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For more information, please see full course syllabus of Music History
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Form Variation

  • Form is the structure, the organization, the meat
  • Classical period took pre-determined forms and added/adapted
  • Sonata-Rondo: blended sonata with the ABACA form of Rondo
  • Theme and Variations: ABACADAEAFAG…etc
  • Minuet and Trio: light, triple meter movement of symphony
  • Scherzo: means joke and took over as third movement in symphony

Form Variation

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Let's Review Form 0:27
    • Form is the Structure of the Piece
    • Form is the Organization
    • How to Get From A to B to C and So On
    • Classical Period Marked A Time for Form Variants
    • Classical Composers Start to Get Clever with Form
  • Sonata-Rondo 2:07
    • We Know About a Sonata
    • Rondo is ABA or ABACA or ABACADA
    • A is the Refrain, Other Letters are New Thematic Material
    • Sonata-Rondo: Exposition, Development, Recapitulation
  • Minuet and Trio 6:14
    • Minuet: Refers to the Original Dance
    • Trio: Refers to the Three Instruments That Accompany a Second Part of a Dance
    • Trio Became the Third Movement in a Symphony or String Quartet
    • Moderate Tempo in Triple Meter
    • Form: ABA, With B Being the Trio
    • Third Movement Often Least Complex
  • Theme and Variations 8:55
    • Initial Theme That Gets Varied
    • Originally Used to Improvise for audiences
    • How Are These Themes Varied?
    • Musical Parameters
  • Scherzo 11:12
    • Scherzo Means Joke
    • Scherzo Became Another Variation of the Third Movement
    • Faster Than a Minuet, In Three, In Ternary or Rounded Binary Form
    • Very Light and Playful
  • Why is This Important? 12:40
    • Composers Have Experimented with Parameters, But Not Form
    • Form is Steeped in Tradition, So It Changes Gradually
    • Changes in Form Give Composers More Freedom
  • Review 14:52
    • Many Different Formal Variations with Basic Plot
    • Sonata-Rondo, Theme and Variations, Minuet and Trio, Scherzo
    • More Composer Freedom
    • Expression, Emotion, Story