Home » 8 – Composition (Home) » 1 Writing a simple Classical theme » Stage 3: Choosing a phrase structure

Stage 3: Choosing a phrase structure

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You can now use your Basic Idea from Stage 1 and your cadence ideas from Stage 2 as the starting point for writing a complete theme. Here are two straightforward choices of structure and two more complex ones. Click on the link for detailed instructions and an example:

Structure Notes
Sentence This 8-bar structure reuses the Basic Idea you will have already written in various ways before cadencing in the last two bars.
Period This 8-bar structure introduces a contrasting idea in the second two bars and then having cadenced on V repeats the first four bars but modified to finish I.
Modulating Period Like the period, but the second four bars modulate to finish on a perfect cadence in a new key.
Small Ternary This longer 16-bar structure begins with a period, adding some contrasting material in the middle before ending with a return of the first phrase, modified to make it more final.