16th out of 116 books — 18 voters
Sonata Forms (Revised edition)
Charles Rosen says of sonata form#58; "[It] is not a definite form like a minuet, a da capo aria, or a French overture; it is, like the fugue, a way of writing, a feeling for proportion, direction, and texture rather than a pattern."
Paperback, 424 pages
Published August 17th 1988 by W. W. Norton & Company
(first published 1980)
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It starts rather dry, but I can't say I blame the guy either. It's a dry subject in general. It picks up as he goes though, and the last several chapters are simply fascinating. He focuses heavily on music of the 17th century while the sonata form was beginning to take shape and meaning, and Rosen-as insightful as always-explores the different avenues the form took to reveal a form much more flexible and complex than what gets taught in a typical music theory class. As an amateur performer, Rose...more
still reading this... an excellent journey through the history of the sonata, as well as a thorough delving into a definition of that slippery form. also, some nice information about various composers and the social climates in which they were composing/reacting to.
Classical pianist, polymath, author of books on musical styles and musicology.More about Charles Rosen...