Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive

Sonata-form : the exposition

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Description Professor Jones describes Sonata-form, the typical form of the first movement (and sometimes other movements too) of sonatas, symphonies, etc., as the most complex, yet logically the most cogent of all instrumental forms. By reference back to an example of simple ternary form, the three main sections of sonata-form –the Exposition, the Development, and the Recapitulation(plus Coda) –are shown to be logical outgrowths, and tremendous expansions, of the statement, development and restatement of the basic ternary scheme. In this program, the Exposition section only is dealt with. It is found to comprise two “subjects,”embodying two tonal areas, connected by a modulatory “bridge” called the transition. Various examples illustrate the typical characters of the two subjects, the nature of the transition, and the common thematic organization of this expository section of the movement.