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Elements of Music

46 47 advancEd ForMs getting organised Musical forms are often mixed and matched, with historical hybrids commonplace. Molecular binary and ternary units can be combined and compounded to yield more complex structures, these storyboard squares being used flexibly as general templates. Attention tends to be highest at the outset of a composition, so music often contains the most intellectually demanding material at this time. An initial tempo will be lively allegro, perhaps preceded by a slower introduction. Middle movements are often contemplative and reflective, a break from the first movement. Finales are generally light, playful, and dancelike. This common template derives from Baroque dance suites, which were an assemblage of these different moods, variously extroverted and introverted. There is a general format in the rhetorical unfolding of a complex form exposition, contrast, development, and summation, and occasionally transformation. Often there is a climax, or a series of them with progressively higher peaks and summits, finally followed by a coming down, unraveling, or denouement. Sonata form reached its apex in the Classical era and is still in use today. It possesses a fixed relationship of keys and themes. After an introduction, a theme is presented, followed by a contrasting theme. The two themes are then deconstructed and combined in a development section, often tonally unstable or ambiguous, after which the two themes return, a recapitulation. However, the second theme, while first presented in the dominant or at times another related key now returns in the tonic key, tying together the journey of contrast and differentiation. SONATA A very specific structure. The Y theme first occurs transposed, often to the dominant, and upon returning is then restored to the tonic. THROUGHCOMPOSED Each section is new and different. Generally little or no repetition. RONDO A main theme alternates with intervening contrasting sections. ARCH A palindromic structure with its keystone in the center. THEME VARIATIONS A main theme, follwed by sections generated and derived from it.
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