sonata form

noun

Definition of sonata form

: a musical form that consists basically of an exposition, a development, and a recapitulation and that is used especially for the first movement of a sonata

Examples of sonata form in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This short, exciting opener sets themes from the eponymous operetta in a classical sonata form with an exposition, development, and recapitulation. Jessica Rudman, courant.com, "Review: Guest pianist Kevin Cole dazzles on a night of memorable melodies," 13 Oct. 2019 However, the order of those movements doesn’t follow the classical model of fast sonata form followed by a slow movement, a dance movement (usually a minuet or scherzo), and a fast sonata or rondo finale. Jessica Rudman, courant.com, "Review: Guest pianist Kevin Cole dazzles on a night of memorable melodies," 13 Oct. 2019 But longevity allowed him a career in almost perfect sonata form, with a final period that recapitulated some of the joy of the first without ever trying to evade what had come between. Douglas Murray, National Review, "Michael Tippett’s ‘Timeless Music in Time’," 11 July 2019 In early 19th century Vienna, however, long, tuneful melodies weren’t easily adapted into four-movement sonata forms like symphonies or string quartets. Christian Hertzog, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Inon Barnatan and Garrick Ohlsson deliver masterful performances of late Schubert music," 25 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sonata form.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of sonata form

1858, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sonata form

Time Traveler for sonata form

Time Traveler

The first known use of sonata form was in 1858

See more words from the same year

Statistics for sonata form

Cite this Entry

“Sonata form.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sonata%20form. Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

Comments on sonata form

What made you want to look up sonata form? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!