Beethoven Sonata Movement

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The term Sonata started out being broadly used for all types of instrumental works, as there existed no other terms at the time to classify them. The term progressed and as a result became restricted to describe works which were made up of several clearly distinct movements. If the movements within a work were all borrowed from the instrumental Canzona and its variants, the work became known as a Sonata da Chiesa; if all the movements were based off dance tunes it became known as Sonata da Ballo; and if the movements were a mixture of both types it became known as Sonata da Camera . Then, gradually over time the Sonata da Chiesa began to fade out and was underused. The other two, Sonata da Ballo and Sonata da Camera were renamed becoming known…show more content…
Haydn often breaks away from this pattern as seen in his Piano Trio’s no. 8, 9 and 15 which consist of only two movements. However, this break away is not a common occurrence seen in the eighteenth century. As seen in majority of the works of Beethoven, he adopts the traditional four movement scheme with the exception of a few of his sonatas which consist of only two movements like the two Sonatas in G Op. 49, Sonata in F sharp Op. 78, and the Sonata in C minor Op. 111, and a few of his other chamber works which contain 6 or even up to 7 movements. For example the Septet and String Quartet in C sharp minor. Solo Sonata’s tend to follow the two to four movement scheme, and larger scale works tend to have a higher amount of movements. However, there is no set rule and composers have the liberty of deciding on the number of movements they want, based on the length and character of their work. Since the beginning there have been works of freer construction such as Divertimenti, Serenades, and others, which consist of short movements. This can be seen in Mozart’s Divertimenti for strings, Beethoven's Serenade Trio and Brahms' Orchestral…show more content…
This convention is one that will last, as it is based on the principle of unity stating that if a work only has one movement it should begin and end in the home key. In two movement works uniformity of key is beneficial and an essential element. Movements which all share the same key are commonly found in three-movement works where the second movement is a Minuet like in Haydn's first Two Piano Sonatas; they are less common in three-movement works where the second movement is Adagio like in Haydn's Piano Trio No. 2 in F# minor, and very unlikely to be found in four-movement works as seen in the first two Rasoumoffsky Quartets. However, through the form development of the Sonata, this scheme has become obsolete. Movements which all share the same key except for one are seldom found in three-movement works where the second movement is Minuet form as seen in Brahm's Violin-Cello Sonata in E minor; it is commonly found in three-movement works where the second movement is Adagio or alike as seen in Mozart's Sonatas Passim; and a common occurrence in four-movement works. When the composer chooses the key for the second movement, it is done so as to create a balanced whole. The most common and soothing transitions is either to the subdominant, dominant, mediant, submediant or relative major; However

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