Understanding Form and Structure

Binary Form:
           Two sections: A - B, usually as follows:
            - The A section starts in the Tonic and ends in the Dominant / Relative Major
            - The B section starts in the Dominant / Relative Major and ends in the Tonic 

Ternary Form:  

            Three sections: A - B - A  
            - The second A section can be a da capo, or it may be a slight variation of the first A section


            A recurring theme (A) interspersed with contrasting sections: A-B-A-C-A-D-A-E-A....... 
            - The A section may either be exactly repeated, or it may be varied

Sonata FormFirst Movement Sonata Form:

(Applies only to the first movement of a 3 or 4 movement Sonata):
            - First Subject (Tonic)
            - Bridge Passage (leads to the Dominant or Relative Major)
            - Second Subject (Dominant / Relative Major)
            - Coda / Codetta (ends in Dominant / Relative Major).... Double barline/repeat
- Uses material from the Exposition, and / or introduces new material

            - Free form, starting in Dominant / Rel. Major, leading back to the Tonic


- First Subject (Tonic)

            - Bridge Passage (remains in Tonic)

            - Second Subject (Tonic)

            - Coda / Codetta (ends in Tonic).... Double barline (end)


            A large work in 3 or 4 movements, usually as follows:
            - Fast (Sonata form)
            - Slow (Binary form)
            - Minuet & Trio or Scherzo & Trio (optional movement) 
            - Fast (Rondo)

Sonatina: A small sonata, written in the same form

Minuet: A Dance movement in triple time, Binary form  

Minuet and Trio: Minuet (binary) - Trio (binary) - Minuet da capo.   Overall form: Ternary

Toccata: A display piece for solo keyboard (from Italian toccare, "to touch")

Toccatina: A small Toccata

Canon: The same melody payed in different parts, begun succesively so tht the imitations overlap

Fugue: A complex, contrapuntal piece in 3 or more intertwining voices


            A "learning" piece, designed to improve specific areas of technique or musicality
            - examples of challenges are: balance between hands, dynamics, articulation, scales, arpeggios, broken chords, Alberti bass, fast playing, legato, staccato, double octaves........
            - no specific form, but most commonly Binary or Ternary