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Were Scarlatti's K. Sonatas truly sonatas?
#3027527 09/21/20 02:57 PM
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Well... I've been exploring the world of the 556 keyboard sonatas by Scarlatti and... I noticed that... They are not really sonatas... I've learnt the k 32 and now learning k 466. Listened ti a lot of them but... I can't see the sonata form in them... Some of them touched lightly that form but truly I can't see it. Can someone please explain? And if it turns out they are not really sonatas then why do we still call them as such?

Re: Were Scarlatti's K. Sonatas truly sonatas?
Small Pianist 66 #3027533 09/21/20 03:07 PM
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My understanding of the title is that it was meant mainly in the literal ('etymological') meaning of the word, "sound piece" -- i.e. only "sound," without words.

But besides, most of them do have some semblance of sonata form. Just about all have a clear "development section" at the beginning of the second part, and I think the great majority have a "first theme" and "second theme" as well; if not crystal clear 1st and 2nd themes, 'some semblance' of them.

But it's a good question.

BTW, "sonatas" by other composers sometimes have no movement that is in sonata form.
One that comes to mind immediately is Mozart's "Rondo a la Turca" sonata -- A major, K. 331.

Re: Were Scarlatti's K. Sonatas truly sonatas?
Small Pianist 66 #3027537 09/21/20 03:15 PM
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This will answer your question:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonata


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Re: Were Scarlatti's K. Sonatas truly sonatas?
Small Pianist 66 #3027538 09/21/20 03:16 PM
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What we call sonata (first movement) form stemmed from the binary form that Scarlatti usually used. The first part would be the exposition which is repeated, and the second part is the development with recapitulation which is repeated also. Repeats eventually became optional, and then often omitted.

Of course, there are a few Scarlatti sonatas which are not in binary form, like those that are fugues or toccatas.


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Re: Were Scarlatti's K. Sonatas truly sonatas?
Mark_C #3027539 09/21/20 03:16 PM
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Omg thank you so much! I thought people would say that I'm stupid and that my question is dumb. Also I think Bethovens Funeral march sonata is similar in that manner. They are really kinda like seperate pieces, I think the true sonata aspect comes at the last movement. Yet again thank you for being so kind and so helpful!

Re: Were Scarlatti's K. Sonatas truly sonatas?
Small Pianist 66 #3027543 09/21/20 03:21 PM
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Sonatas don't have to be in sonata form, and pieces in sonata form don't have to be sonatas. (In fact, most of the latter are symphonies, suites etc.) Composers can call their pieces what they like - fantasy, fantasy piece, impromptu, fantasy-impromptu, song without words, lyric piece, musical moment, prelude, postlude, study, fantasy-sonata, sonata-fantasy.........even sonata and sonatina (or son of a sonata).

After all, Erik wrote pieces in the form of a pear, but they aren't pear-shaped.....


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Re: Were Scarlatti's K. Sonatas truly sonatas?
bennevis #3027549 09/21/20 03:24 PM
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Haha! Eriks weird names for musical pieces. From Muscular fantasy to gymnopedies (lit. Naked children) to Dried up embryos of sea cucumbers and crustaceans. He was truly such an eccentric fella!

Re: Were Scarlatti's K. Sonatas truly sonatas?
AZNpiano #3027553 09/21/20 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
This will answer your question:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonata
+1

Scarlatti was a late baroque composer, and the classical sonata form is from the classical era that started roughly when Scarlatti died.


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Re: Were Scarlatti's K. Sonatas truly sonatas?
Small Pianist 66 #3027565 09/21/20 04:26 PM
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Im really happy with all of your replies! You people are awesome and so helpful in here! This community is so wholesone and beautiful and filled with good intentions and desire to give a helping hand to other! Please keep it that way!^-^

Re: Were Scarlatti's K. Sonatas truly sonatas?
Small Pianist 66 #3027648 09/21/20 09:56 PM
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The Baroque dance suite was a form with multiple movements.

The most common paradigm was alternating between moderate or slow dance forms and fast dance forms. The only significant attempt at formalization was a 4 movement suite consisting of Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Gigue, but baroque composers freely added or substituted other movements as they desired, so it was not a rigid paradigm. Variations on a theme were also common.

Handel seems to have used the term sonata when what he otherwise would call a suite deviated enough from the common structure, and his sonatinas (those with which I'm familiar) are in single movements.


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Re: Were Scarlatti's K. Sonatas truly sonatas?
Small Pianist 66 #3027780 09/22/20 09:08 AM
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This is quite timely for me as I'm just starting K466.

Thanks to Small Pianist 66 and everyone who's commented here. smile


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Re: Were Scarlatti's K. Sonatas truly sonatas?
ShiroKuro #3027842 09/22/20 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
This is quite timely for me as I'm just starting K466.

YES -- the great D minor Concerto! grin

(just kidding)

BTW, one time when I was playing a Scarlatti piece at a get-together, I said it was "Köchel" number whatever.
Fortunately one of the people immediately corrected me.
("I can't believe I did that.....") ha


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