdi is fine with me smile Though I'm not the OP, thanks for the recommendation.


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Re: Best book(s) on Sonata Form? [Re: PianoStudent88] #2596653
12/20/16 07:02 PM
12/20/16 07:02 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 2,712
SE USA
WhoDwaldi Offline
2000 Post Club Member
WhoDwaldi  Offline
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Joined: May 2008
Posts: 2,712
SE USA
Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
Originally Posted by laguna_greg
Donald Grout's "A History of Western Music"

Is this the one that now has Burkholder and Palisca as co-authors? My local library has it... off to indulge in BOOKS! Anything that starts with Monteverdi is fine with me smile Though I'm not the OP, thanks for the recommendation.


Douglass Seaton's Ideas and Styles in the Western Musical Tradition is good, too. I like Grout's very formal, dry original edition. 😀


WhoDwaldi
Howard (by Kawai) 5' 10"
Re: Best book(s) on Sonata Form? [Re: ICW] #2596671
12/20/16 07:55 PM
12/20/16 07:55 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 9,063
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wr Offline
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wr  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 9,063
Originally Posted by ICW

wr, YouTube was indeed my first resource, but I prefer something that I can hold in my hands. smile


That comment lead me to something I hadn't noticed before: Wikipedia offers some downloading and printing options in the left panel of their layout, besides just looking at the information on the screen. They even have a "book creator" which includes some sort of commercial printing option.

So, you could turn the Wikipedia "sonata form" entry into something printed, if you like it. It looks like a fairly decent overview of the subject.


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