Mozart – Allegro for Piano No. 8 (from Nannerl’s Notebook)
This very short and simple piece shows sonata form at its most basic. Too simple to actually use for your piece but a good way of understanding the form as a whole.
Mozart – Piano Sonata K545
This very famous piano sonata is a classic example of sonata form. The score is annotated so you can follow the structure.
Schubert – Sonatina for Violin and Piano (op. 137/1)
Sonatinas are the right sort of scale for an A level composition and this first movement by Schubert is a good simple example with some nice twists, particularly in the recapitulation. Schubert’s main key relationships in the exposition are the usual tonic and dominant but he extends the transition in order to make more of the arrival on the flat submediant as a way or approaching the dominant (F major to E major as V of A in Exposition / Bb major to A major as V of D in Recap.).
Notes on Development:
|Bar||Melodic material||Harmony and tonality (Tonic: D major)||Texture|
|70||Development of first two bars of first subject||D# diminished seventh||Octave unison|
|72||G# diminished seventh|
|74||IC and V over dominant pedal (A) in D minor (tonic minor)||MDH with melody in violin with simple accompaniment then repeats with melody in RH of piano.|
|82||Two bar idea based on first bar of 2nd subject and second bar of 1st subject (exposes the similarity of these two themes)||V of F (relative major of tonic minor)||Contrapuntal treatment of two bar idea between violin and LH.|
|87||Ambiguous progression ending on ….|
|90||Dominant preparation for D major (tonic) but still with hints of D minor (C# diminished sevenths and G# diminished sevenths)||MDH with melodic material in violin|
Schubert’s main key relationships in the exposition are the usual tonic and dominant but he extends the transition in order to make more of the arrival on the flat submediant as a way or approaching the dominant (F major to E major as V of A in Exposition / Bb major to A major as V of D in Recap.).
|33||First subject||In D major as opening|
|45||First subject||Switch to D minor|
|54||Transition (first subject material as Expo.)||Switch to G minor (subdominant)|
|57||Transition continued||Bb major (the equivalent of F major in the exposition) which then changes to an augmented sixth onto the dominant as before allowing the second subject to arrive in D major rather than the dominant|
|74||Second subject||D major all pretty much as beginning|
|86||Coda||Very slightly modified codetta extended to come to a firm close instead of providing a link.|
Dvorak – Sonatina for Violin and Piano (op. 100)
Based on folk-like tunes arranged in a sonata framework, this is another sonatina for violin and piano that takes an unusual turn through the relative minor (E minor) in the second subject. It also goes into some really wild keys in the development! Some notes below on the development and recap but the score is annotated so relatively easy to follow
|Bar||Melodic material||Harmony and tonality||Texture|
|164b||Linking passage based on first subject||Modulation to …||Violin melody with some light accompaniment|
|68||Modification of codetta idea that is originally part of first subject (b. 9)||Bb major||Double stopping on violin accompanying melody in LH of piano|
|76||Idea taken from bar 5 of first subject (with some added dotted rhythms borrowed from b. 9)||Modulates to …||MDH – violin melody and simple piano accompaniment|
|79||More complete statement of new configuration of first subject material from above||Db major|
|83||Continued development of first subject material||Modulating through chromatic chords including an augmented sixth to||Contrapuntal alternation of melody between violin and RH of piano|
|95||Triplet idea from codetta||E minor then modulating briefly to D before turning back to Ab major (bar 103) and then using chromatic chords to get to …||Alternating triplet melody and crotchet counter melody between violin and RH.|
|107||Dotted quaver rhythms||Dominant preparation on D for recapitulation||Octave unison|
Dvorak in his recapitulation is dealing with the consequences of his unusual key scheme in the exposition which was Tonic first subject and relative minor second subject.
|111||First subject as at beginning||G major (tonic)|
|119||Continuation of first subject but now in minor||G minor (tonic minor)|
|135||Transition||Bb major (instead of still in tonic in Expo)|
|147||Second subject||G major with strong hints of G minor (instead of E minor in Expo)|
|150||Transition again||This time back in G major as in Expo.|
|157||Codetta||Switches to G minor (so more like E minor material from Expo.)|
|165||Codetta continues||Back in G major again|
|169||Coda – development of codetta material||Now securely in G major|
Beethoven – String Quartet Op. 18 No. 2
Mostly light-hearted in its style and tone. The second subject is a bit more sophisticated and it turns unusually to E major in the recapitulation. Any lighter sonata movement like this could give you inspiration for your piece.
Some notes on the development and recap.
|Bar||Melodic material||Harmony and tonality (Tonic: G major)||Texture|
|81||Repeat of codetta material||D minor (minor version of dominant)||MDH with melody in violins|
|85||Transition||D minor then Bb major (briefly C minor)||Starts octave unison then MDH.THEN Antiphonal passing of semiquaver idea between upper and lower strings.|
|100||First subject||Eb major||MDH as beginning|
|103||Rhythm from first subject plus new idea in first violin||Eb major then modulates and cadences in||More contrapuntal texture with dotted idea in counterpoint with new longer idea in minims|
|117||F minor modulating to G minor then onto first F# then C# diminished sevenths|
|130||Transition||C# diminished seventh to D7 then hanging around dominant of home key until recapitulation slips in on cello in bar 64||MDH / homophony as in exposition transition. Some antiphonal play between upper and lower strings again.|
This sonata has two notable features in the recapitulation:
- an interesting false recapitulation in the cello (quite hard to pull off!)
- A coda that includes a vaguely imitative texture and a series of pauses on diminished seventh chords that hint at the subdominant, relative minor and finally the tonic.
Mozart – Piano Sonata in Bb K333
A longer example of a piano sonata with more development.
|Exposition||1||1st Subject Group – Bb major|
|23||2nd Subject Group – F major|
|50||Codetta – reaffirms F major|
|Development||64||Dev. of 1st Subject – F major|
|71||New material – modulating|
|87||Dominant preparation – V of Bb|
|Recapitulation||93||1st Subject Group – Bb major|
|119||2nd Subject Group – Bb major|
|152||Coda – reaffirms Bb major|
Beethoven – Septet in Eb Op. 20
This is a relatively early work that sparkles with energy and invention. It is too long as a structural model but has lots of nice touches from which you might take inspiration. Like Haydn 104, it has a slow introduction.
|Exposition||19||1st Subject Group – Eb major|
|53||2nd Subject Group – Bb major|
|99||Closing theme – Bb major|
|Development||111||Dev. of 1st subj. – modulating|
|116||Dev. of closing theme – C min. then Ab maj.|
|125||Dev. of transition – Ab, F minor then Bb major|
|140||Dominant preparation (closing theme then 1st subj.) – V of Eb|
|Recapitulation||154||1st Subject Group (extended) – Eb major|
|188||2nd Subject Group – Eb major|
|233||Coda – reaffirms Eb major|
Mozart – Quartet in G major K156
Light-hearted, in 3/8, and a good example of a simple sonata form structure.