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#3173365 11/26/21 08:11 AM
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I have this bunch of final works to do and my brain just doesn't works anymore. I've been reading and re-reading about how a Sonata works but I can't understand.
Help me, please.
How does a Sonata works? Talking about the movements.

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Movements aren't really what it's about. You can have 1.2.3 or 4 movement sonatas. I assume you mean sonata form? It's mostly about key relations in a movement. Usually you start in a key and modulate to another (often then repeating). That's called the exposition. Then you explore some of your material in different keys. That's the development. Then you repeat the exposition with the original material but don't modulate. There, that wasn't hard was it?


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Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
I assume you mean sonata form? It's mostly about key relations in a movement. Usually you start in a key and modulate to another (often then repeating). That's called the exposition. Then you explore some of your material in different keys. That's the development. Then you repeat the exposition with the original material but don't modulate. There, that wasn't hard was it?
Key relations AND thematic material (1st subject, 2nd subject, etc.) smile


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Not necessarily. Check out Haydn.


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Does anyone really think this banter is helping the OP?


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Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
Not necessarily. Check out Haydn.

The OP has asked a simple question. Let's give him a simple answer.


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Originally Posted by dogperson
Does anyone really think this banter is helping the OP?
The banter, of course not. My initial response, yes.

Last edited by Carey; 11/26/21 01:54 PM.

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Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
Not necessarily. Check out Haydn.

The OP has asked a simple question. Let's give him a simple answer.
I did that.


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Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
Not necessarily. Check out Haydn.
The OP has asked a simple question. Let's give him a simple answer.
Of course. The answer to a question should fit the knowledge of the person asking the question. Exceptions to the more standard sonata form are not the point here. This is a basic principle of good teaching.

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Originally Posted by iHaveTwoHands
I have this bunch of final works to do and my brain just doesn't works anymore. I've been reading and re-reading about how a Sonata works but I can't understand.
Help me, please.
How does a Sonata works? Talking about the movements.


I think you should elaborate more precisely what it is that you have issues with and your current level. The answers can be very different.

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If you really want to dig into this subject, you can't do better than Charles Rosen's classic book "Sonata Forms"

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I'm guessing we aren't going to hear from the OP again.


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Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
I assume you mean sonata form? It's mostly about key relations in a movement. Usually you start in a key and modulate to another (often then repeating). That's called the exposition. Then you explore some of your material in different keys. That's the development. Then you repeat the exposition with the original material but don't modulate. There, that wasn't hard was it?

Speciously didactic, patronizing, and misleading. What's the basis for the assumption?

Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
Check out Haydn.

I'm assuming you mean Joseph Haydn because he's more famous? I just checked his 104 symphonies, 80+ string quartets, 62 piano sonatas, 14 masses, and 26 operas. It took a long time and I'm still not sure what I was looking for.

Originally Posted by Carey
I'm guessing we aren't going to hear from the OP again.

I think you're probably right, Carey.


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Originally Posted by SiFi
Speciously didactic, patronizing, and misleading. What's the basis for the assumption?
What assumption?

Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
Check out Haydn.
That was for Carey (who I assume knows of what I speak).


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It's quite a good question, since the form evolved over a very long period.

Most remarkable is how little meaning is contained in the term, which is perhaps what puzzles people.

That said, reading some breakdowns of a Haydn sonata might be a good place to start. Get up to speed on modern schema theory. Review cadences and sequences. Review modulation gamuts and tactics.

Long term: get your figured bass up to speed and study the most popular pedagogy of the era, and it's recent revival since 2007. Anything about "Partimento" is going to provide tangible clues about "how it worked".

Modern chord theory, since nobody who wrote a sonata before 1900, used it, may be a distraction, certainly for Haydn, it's argueably not useful.

Robert Gjerdingen's "Music in the Galant Style" is a good book for anyone interested in a deeper understanding of "classical" music.

Last edited by uhoh7; 12/03/21 09:51 PM.

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Thanks for that. I ordered Music in the Galant Style though a bit pricey. Hopefully I won't have to get The Art of Partimento as well!


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Originally Posted by uhoh7
Anything about "Partimento" is going to provide tangible clues about "how it worked".

Yes. Partimento is top of the pops in academia these days. With good reason, I should say.


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Originally Posted by uhoh7
Long term: get your figured bass up to speed and study the most popular pedagogy of the era, and it's recent revival since 2007.

Perhaps some things are better left "un-revived." smile


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