MEANING OF MUSICAL FORM
Musical form or musical architecture refers to overall structure or plan of a piece of music and it describes the layout of a composition as divided into sections. In analyzing musical forms, motives, phrases and sentences of a piece of music are of great importance.
- MOTIVES: Motives are the smallest units or figures of a musical composition, consisting of at least two, three four or more notes and have a clearly recognizable melodic or rhythmic figures giving life to a piece of
- PHRASES: A musical phrase consist of one or more motives usually in two or four bars long and ends with some form of cadence.
- SENTENCES: A musical sentence consists of two or more phrases that bring the tune or main part of a tune to an end. A common length for a musical sentence is eight bars.
TYPES OF MUSICAL FORM
- BINARY FORM (Two Part Form)
This is a musical piece which comprises of two sections or complimentary sentences (A & B) or A//B//. Section A being the questioning section and Section B being the answering section. In Section A, the music piece begins with the original key (tonic) and progresses to another key preferably the dominant or its relative major or minor; and the answering Section B. takes its melody from the key in which ‘A’ ended and moves back to the original key or the tonic. On the other hand, Section A ends with an imperfect cadence, while Section B ends with a perfect cadence. This second example implies that there will be no modulation and the parts may not be repeated. Most binary forms consist of sixteen bars. (Eight in each section).
- TERNARY FORM (Three Part Form)
This is a piece of music with three sections A//B//A//. In the ternary form, the 1st section starts in the tonic and ends with a perfect cadence and could therefore complete itself.
The 2nd section B. is the digression or episode which is usually contrasted with the first section by the use of a different key or keys and in different material or outline.
The 3rd section A. is the re – statement which is either exact or slightly varied repetition of the first section that starts and ends in the tonic.
- RONDO FORM
A musical form with a recurring leading theme, often found in the final movement of a sonata or concerto.
- SONATA FORM
Sonata form is musical structure consisting of three main sections ; an exposition, a development and a recapitulation. It has been widely used in the middle of the 18th century (Early classical period).
- UNITARY FORM
In music, unitary form is also known as strophic form, which has the same melody over different song stanzas that have different lyrics. Moreover, a song is unitary in its form if it has this “repetitive nature”.