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 Contrary to classical sonata form there is no slow movement, no brooding themes, nothing to detract from the buoyant mood. David L. Coddon, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Arts & Culture Newsletter: ‘Finish the Fight’ marks the centennial of 19th amendment’s ratification," 27 Aug. 2020 By 1784, sonata form had imprinted itself on the listening culture enough to feel like instinct; Vienna audiences could rest comfortably in the run of classical forms as familiar—and thus enjoyable—narratives. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Removing Beethoven’s Wig: A Classical Music Reading List," 29 May 2020 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.

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First Known Use of sonata form

1858, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for sonata form

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The first known use of sonata form was in 1858

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Cite this Entry

“Sonata form.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sonata%20form. Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

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