Charles Rosen says of sonata form#58; "[It] is not a definite form like a minuet, a da capo aria, or a French overture; it is, like the fugue, a way of writing, a feeling for proportion, direction, and texture rather than a pattern."...
|Title||:||Sonata Forms (Revised Edition)|
|Number of Pages||:||424 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Sonata Forms (Revised Edition) Reviews
When I picked up this book, I originally hoped it could serve as an introduction to sonata form for one of my students. But I quickly realized it would be way above his head. For one thing, it is essential to be able to read and "hear" scores (sometimes including alto or tenor clef) to follow Rosen's arguments. For a specialized audience, however, this is a terrific book that illustrates the range and power of one of classical music's greatest and most flexible structures. "Sonata form" is a way of organizing music that evolved in the mid-18th century. It emerged from several sources, including da capo aria form in opera/oratorio and concerto form. Charles Rosen must have had an encyclopedic knowledge of music of this period. He is able to illustrate his points using not only the acknowledged masters of the form (Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven) and their predecessors (Johann Christian Bach and Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach, both sons of J.S.), but also various second-tier composers whose works are all but forgotten. The fundamental kernel of classical sonata form is the opposition of the tonic, or home key, with the dominant, a fifth away. This creates a structural dissonance that must be balanced and resolved. Within that framework there are many strategies that composers have used, and Rosen explicates the origins of various common methods as well as their elaborations in later composers. The later chapters of the book show how composers after Beethoven dealt with the form. Once it became a "classical" model as the purest form of musical expression, sonata form lost its essential tonic-dominant opposition and dealt more with the contrast between different melodic themes or textures. Aspects of the form have served as a useful organizing principle for music up to the present day, even when it no longer functions as it did in the 18th century. I highly recommend Sonata Forms to any musicians seeking a deeper understanding of their craft. It is dense but interesting, and full of great insights. Thanks to Charles Rosen I am eager to play more of this music and apply what I've learned in my own playing.
It starts rather dry, but I can't say I blame the guy either. It's a dry subject in general. It picks up as he goes though, and the last several chapters are simply fascinating. He focuses heavily on music of the 17th century while the sonata form was beginning to take shape and meaning, and Rosen-as insightful as always-explores the different avenues the form took to reveal a form much more flexible and complex than what gets taught in a typical music theory class. As an amateur performer, Rosen's ideas are immediately practical, and as a young historian, they open up a wealth of new perspectives on music of the last 300 years. I also have to commend the guy for superb research and an immense variety of great musical examples.
still reading this... an excellent journey through the history of the sonata, as well as a thorough delving into a definition of that slippery form. also, some nice information about various composers and the social climates in which they were composing/reacting to.