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The Double-period
Distinction Between Bipartite And Tripartite Forms
Lesson 4
Causes
The Sonatine Form
The Exposition
The Recapitulation
T The Second Rondo Form
The Third Rondo Form
The Necessity Of Form In Music


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The Exposition
The Recapitulation
Causes
Part Iii
Lesson 3
Cadences In General
The Period
Lesson 7
Lesson 9
Lesson 10


Random Music Lessons

Afterword
Lesson 12
Enlargement By Repetition
Part I
Modification Or Disguising Of The Cadence
Time
Lesson 10
Locating The Cadences
Measures
Inherent Irregularity



Length Of The Regular Phrase





Fortunately for the work of analysis,
there are certain established landmarks of forms, so conscientiously
observed, and so firmly grounded in the practices of classic writing
(because the necessary consequences of natural law), that it is
generally practicable to fix fairly regular and plausible boundaries to
the phrase, notwithstanding the freedom and elasticity which
characterize the application of the syntactic principle in music.

Therefore the student will find that a phrase, in the great majority of
cases, covers exactly four measures, and will seldom be misled if he
looks for the end of his phrase four measures beyond its beginning.
This refers, be it understood, only to measures of average size (in the
ordinary time denominations, 3-4, 4-4, 6-8 measure). If the measures
are uncommonly large (9-8, 12-8), the phrase will probably cover no
more than two of them; or, if small (2-4, or 3-4 in rapid tempo), the
phrase may extend to the eighth measure. The operation of this
four-measure rule is exhibited with striking regularity and persistence
in the Jugend Album of Schumann (op. 68); throughout its forty-three
numbers there are probably no more than a half-dozen phrases whose
length differs from this standard. For example:


It will be observed that the first (and also the third) of these
phrases consists of two exactly similar two-measure motives. This
seems to lend some confirmation to the idea of a two-measure phrase;
but the student is warned against deviating from his four-measure
standard, upon such evidence as this. Many instances will be found,
like these, in which the impression of a complete phrase is not gained
until the motive of two measures has been thus repeated; the
repetition is necessary, in order to finish the sentence, and this
proves that the two measures alone do not constitute the complete
idea which we expect the phrase to represent.

The same regularity of dimension will usually be found in all kinds of
dance music; in technical exercises (for instance, the ?tudes of Czerny
and others); and in all music of a simple or popular character.

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Previous: The Phrase



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