Distinction Between Bipartite And Tripartite Forms
The Sonatine Form
T The Second Rondo Form
The Third Rondo Form
The Necessity Of Form In Music
Relation To The Three-part Song-form
2 Abbreviation Of The Regular Form
4 Mixture Of Characteristic Traits
Random Music Lessons
The Melodic Motive Or Phrase-member
3 Dislocation Of Thematic Members
The First Rondo-form
This consists, then, of a Principal theme
(generally Two-Part or Three-Part Song-form); a Subordinate theme in a
different key (probably a smaller form); a recurrence of the Principal
theme (usually more or less modified or elaborated); and a coda.
Principal Theme. Subordinate Theme. Prin. Theme. Coda.
2- or 3-Part Period, Double-period, As before, Optional
Song-form. 2- or 3-Part usually
Probably a form. Different variated.
perfect cadence. style and key. Sometimes
Possibly a few Possibly a brief abbreviated.
beats or measures codetta; and
of transitional usually a few
material, leading measures of
into next theme. Re-transition.
The design is that of the tripartite forms. But it is not to be
confounded with the Three-Part Song-form, because at least one of its
Themes, and probably both, will be a Part-form by itself. It is an
association of Song-forms, and therefore corresponds in design to the
Song with Trio. The first Rondo differs from the latter, however, in
being more compact, more coherent and continuous, and more highly
developed. This manifests itself in the relation of the Themes to each
other, which, despite external contrast, is more intimate than that
between the Principal and Subordinate Song (or Trio); further, in the
transitional passages from one Theme into the other (especially the
Re-transition, or returning passage); in the customary elaboration of
the recurring Principal Theme; and in the almost indispensable coda,
which often assumes considerable importance, and an elaborate form and
The evolution of the First Rondo-form of the Song with Trio may be
clearly traced in classic literature. Many intermediate stages appear,
naturally; and it is sometimes difficult to determine whether the
design is Rondo or compound Song-form, simply because it is scarcely
possible to decide just when the Trio assumes the more intimate
relation of a Subordinate theme, or when the freedom and comparative
looseness of association (peculiar to the Song with Trio) is
transformed into the closer cohesion and greater smoothness of finish
which fuses all the component Parts of the design into one compact
whole,--the distinctive stamp of all so-called higher forms.
The thoughtful examination and comparison of the following four
examples will elucidate the matter:--
1. Beethoven, first pianoforte sonata (op. 2, No. 1), Menuetto and
Trio. Already analyzed as a perfectly genuine Song with Trio.
2. Beethoven, pianoforte sonata, op. 28, second movement, Andante.
The principal Song is in the Three-Part form, with exact repetitions.
The subordinate song differs so radically in style, and each song is so
complete and distinct from the other, that the form is almost certainly
Song with Trio; but there is a strong intimation of the Rondo-form in
the elaborate variation of the da capo, and in the treatment of the
coda (last 17 measures), in which motives from both Songs are
associated so closely as to vindicate their kinship. In a word, this
movement possesses,--despite the apparent independence of its
Songs,--some degree of that continuity, compactness and artistic finish
which culminate in the genuine Rondo-form.
3. Mozart, pianoforte sonata, No. 10, second movement (Rondeau en
polonaise). The continuity and unity of this composition is so
complete that it is certainly a Rondo-form; the principal theme is a
fairly large Three-Part form; the subordinate theme (measure 47-69) is
a Two-Part form, the second part corresponding in contents to the
second Part of the principal theme; the recurrence of the principal
theme is abbreviated to one of its three Parts, and is merged in the
coda (last seven measures), which assumes the nature of a mere
extension. Despite all this evidence, there still remains a certain
impression of structural independence, which, so to speak, betrays the
seams, and militates somewhat against the spirit of the perfect
Rondo-form. See also, No. 13, Adagio.
4. Beethoven, pianoforte sonata, op. 2, No. 2, Largo; the unessential
details omitted in the following (in order to economize space) appear,
of course, in the original,--to which the student is expected to refer.
This is a genuine First Rondo-form. All the factors of which it is
composed, Phrases, Parts and Themes, are so closely interlinked that
the continuity, cohesion and unity of the whole is complete. The
variety of contents which these factors exhibit (greatest, naturally,
between the two themes), does not disturb the impression that the whole
movement is a unit. This is due, at least partly, to the manner in
which the perfect cadences are disguised; each one is passed over with
the least possible check of rhythmic movement (measures 8, 19, etc.),
thus snugly dove-tailing the structural factors. The coda is elaborate
and unusually long; it consists of several sections, as follows (see
the original): from measure 1 (the last measure in Ex. 54) to measure
4, a phrase, derived from the second Part of the Principal theme;
measures 5-7, an abbreviated repetition; measures 8-14, a phrase,
derived from the Principal theme; measures 15-17, a transitional
passage; measures 18-25, a period, closely resembling Part I of the
Principal theme; measures 26-30, final phrase.
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