viernes, 7 de marzo de 2008

Pequeño Sumario sobre Pequeñas Formas

Este es un pequeño borrador que estoy haciendo con el propósito de poner a disposición de todos los contenidos del libro "Form in Tonal Music", Falta mucho por revizar y corregir pero puede servir como una guía.

FRASES EN COMBINACIÓN


Cuando 2 o más frases se combinan para formar estructuras más grandes se pueden describir de 3 maneras: Período, Grupo de frases y Cadena de frases.

Para poder diferenciar estas estructuras es necesario establecer la forma en la cual las frases se relacionan. Estas relaciones son: repetición, repetición variada, similar y contrastantes.

Frases variadas y similares:

Existen variaciones ornamentales, no estructurales como cambios de octava, rearmonizaciones, variaciones melódicas, etc. Mientras las variaciones estructurales recaen sobre el punto de llegada es decir, la cadencia.


Si el movimiento armónico de las dos frases s dirige hacia un mismo punto, entonces la segunda frase es Variada.

Si las cadencias son radicalmente diferentes, entonces se ha efectuado un cambio estructural y significativo. De esta forma la segunda frase será Similar.

Frases Repetidas

Sirven para enfatizar o clarificar una idea del compositor, sin embargo no contribuyen al crecimiento de la forma. Una serie de frases repetidas son sólo eso, no forman estructuras más grandes. Los Períodos, Grupos de frases o Cadenas de frases necesitan por lo menos dos frases diferentes.



CADENA DE FRASES


Cuando aparece una sucesión de frases contrastantes, es decir que cada uno de ellas no exhibe similitud con las otras, se trata de una cadena de frases. Al pertenecer a una misma obra están unificadas por el estilo, la métrica y el tempo, pero sus diferencias son más notorias que sus similitudes.


GRUPO DE FRASES


Cuando 2 o más frases exhiben similitudes melódico armónicas, pero al final del conjunto de frases no hay una cadencia conclusiva (termina en semicadencia)




PERÍODO

El período comprende asociaciones de frases similares, contrastantes o combinaciones de ambas. A diferencia del grupo de frases o la cadena de frases, las frases al interior del período se relacionan en virtud de una organización armónica o estructura tonal.

El período puede dividirse en frase(s) antecedente(s) y frase(s) consecuente(s). Siendo la cadencia de las frase antecedente menos conclusiva que la de la frase consecuente.

Dicho de otra manera: “La frase final de un período completa un movimiento armónico que la frase precedente ha dejado incompleto”.



TIPOS DE MOVIMIENTO ARMÓNICO EN EL PERÍODO


Movimiento Armónico Completo (MAC)


Cuando el movimiento armónico se aleja de la tónica, con un regreso a la misma con una cadencia conclusiva.
Ejemplo:

(I------------------ ¿?) (¿? -------------------I)


Movimiento Armónico Interrumpido (MAI)

Ocurre cuando la dirección tonal iniciada en la frase antecedente no es resuelta por la frase consecuente. Dicho de otra forma, cuando un pasaje se dirige hacia el V, pero no resuelve a primero en la primera cadencia. En ves de eso, el movimiento armónico es repetido igual o con ligeras variaciones para luego concluir en un I.

(I------------------- V) (I --------------------I)



Movimiento Armónico Progresivo (MAP)

Ocurre cuando la frase antecedente termina con una cadencia no conclusiva, y la consecuente termina con una cadencia conclusiva pero en otra tonalidad.


(I------------------ ¿?) (¿? -------------------I)
En una nueva tonalidad.




Movimiento Armónico Repetido (MAR)

Cuando las dos frases (antecedente y consecuente) tienen el mismo destino armónico, siendo la segunda cadencia más conclusiva que la primera.


(I------------------ I) (I -------------------I)
CAI CAP




DISEÑO DEL PERÍODO


Período Simétrico:

Cuando el número de frases antecedentes es igual al número de frases consecuentes.
El número de compases puede variar al interior de las frases (introducciones, interpolaciones y/o extensiones), sin embargo no afecta la simetría.


Período Doble:

Consta de 2 frases antecedentes y 2 consecuentes.

Se considera un período doble cuando la 2 frase termina con una cadencia no conclusiva, mientras que la cuarta termina con una cadencia fuerte y seccionalizante.

Ejemplos:

- MENDELSSOHN: Song without words, Op. 85, No. 1
- SCOTT JOPLIN: The Entertainer (Primera parte)


Período Asimétrico:

Cuando el número de antecedentes no es igual al número de frases consecuentes.


Período Paralelo:

Cuando existe correspondencia motívica entre el primer compás de la frase antecedente y el primer compás de la frase consecuente; segundo compás de la frase antecedente y segundo compás de la frase consecuente, etc.





PASOS PARA EL ANALISIS


1) Ubicación de cadencias, diferenciar qué frases son diferentes y cuales son repeticiones,
2) Describir el diseño melódico y diferenciar entre frases contrastantes y frases similares.
3) Asociar si aplica las frases en estructuras más grandes.
4) Identificar la cadencia conclusiva que cierra la unidad grande y qué tipo de unidad es (grupo de frases, cadena de frases o perìodo)
5) Identificar de serlo que tipo de movimiento armónico contiene el período.
6) Describir el diseño del período.






































MÉTODO ANALÍTICO:
PEQUEÑAS FORMAS



El análisis es la separación de un todo en sus partes y la exploración de la relación entre ellas con la construcción total de la pieza.


FORMAS BINARIAS Y TERNARIAS

2 y 3 partes.


Seccionales y Continuas:

Cuando la primera sección de una pieza termina “abierta”, es decir que no alcanza reposo en la tónica original, se trata de una pieza continua.

Cuando la primera sección de una pieza termina “cerrada”, es decir que alcanza su punto de reposo en la tónica, se trata de una pieza seccional (debido al carácter seccionalizante de la CA en la tónica original)

Únicas:
Son aquellas que no corresponden a ningún Standard formal.


FORMAS BINARIAS


• BINARIAS CONTINUAS

Las formas Binarias Continuas pueden clasificarse en: Simples, Redondeadas y Balanceadas:

Binaria Continua Simple:

Dos partes. La primera sección termina abierta y se puede esquematizar AB o AA’


Binaria Continua Redondeada:

Al final de la parte B se retoma el material de la parte A.

A pesar de que el material de B es contrastante, está de alguna manera basado en lo propuesto por el material de la parte A.






Binaria Continua Balaceada

Cuando el movimiento que precede a la cadencia final constituye una transposición del movimiento utilizado para llegar a la primera cadencia. Debe ser de más de dos compases para que tenga influencia en la percepción del oyente.


• BINARIAS SECCIONALES

Pueden ser divididas en: Simples, redondeadas y “forma de repetición”


Binarias Seccionales Simples

Las dos partes tienen movimientos armónicos completos.

Su esquema formal puede ser AB o AA’


Binaria Seccional Redondeada

Es igual a la Continua Redondeada, sólo que la primera parte tiene un movimiento armónico completo.

AA’


Binaria Seccional de Repetición

Igual a la seccional simple con repetición de la parte A.
Dos movimientos armónicos completos
AAB



FORMAS TERNARIAS


Similar a la Forma Binaria Redondeada, con la diferencia que B constituye una parte fuertemente contrastante.

Forma Ternaria Seccional:

División por doble movimiento armónico y diseño

La parte A comprende un movimiento armónico completo. La parte B es contrastante y conecta de nuevo con la reexposición de la parte A
A –BA
Forma Ternaria Seccional Completa:

La Parte A forma un movimiento armónico completo. La parte B comprende también un movimiento armónico completo (que concluye con una CAP [en otra tonalidad]). La tercera parte es una reexposición literal o variada de la primera parte.

A-B-A


Forma Ternaria Contínua


La parte A comprende un movimiento armónico progresivo que normalmente se dirige hacia el V (al III en menor). La parte B es una prolongación del V que conecta con la reexposición.

Teniendo en cuenta la cadencia de la parte A y la estructura armónica de la parte B se pueden agrupar en un solo período. El diseño de la parte B por otra parte divide la pieza en tres partes.

Debido a la estrecha relación armónica de la parte A y la B el esquema formal sería:

AB║A’

Binary Form

Articulos Tomados de la Grove Music Database

Binary form.

A musical structure consisting of two mutually dependent sections of roughly equal duration. It is usually symbolized as AB, but often may be better expressed as AA'.

1. Definition.
Binary form is characterized by an articulated movement to another key followed by an articulated return to the tonic. A conclusive arrival on the principal contrasting key (normally the dominant) marks the end of the first section, and is matched by the final return to the tonic at the end of the second half. Each section is usually marked to be repeated. Binary form is generally understood to imply a continuous form in which the harmonically incomplete first half demands continuation. It may also be sectional or composite, however, and contain harmonically complete and thematically distinct first and second halves. In its most characteristic manifestations binary form is associated with Baroque instrumental music, in particular the dance movements of the suite; but so obvious a form was in use long before the Baroque period.

2. To 1700.
The medieval Bar form can be classed as a sectional binary form in which only the first part is repeated, giving an AAB structure. Even in the early rondeau and other formes fixes, in which a complex system of phrase repetition was required by the verse structures, the music itself was often made up of two periods or phrases. With the disappearance of the formes fixes, and the development of instrumental music whose shaping owed a good deal to the symmetries of phrases required for dancing, binary movements became more and more frequent.

Some of the keyboard settings from a Venetian collection of about 1520 (I-Vnm Ital.iv.1227) illustrate this. De che le morta la mia signora has two strains closely corresponding in rhythm, the first in G minor, the second beginning in B and moving back to G minor. No repeats are indicated but they would make good sense. Elsewhere in the collection double bars suggest that repeats should be made (O Dio, ch’a fatto il ciel con la fortuna), or such repeats are actually written out (Margaritum). Attaingnant’s publications of the 1530s contain branles in binary form; an allemande by Claude Gervais (HAM no.137) and Ammerbach’s Wer das Töchterlein haben wil from the Leipzig Orgel order Instrument Tablatur of 1571 are similarly constructed, and partsongs like Anerio’s Al suon (HAM no.160) and Hassler’s Ach Schatz (HAM no.165) provide vocal examples. In balletts such as Morley’s My bonny lass or Weelkes’s Hark, all ye lovely saints, fa-las provide a textual identity for the close of each section: a comparable musical identity was to become a usual feature of instrumental dances later in the development of the form.

Many dances of the late Renaissance were written in three strains, however, and such pieces are preponderant in a collection like the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, though galliards by Bull and Philips (nos.17 and 87 respectively) and Muscadin (no.19) show the new tendency towards binary form. But the pavan in three strains persisted almost to the end of the 17th century and sarabands and minuets were also occasionally constructed in this way. By the close of the century, however, binary form was usual in the majority of dances.

3. After 1700.
In the 18th century sectional binary form continued to appear in folk music and in chorales (for example in Bach’s chorale no.38, Straf mich nicht in deinem Zorn). It is most commonly found in arias, and may be understood retrospectively as a da capo form that unexpectedly fails to complete itself. This almost always occurs for dramatic reasons, as in Jonathan’s ‘No, no, cruel father, no!’ from Handel’s Saul, where a lamenting first section in B minor is succeeded by a G major Allegro. Both sections are harmonically closed, leaving the larger structure open; AB is clearly a more appropriate designation here. A more complex example is Iole’s aria ‘My father! ah! methinks I see’ from Handel’s Hercules. In the first section, beginning and ending in C minor, Iole relives the killing of her father by Hercules. The relative major is held in reserve for the second section, in which Iole bids her father rest in peace. Rather than finishing in E major, though, the music clouds over into E minor, implying that Iole’s remembrance of the violent death has invaded her thoughts. The close thus reverts to the mode of the first section and creates some sense of rounded shaping to the whole, if in the first instance for dramatic reasons; there are also some subtle thematic recollections from A. Handel therefore manages to give both an informal hint of a da capo in terms of mode and material and a sense of coherence to an unusual sectional binary structure.

Simple binary form was the most common type of continuous binary form used in the Baroque period. It is characterized by a broad continuity of manner, with much freedom of detail, and the second section is often at first only loosely thematically related to the first. In the second half of the Courante from Handel’s Suite no.6 in G minor, for example, references to the material of the A section are sporadic and unsystematic, and although much of the material is new, it is not distinctively so and is similar to the manner of the first part. The two halves are roughly equal in length, creating a large-scale temporal balance that helps secure the coherence of the whole. (This simple continuous binary form is rarely found after the mid-18th century, and it is perhaps for that reason that Schoenberg omitted it from his Fundamentals of Musical Composition, implying that it was no longer of use to the student of tonal music.)

Both these aspects of design were subject to alteration. It became increasingly common during the Baroque era for the second half to relate more precisely to the first. In particular, the listener’s comprehension of the form was aided by a ‘rhyming’ of the outer parts of each half. Thus the second half would often begin with a dominant version of the first half’s opening unit or phrase, either briefly acknowledged or quoted extensively. An inversion of the material was also common, particularly in gigue movements (see, for instance, the Gigue from Bach’s English Suite no.4 in F). In the Allemande from the same work, not only does the material appear in retrograde, but also the hands swap roles, the left hand now taking the melodic lead. This dominant version of material was often used as a springboard to regaining the tonic, albeit often only briefly before the harmony moved further afield.

The dominant equivalent of the first-half opening was retained as if by force of habit for some time in sonata-form movements, remaining common until the 1780s. In the first movement of Haydn’s Sonata no.46 in E, for example, the account of the theme in the dominant is followed immediately by one in the tonic. This acts rather like a false reprise, although it is quickly deflected by a turn towards V of VI. The two features may be seen in conjunction in a simple binary context in the Presto of Benedetto Marcello’s Sonata no.2 in G. Occasionally the return to the tonic is still more direct, such as in the Sonata no.21 in A by Seixas (ed. in PM, ser.A, xxxiv, 1980), where the first two bars of the second half are almost identical with the first two bars of the first. With the first half ending unusually in the relative minor, though, the tonic and its initial material are a necessary reference point before further ambitious harmonic journeys can be undertaken. This exposes the underlying premise of this harmonic habit.

Such rhyming could also be found at the ends as well as the beginnings of the respective halves. At first it may have amounted to little more than a correspondence between the respective cadences, as in the Allemande of Froberger’s Suite in E minor, but the explicit thematic matching became more extensive, as often the entire final strain of the first half in the dominant was repeated in the tonic at the end of A'. This procedure yields the so-called balanced binary form. It is perhaps associated above all with the sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti, where a significant amount of end-rhyme is common. Many binary-form pieces of the period are ‘balanced’ at both the beginning and the end of the second half.

The end-rhyming form has perhaps received more emphasis (to the extent of earning its own label) because of its apparent anticipation of one of the governing principles of sonata form. That is, it restores to the tonic prominent material originally exposed in another key, making thematically explicit the harmonic structure that underpins the form. Sonata form in fact exemplifies the other principal binary type, rounded binary form. Here the double return creates a discontinuity of design that leads to the perception of three sections in thematic terms, yet the harmonic process remains the same as that found in simple binary form. This conflict between melodic and cadential design leads to a designation of ABA' for this binary form. Sonata form does not have to coincide with rounded binary form, however. Chopin’s sonata-form movements are closer to the principles of balanced binary form, avoiding as they do the return of the opening material in the tonic but transposing all the important non-tonic material in the last section. On the other hand, there are also many rounded binary movements that are not in sonata form, particularly minuets and scherzos. A representative example is the Minuetto from Clementi’s Sonata in A op.10 no.1. Where the first section ends in the tonic, though, the form should be thought of as a sectional rounded binary form: in spite of the firm tonic cadence at the end of A, the thematic continuity between first and second sections makes the description ‘ternary’ misleading (see Ternary form). The Minuet of Haydn’s String Quartet in E op.20 no.1 provides an instance of this.

The development of rounded binary form is indicative of a trend found also in simple binary form: the tendency for the second half to become longer than the first. A succinct example is the Sarabande of Bach’s French Suite in D minor. The first half, a single eight-bar strain moving to a half-cadence on the dominant, is answered by a second half of precisely twice the length. Although there is no rounding of the form as such nor any end-rhyme beyond the rhythmic resemblance of the two final cadential bars, similar impulses are at work. Bach begins A' by transferring the melody of the first five bars to the left hand, untransposed, and reharmonizing it with new upper parts; this is part of an eight-bar phrase that cadences on the subdominant. The final eight-bar phrase restores the first five melodic bars to the soprano, but transposes them with slight adaptations up a 5th. The whole of the second section, while obviously maintaining continuity of material with the first part, has the more expansive and somewhat exploratory character typical of this lengthened version of simple binary form.

There was no simple progression from simple to balanced to rounded binary form, however. For a considerable time in the earlier 18th century these types were merely alternative means of structuring an instrumental movement. Bach’s Partita no.4 in D, for example, exploits all the resources and nuances of binary construction. A simple binary form can be found in the Minuet, but the minimal end-rhyme found between the left-hand parts of the respective final bars of each half is not enough to constitute a truly balanced form. The second half begins with fresh material, and, although there are two references to the opening melodic unit, neither would justify the description ‘rounded’ binary form. The second half is much expanded, having 20 bars as opposed to the eight of the A section. The Allemande, on the other hand, has nearly equal halves, the first having 24 bars and the second 32, and it is balanced at both ends. The start of the second half provides an equivalent of only the first bar of the piece, with the characteristic flattening of the fourth scale-degree and consequent touching on the tonic, but the end-rhyme is extensive, the final six bars of the first half being transposed at the end of the second. Bach inserts some derived material near the end to create a grander sense of climax. Apart from this, almost every event of A is accounted for in A', but is reordered to yield a still larger, if complex, sense of rhyme. The Sarabande, too, is balanced at both ends of the second half, but it also exemplifies rounded binary form, the opening two bars being straightforwardly recapitulated at bars 29–30. After this, though, the music seems to revert to the processes and material of the central section, so that any sense of recapitulation in a later, sonata-form sense is denied. Thus, although seemingly more ‘progressive’ in its formal essentials, the Sarabande is considerably less concerned with establishing a large-scale equilibrium than the Allemande.

The example of Domenico Scarlatti also reminds us that balanced binary form should not be considered less well developed or less versatile than the rounded form. Scholars have been much preoccupied with the composer’s consistency in this formal regard and have failed to do justice to the variety of its realizations. Indeed, Scarlatti can hardly have been aware of the fact that he was using what we would now define as the subspecies of one historical form. After all, that many subsequent composers consistently employed sonata form in certain movements is hardly a matter for comment. In any case, Scarlatti’s sonatas often begin with material that is relatively indeterminate thematically (but certainly not in the force of its expression) and do not arrive at something more clearly shaped, and more ‘thematic’ in its behaviour (in other words, reiterated as a unit), until the end of the first half. By ensuring, like Chopin later, that this material is accounted for in the tonic at the end, the composer is in fact articulating the same principles of harmonic argument that are evident in rounded binary and sonata forms.

To listen to examples supporting this article please click on ‘Sounds’ above.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
NewmanSBE
E.J. Dent: ‘Binary and Ternary Form’, ML, xvii (1936), 309–21
R. Kirkpatrick: ‘The Anatomy of the Scarlatti Sonata’, Domenico Scarlatti (Princeton, NJ, 1953/R), 251–79
C. Thorpe Davie: Musical Structure and Design (London, 1953)
D.S. Green: Form in Tonal Music (New York, 1965)
I. Spink: An Historical Approach to Musical Form (London, 1967)

Ternary Form

Ternary form.
A tripartite musical form, usually symbolized as ABA.

1. Definition.
It is perhaps the most fundamental of musical forms, based on the natural principles of departure and return, and of thematic contrast then repetition. The term is most commonly associated with the so-called composite ternary form, as found in the da capo aria or the minuet and trio, but is also applied to the ‘small ternary’ form, where the ABA shaping governs a single structure. The section that returns as the second A (which, if modified, may be better expressed as A') is different in nature from and more substantial than, say, the returning theme in a rondo, which is constructed in such a way as to demand both immediate and several subsequent repetitions. Ternary form works on a broader scale: whereas the intervening episodes of a rondo may not be very distinctive thematically, the B section of a ternary form is frequently highly contrasting. Even if it in fact continues in some way with the material of A, there will be some fundamental shift, for example of mode, scoring or tempo. The B section is often harmonically closed, particularly in instrumental composition, and less commonly in the da capo aria, where the B section is generally harmonically incomplete, moving from one key to a cadence on another. The first Asection will almost always be closed, in the tonic. This distinguishes it from rounded Binary form, often popularly thought of as being ternary, where the A section mainly closes in the principal alternative key area (such as the dominant or the relative major). The subsequent B section tends to be continuous harmonically and thematically with this.

2. To 1750.
The value of ternary form as an obvious means of achieving both the variety implied in a form with a contrasting central section and the sense of unity that results from a return to the opening material was grasped early in the history of Western music. At its simplest, ternary form is found in German song from the 12th century to the 16th in the work of the Minnesinger and in chorale melodies, and it occurs in some Italian laude of the 13th century (e.g. HAM no.21a). Other comparatively early instances, the more interesting in that the musical shape is not conditioned by a textual repetition, occur in Josquin’s chanson Faulte d’argent (HAM no.91) and in a number of basses danses such as La volonté set by Claude Gervaise (HAM no.137, 1).

Ternary form, however, is a more natural outcome of a primarily homophonic idiom than of polyphony. Rare during the Renaissance, it inevitably became a scheme of great importance during the Baroque period, being discussed as early as 1676 in Printz’s Phrynis and receiving theoretical recognition by such critics as Mattheson (Das neu-eröffnete Orchestre, 1713). Monteverdi used it for the shepherd’s song at the beginning of Act 1 of Orfeo (1607) (‘In questo lieto e fortunato giorno’) and in the closing duet of L’incoronazione di Poppea (1643) (‘Pur ti miro’). During the course of the 17th century arias and duets were increasingly often cast in da capo form, and in the late Baroque period choruses were often written in this form too (e.g. the opening chorus of J.S. Bach’s St John Passion).

Early examples of ternary form tend to emphasize contrasts between the A and B sections. The ground bass at the opening of Monteverdi’s ‘Pur ti miro’ is dropped for the middle section, and in Steffani’s aria ‘Un balen’ from Henrico Leone (HAM no.244) a new texture and movement are established at this point. Later, composers often cast the A section in binary form, drawing material from it for the Bsection which began in a related key but was tonally an ‘open’ structure leading back naturally to the reprise, often lavishly decorated, of A. In Handel’s music the middle section is generally much shorter than the first, and usually differentiated from it in texture: a continuo accompaniment may replace that of the full string band, or an obbligato wind instrument present in the A section may be discarded for the B. Handel also achieved striking dramatic effects by curtailing the da capo or abandoning it altogether (e.g. ‘Why do the nations’ in Messiah, ‘A serpent in my bosom warm’d’ in Saul, or the duet ‘Prendi da questo mano’ in Ariodante), but such effects derive their force from the fact that a full da capo was usual and therefore expected.

3. After 1750.
After its initial period of intense cultivation, principally in Baroque instrumental music and the da capo aria up to the end of the 18th century, the clear outlines of composite ternary form were gradually softened and apparently complicated. With a strongly contrasting B section the scheme was very effective, and could add an extra expressive dimension precisely through its fundamental simplicity. Such is the case in the slow movement of Haydn’s Piano Trio no.27, where a very warm, diatonic, syntactically regular violin melody in E is succeeded by a B section that changes to the tonic minor, with pizzicato strings and extravagant improvisatory piano writing. When the A section is then repeated exactly, it has acquired a stronger identity simply through the agency of the contrast. In the majority of cases, though, where there was greater relative continuity of thought between A and B, this large-scale symmetry came to seem less appropriate.

One of the first structural areas to be developed was the join between B and A'. The need for a link or retransition increased once Bsections began to be set in more remote keys: thus Haydn requires a harmonic link between the trio in B flat major and the minuet in D major in his Symphony no.104. However, most modifications to the basic scheme came to involve various sorts of rewriting of the A' section. The end of A', for example, was often recast, allowing for some extension or rounding of the form after the symmetrical requirements of return had been fulfilled. A good illustration is the end of the Intermezzo op.117 no.3 by Brahms, which provides a more expansive and climactic treatment of the material that ended the first A section; the original tonic pedal gives way to a grand reharmonization, the apex of the melodic line is presented in augmentation, and the whole is directed to be played more slowly, with a marked ritenuto towards the end.

Material from B, often from its initial part, could also reappear as a brief coda to imply an ABAB outline. The penultimate bar of Chopin’s Prelude in F op.28 revives the opening of the B section to round off the structure. In the Allegretto of his Sonata op.14 no.1 Beethoven introduces a specially designated coda that repeats the final phrase of the Trio (marked ‘Maggiore’). By retaining its retransitional chords, which effect a move from the C major of the Trio back to the E minor of the Allegretto, Beethoven also cancels the rather tentative tierce de Picardie that concluded the A section. This final restoration of E minor indicates the symbiotic relationship of the A and B parts of this ternary form.

A more dramatic instance of structural softening may be heard in Chopin’s Nocturne in B op.32 no.1: just at the point where the return of A might be anticipated, the smooth course of the movement is interrupted by a mysterious 4-2 chord on F, a tritone away from the expected B. This leads to a charged recitative-like section. The opening music is never recovered and the work finishes in B minor. Although the consequent larger structure is no longer ternary in any standard sense, the Nocturne must be heard against the background of ternary form. It represents an extreme deflection of what was obviously perceived more and more as the over-mechanical nature of ABA in its simplest state. Indeed, any full return of A became increasingly unlikely, and where it did occur, it was often because a deliberate formal simplicity was required. This effect was used especially in a nationalist context, such as in Grieg’s Lyric Piece op.71 no.1, ‘Der var engang’. Here the almost identical outer sections, suggesting a nostalgic present, frame the Norwegian dance of B, which suggests an idyllic memory.

By contrast, in Brahms’s Intermezzo in A minor op.116 no.2, the return to Andante after a quicker middle section does not coincide with a precise return to the earlier material. From bar 51 a modified, uncertain version of the Andante music is heard, in A major rather than minor. The sense of harmonic and thematic return is thus partial and ambiguous; the ensuing passage acts in a way as a transition, a means of gradually restoring the mood and movement of the opening. The contortions of the circle-of-fifths sequence in bars 63–5 suggest the effort required to justify and make convincing the ‘mechanical’ return to A that follows from bar 66. A shortening of the returning section could also accomplish the desired flexibility. In the slow movement of Clementi’s Sonata op.50 no.1, the returning A section (based on the Sarabande from Bach’s English Suite no.2) omits the original first six-bar strain, beginning with the equivalent of bar 7. A more drastic reduction may mean that A' takes on the proportions of a coda; this is the case in the Scherzo of Fauré’s Piano Quartet op.15. Another kind of structural blurring can be achieved by beginning the return off-key; on a dominant pedal, for example, in Grieg’s Lyric Piece op.68 no.5, ‘Bådnlåt’.

Another way of adding a perceived dynamism to the form was to create a five-part structure that repeated the B section, yielding an ABABA that is nevertheless essentially ternary. An early example is found in the third movement of Haydn’s String Quartet in E op.64 no.6, where the trio is heard twice. Its second appearance is identical save for the insertion of some very high first violin writing near the end. A more familiar instance of this scheme is the Scherzo of Beethoven’s Symphony no.7.

In post-tonal language the definition of ternary form becomes less fraught, since matters of tonal argument and closure lie outside the structural equation. The fundamental principles of the form ensure that it has remained much in use, particularly with a relatively free treatment of the second A section. The slow movements of Bartók’s second and third piano concertos both employ ternary designs. In no.2 the returning A material, much abridged and altered, is used to calm the music after the presto middle section. In the A' section of no.3 the piano continues with B-like figuration in the manner of divisions, so that yet again a final part of a ternary form acts to reconcile the abrupt contrasts of its first two sections.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
NewmanSCE
R.O. Morris: The Structure of Music (London, 1935)
E.J. Dent: ‘Binary and Ternary Form’, ML, xvii (1936), 309–21
D.S. Green: Form in Tonal Music (New York, 1965)
I. Spink: An Historical Approach to Musical Form (London, 1968)
W. DEAN SUTCLIFFE (1, 3), MICHAEL TILMOUTH (2)