Sonata-Allegro Form – Mozart, Beethoven

May 15, 2014

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Listening to Music (MUSI 112)

A brief foray into the formal characteristics of contemporary popular music is used to launch this lecture on musical form. After a discussion of the “verse-chorus” form often used in popular music, Professor Wright proceeds to take students into the realm of classical music, focusing particularly on ternary form and sonata-allegro form. Throughout his detailed explanation of sonata-allegro form, he also elaborates upon some harmonic concepts describing, for example, the relationship between relative major and minor keys. This lecture draws its musical examples from ‘N Sync, Mozart, and Beethoven.

00:00 – Chapter 1. Verse-Chorus Form in Popular Music
05:56 – Chapter 2. Introduction to Form in Classical Music
12:18 – Chapter 3. Ternary Form
18:00 – Chapter 4. The Sonata-Allegro Form in Mozart’s “A Little Night Music”
36:19 – Chapter 5. The Sonata-Allegro Form in Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website:

This course was recorded in Fall 2008.