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Pre Final Coverage: Integrated Music Theory

Forms - the overall structure or plan of a piece of music (musical architecture)


Motive is a short musical idea, a salient recurring figure, musical fragment or
succession of notes that has some special importance in or is characteristic of
a composition: "The motive is the smallest structural unit possessing thematic identity"
A musical phrase is a unit of musical meter that has a complete musical sense of
its own, built from figures, motifs, and cells and combining to form melodies, periods and
larger sections; or the length in which a singer or instrumentalist can play in one breath.
Passage - The smallest level of construction concerns the way musical phrases are
organized into musical sentences and "paragraphs" such as the verse of a song. This may
be compared to, and is often decided by, the verse form or meter of the words or the steps
of a dance.
Sectional form
This form is built from a sequence of clear-cut units that may be referred to by
letters but also often have generic names such as introduction and coda, exposition,
development and recapitulation, verse, chorus or refrain, and bridge. Introductions and
codas, when they are no more than that, are frequently excluded from formal analysis. All
such units may typically be eight measures long. Sectional forms include:
Strophic form
This form is defined by its "unrelieved repetition" (AAAA...).
Medley, potpourri or chain form is the extreme opposite, that of "unrelieved
variation": it is simply an indefinite sequence of self-contained sections (ABCD...),
sometimes with repeats (AABBCCDD...). Examples include orchestral overtures, which
are sometimes no more than a string of the best tunes of the show to come.
Binary form
Binary form in major and minor keys.
Each section must be at least three phrases long.
This form uses two sections (AB...), each often repeated (AABB...). In 18thcentury western classical music, "simple binary" form was often used for dances and
carried with it the convention that the two sections should be in different musical keys but
same rhythm, duration and tone. The alternation of two tunes gives enough variety to
permit a dance to be extended for as long as desired.

Ternary form
This form has three parts. In Western classical music a simple ternary form has a
third section that is a recapitulation of the first (ABA). Often, the first section is repeated
(AABA). This approach was popular in the 18th-century operatic aria,[citation
needed] and was called da capo (i.e. "repeat from the top") form. Later, it gave rise to
the 32-bar song, with the B section then often referred to as the "middle eight". A song
has more need than a dance of a self-contained form with a beginning and an end of
course.
Rondo form
This form has a recurring theme alternating with different (usually contrasting)
sections called "episodes". It may be asymmetrical (ABACADAEA) or symmetrical
(ABACABA). A recurring section, especially the main theme, is sometimes more
thoroughly varied, or else one episode may be a "development" of it. A similar
arrangement is the ritornello form of the Baroque concerto grosso. Arch form (ABCBA)
resembles a symmetrical rondo without intermediate repetitions of the main theme. It is
normally used in a round.
Variational form
Variational forms are those in which variation is an important formative element.
Theme and Variations: a theme, which in itself can be of any shorter form (binary,
ternary, etc.), forms the only "section" and is repeated indefinitely (as in strophic form)
but is varied each time (A,B,A,F,Z,A), so as to make a sort of sectional chain form. An
important variant of this, much used in 17th-century British music and in
the Passacaglia and Chaconne, was that of the ground bass - a repeating bass theme
or basso ostinato over and around which the rest of the structure unfolds, often, but not
always, spinning polyphonic or contrapuntal threads, or
improvising divisions and descants. This is said by Scholes (1977) to be the form par
excellence of unaccompanied or accompanied solo instrumental music. The Rondo is
often found with sections varied (AA1BA2CA3BA4) or (ABA1CA2B1A).
Developmental form
Developmental forms are built directly from smaller units, such as motifs,
combined and worked out in different ways, perhaps having a symmetrical or arch-like
underpinning and a progressive development from beginning to end. By far the most
important in Western classical music is:

Sonata-Allegro form

This form, also known as sonata form, first movement form, compound binary,
ternary and a variety of other names, developed from the binary-formed dance movement
described above but is almost always cast in a greater ternary form having the nominal
subdivisions of Exposition, Development and Recapitulation. Usually, but not always, the
"A" parts (Exposition and Recapitulation, respectively) may be subdivided into two or
three themes or theme groups which are taken asunder and recombined to form the "B"
part (the development) - thus e. g. (AabB [dev. of a and/or b]A1ab1+coda).
This
developmental form is generally confined to certain sections of the piece, as to the middle
section of the first movement of a sonata, though nineteenth-century composers such as
Berlioz, Liszt and Wagner made valiant efforts to derive large-scale works purely or
mainly from the motif.
In music, dynamics normally refers to the volume of a sound or note, but can also
refer to every aspect of the execution of a given piece, either stylistic or functional
(velocity). The term is also applied to the written or printed musical notation used to
indicate dynamics. Dynamics are relative and do not refer to specific volume levels.

TEMPO: Speed of Music


Larghissimo very, very slow (24 BPM (Beats per minute in a 4/4 time) and under)
Grave very slow (2545 BPM)
Largo broadly (4060 BPM)
Lento slowly (4560 BPM)
Larghetto rather broadly (6066 BPM)
Adagio slow and stately (literally, "at ease") (6676 BPM)
Adagietto slower than andante (7276 BPM)
Andante at a walking pace (76108 BPM)
Andantino slightly faster than Andante (although in some cases it can be taken to mean
slightly slower than andante) (80108 BPM)

Marcia moderato moderately, in the manner of a march (8385 BPM)


Andante moderato between andante and moderato (thus the name andante moderato)
(92112 BPM)
Moderato moderately (108120 BPM)
Allegretto moderately fast (112120 BPM)
Allegro moderato close to but not quite allegro (116120 BPM)
Allegro fast, quickly, and bright (120168 BPM) (molto allegro is slightly faster than
allegro, but always in its range)
Vivace lively and fast (168176 BPM)
Vivacissimo very fast and lively (172176 BPM)
Allegrissimo or Allegro vivace very fast (172176 BPM)
Presto very, very fast (168200 BPM)
Prestissimo even faster than Presto (200 BPM and over)
Terms for tempo change:
Ritardando or rallentando gradually slowing down
Ritueno - immediately slowing down
Accelerando or stringendo gradually accelerating
Terms for change in tempo
Composers may use expressive marks to adjust the tempo:
Accelerando speeding up (abbreviation: accel.)
Allargando growing broader; decreasing tempo, usually near the end of a piece
Calando going slower (and usually also softer)
Doppio movimento / doppio pi mosso double speed
Doppio pi lento half speed
Lentando gradual slowing and softer
Meno mosso less movement or slower
Mosso movement, more lively, or quicker, much like pi mosso, but not as extreme
Pi mosso more movement or faster
Precipitando hurrying, going faster/forward
Rallentando gradual slowing down (abbreviation: rall.)
Ritardando slowing down gradually; also see rallentando and ritenuto (abbreviations:
rit., ritard.)
Ritenuto slightly slower; temporarily holding back. (Note that the abbreviation for
ritenuto can also be rit. Thus a more specific abbreviation is riten. Also
sometimes ritenuto does not reflect a tempo change but a character change instead.)
Rubato free adjustment of tempo for expressive purposes (literally "theft", so more
strictly, take time from one beat to slow another)
Stretto in faster tempo, often near the conclusion of a section. (Note that
in fugal compositions, the term stretto refers to the imitation of the subject in close
succession, before the subject is completed, and as such, suitable for the close of the
fugue. Used in this context, the term is not necessarily related to tempo.)
Stringendo pressing on faster (literally "tightening")
5. Solve the metronome mark of a waltz (in time signature) if it is required
to be played in the period of exactly 3mins only.