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Form Analysis

All graduate music students are expected to demonstrate a competency with the basics of form analysis. We assess this through the proper labeling of cadences, phrase types, and formal structures. The exam focuses on Classical Period instrumental forms Binary, Ternary, Sonata/Allegro, Rondo etc. We use the text Classical Form: A Theory of Formal Functions for the Instrumental Music of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven » by William E. Caplin.


Phrase Structures - Samples

Label the phrase structure for the theme below. Indicate the smaller 'sub' structures and label the cadence(s).

Example 1

phrase example 1

Solution

Phrase example 1 key


Example 2

phrase example 2

Solution

Phrase example 2 key


Example 3

phrase example 3

Solution

Phrase example 3 key


Example 4

phrase example 4

Solution

Phrase example 4 key


Small Forms - Samples

For the examples below determine the formal structure. Show formal divisions, key relationships, and structural cadences.

Example 1

jhaydn sonata in d-major

Solution

JHaydn Sonata in d-major key


Example 2

jhaydn sonata in e-minor

Solution

J Haydn Sonata in e-minor key


Large Forms - Samples

Give the formal structure of a typical Sonata Allegro movement. Indicate the sections and tonal structure.

Solution

Sonata Allegro key

Give the formal structure of a typical Large Ternary movement. Indicate the sections and tonal structure.

Solution

Large Ternay  key

Give the formal structure of a typical 5-part Rondo movement. Indicate the sections and tonal structure.

Solution

5-Part Rondo key

Give the formal structure of a typical Sonata Rondo movement. Indicate the sections and tonal structure.

Solution

Sonata Rondo key


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