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All meter exists in a hierarchy, from the smallest subdivisions of the beat to the largest of "big beats." Hypermeter refers to the meter of phrases, in which each measure equals one large (i.e. slow) beat.
In music, refers to the way in which a given piece of music is organized, along with the musical ramifications of this organization
Part vs. Section
In form, a 'part' is a large-scale portion of a movement, designated with an upper-case letter. A 'section' is a sub-area of a part. Sections are usually either numbered or labeled with appropriate descriptors, but can also be given an upper-case letter (albeit a smaller one) in composite forms.
Large-scale form vs. small-scale form
The former refers to the parts and sections of the form, whereas the latter refers to the phrase and period structure.
Sometimes a melody is at least slightly different on its final statement as compared to earlier statements. Presumably these changes must have in some way completed some aspect of the melody that was imperfect previously, and thus this phenomenon is referred to as 'thematic completion.'
A passage of music that is too short to constitute a phrase, and that does not belong to a phrase.
The phenomenon in which the cadence of one phrase coincides precisely with the beginning of the following phrase.
The rate at which the harmonies change. Most pieces tend to set up a particular harmonic rhythm and then maintain it throughout large portions of the movement. Exceptions frequently occur at cadences, where the harmonic rhythm often speeds up or slows down
A type of authentic cadence in which the V chord is preceded by a dominant preparation chord
A cadence that ends on a tonic chord, thereby making it sound final (at least to a degree).
Factors determining cadential strength
Breadth, strength of beat, degree of preparation, inversions of the chords involved, voicing and spacing, harmonic rhythm
The smallest complete musical idea. Phrases end with a cadence. In most music, phrases tend to be four measures long.
A subdivision of a phrase, often two bars long. Phraselets need not end with cadences. Not all phrases are comprised of phraselets
Expansions of the phrase
Introduction (at the beginning), Interpolation (in the middle), and Extension (at the end)
A collection of two or more phrases in which the cadence of the final phrase is stronger than those of the preceding phrases such that the final phrase sounds like it completes and thus "answers" the incompleteness of the previous phrases.
Parallel vs. contrasting period
The phrases in parallel periods begin with the same melodic material, whereas in contrasting periods they do not.
An extremely common type of form comprised a first part (A), an unstable contrasting section (B), and then at least a partial return of the opening material (A'). Note that the main difference between the ABA' of rounded binary and that of ternary is the degree of independence of the B part.
A binary form in which the final section of the first part is a transposition of the final section of the second part. Not a common form after the Baroque period.
A form containing three distinct and independent parts, the third of which is a repetition or varied repetition of the first (ABA or ABA').
The best label used to describe the extremely rare occurrence of a form with three independent parts that were each contrasting compared to each other (ABC).
Sectional vs. continuous forms
A form is said to be 'sectional' if the A part ends on a tonic chord in the home key. If it does not, the form is called 'continuous.'
Closed vs. open
Another pair of terms used to describe passages that either end on the tonic chord of the home key (closed) or do not (open).
A movement consisting of a small form that gets repeated, but with the melody and accompaniment get varied with each repetition
Describes a piece comprised of a recurring bass line or chord progression between 4 to 8 measures in length, over which a longer melody is spun out.
Refers to forms that have more than one hierarchical layer to them. (Example: a large AB form in which both the A and the B parts have forms of their own.)
An ABA form in which both the A and the B sections have forms of their own. The most common example of composite ternary is provided by minuets and trios.
Sometimes a movement begins with a part or a section that seems to stand apart from the main body of the movement; such an area is often best labeled as an introduction.
Many types of form end with a section the function of which is to bring the entire movement to a close, and this section is called a coda. Codas must be at least four measures long, but are usually longer. Some codas contain over 100 measures, and may even contain some development (in which case it should be analyzed in the manner of a Development).
A portion of a piece that ends a part of that piece. Codettas tend to be short and to have very little harmonic or melodic activity. Rather, they are best seen as extended cadences of four or more measures. Once material has been labeled as a codetta, it should not later be labeled as a coda unless greatly expanded.
A type of ritornello form that involves at least three statements of the refrain. May contain as many as 13 parts, but 5-part rondos and 7-part rondos are by far the most common. Rondos containing seven or more parts will typically follow sonata principle by recapitulating the first episode in the tonic key. Most rondos are best understood as expansions of ternary form.
A portion of a form the function of which is to return to the opening material in the home key.
In a rondo, the parts that occur between statements of the refrain. Such episodes contain contrasting melodies in non-tonic keys.
The portion of a rondo that is stated at the beginning and that returns at least two more times. Refrains tend to be stable, independent, and closed harmonically. They traditionally contain more light-hearted melodies than other movements (such as those in sonata form).
A type of composite rounded binary form containing an exposition (containing two themes in two different keys), a development, and a recapitulation (which remains in the tonic key).
Any form in which material that was first stated in a non-tonic key later returns in the tonic key.
The first part of a sonata form, which contains a primary theme and a secondary theme in a non-tonic key (the secondary key area). Usually also contains a transition between the two themes plus a closing theme to help further establish the new key area. The exposition proper always ends in a non-tonic key.
The melody or melodies that are stated in the tonic key, until the beginning of the transition.
A section in the form the purpose of which is to achieve a modulation. Happens once in the exposition, except in the very rare three-key expositions). [NOTE: Re-read this sentence as often as necessary.] This section returns in the recapitulation but with alterations in order to avoid the modulation. The re-composing of the transition in the recapitulation is often the single most significant event in the movement.
Occasionally, a transition will end on the dominant chord and not in the key of the dominant. Despite this, the secondary theme will immediately thereafter enter in the key of the dominant (i.e., as though an actual modulation had taken place).
The second theme is the first melody stated entirely in the exposition's secondary key area. All subsequent melodies are also "second themes" until the arrival of the first closing theme.
The melody or melodies that sound like their function is to bring things to a close. Once the first closing theme occurs, all subsequent melodies until the Development are also closing themes. The purpose of closing themes is also to reinforce the secondary key area. Therefore closing themes always end in the secondary key, not the tonic. Sometimes closing themes are followed by a brief codetta.
The part of a sonata form between the exposition and the recapitulation. This unstable part of the form frequently contains many modulations. It also usually "develops" (i.e., manipulates in various ways) material from the exposition.
Sections within the Development
Every time the material that is being developed within the Development changes it is usefully described as a new "section" within the Development.
Sometimes a Development is based on an entirely new theme of its own, which is called development theme.
The return of the exposition, but without the modulation that the exposition contained.
A sonata form that has no development section. Sometimes there is a brief section during which the dominant is prolonged before the recapitulation, however.
Common modifications to sonata form
Three-key exposition, monothematic expositions, displaced Development, truncated recap, transposed recap.
A form that involves the alternation of a refrain (A) and contrasting sections (also known as episodes) (B, C, D, etc.).
Refers to the situation, commonly found in concertos, in which the exposition gets played twice: first by the orchestra (in the tonic key throughout) and then by the soloist (which will inevitably contain a modulation). The solo exposition frequently will contain additional material beyond what the orchestral exposition contained.
A type of sonata form that contains a double exposition and usually a cadenza as well.
A melodic idea, usually of between 1 to 4 mm. long, that is imitated at the fifth. The fugue will consist of alternations between sections containing the subject (exposition and entries) and sections in which the subject is absent (episodes).
A transposition of the subject that has been altered in order (1) to better emphasize the tonic towards its beginning, or (2) in order to avoid modulating to the key of the supertonic.
Counterpoint that always (or virtually always) is sounded against the subject after its initial statement.
The phenomenon of one voice entering with the fugue subject (or answer) before the previous voice has finished stating it.
The opening portion of a fugue, in which all the voices get to state the subject (or answer).
Sections of a fugue in which the subject re-enters after having been absent (i.e., after an episode). Middle entries need not contain any more than one statement of the subject (or answer). They are frequently in non-tonic keys.
The last section of a fugue that contains the subject. Final entries will be in the tonic key.
The portions of a fugue in which the subject is absent. Episodes often modulate, contain sequences, and contain motives from the subject or countersubject.
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