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Overall form

15 January, 2016 - 09:13
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The form of the music is its overall organization from beginning to end.

  • Name the major sections of the piece, in the order that they occur (for example: intro, first verse, refrain, second verse, bridge, refrain).
  • What is a piece with these sections typically called? If you know the style of the piece, your answer may include style words, such as "Baroque" or "samba" or "jazz." This is useful, because, for example, a "samba song" may typically have different sections than a "jazz song." So naming the style can help name the form of the piece. However, simply naming the style is not enough. Is it a samba song or a dance? Is it a Baroque fugue or a toccata?
  • What elements play an important part in dictating or creating the overall form of the music? The sung words? The rules for sonata development? The number of beats required for the dance steps? The raga and tala? The need to make each part of a round fit with the other parts?
  • What elements make the form most audible? The entrances of the fugue subject? The cadences in the functional harmony? The difference in texture between the verses and the refrain? Sudden changes in tempo or meter?
  • What is the audience expected to do with this music (dance, march, sing along, listen passively)? How, where, and why is it typically heard? Do these expectations affect the form of the piece?