Musical Form

The Organizing Principle in Music

• Two most basic patterns in Western music are two-part (binary form) and three-part (ternary) form • Binary is labelled as A-B • Ternary is labelled as A-B-A

Building Blocks of Form
• Theme: Melodic idea used as a building block in the construction of a musical work • Melody: succession of pitches (notes) • Thematic Development: Elaborating or Varying a musical idea

Ternary Form (ABA)
Statement (A) Contrast (B) Return Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Reed Flutes (page 68) Beatles “Yesterday” A Section (Yesterday – All my Troubles…) B Section (Why She had to go) A Section (melody returns with new words)

Binary Form
• Two Part Form – Statement and counterstatement • Mozart: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, second movement • Bach: Forlane from Suite No. 1 in C. Major for orchestra • Gershwin: I Got Rhythm

Homework
• Construct Lyrics in Ternary Form: Starting section, new section, repeat of the start

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