Summary and Info
For over 150 years the concept of "sonata form" lay at the heart of European instrumental music. Now, in Elements of Sonata Theory, musicologist James Hepokoski and music theorist Warren Darcy rethink its basic principles. Considering not only sonatas but also chamber music, symphonies, overtures, and concertos, their study outlines a new, updated paradigm for understanding the compositional choices present in the instrumental works of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and their contemporaries. It also lays down an indispensable foundation for those working with later adaptations and deformations of these musical structures in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Combining insightful research and analysis, contemporary genre theory, and provocative hermeneutic turns, these original perspectives provide a creative approach to the exploration of meaning within a familiar repertory. The authors map out the background terrain of historical norms at work in this music and provide a flexible mode of analysis for perceiving and assessing what happens--or what does not happen--in any given piece. They guide readers through the formatting possibilities within each compositional space in sonata form, while also introducing new ideas for understanding the ordering of musical modules over an entire movement and, more broadly, over an entire multimovement composition. The product of over a dozen years of research, Elements of Sonata Theory is the most thorough study of the sonata ever undertaken. It serves as a challenge both to students and to experienced musicologists and music theorists to rethink how sonata form is best understood.
More About the Author
James Arnold Hepokoski (born 1946) is an American musicologist. He earned his Masters and PhD in Music History from Harvard University, studying with David G.
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