In a book that I'm reading there is a term called cyclic integration, as follows:

In the genres that are the main carriers of classical sonata-form evolution, Mozart began to achieve a marked degree of independence from his models toward the end of 1773 in such works as the String Quintet in B-flat, K. 174, the Piano Concerto in D, K. 175, the G-minor Symphony, K. 183, and the A-major Symphony, K. 201/186a of the following April.24 These are works that are studied for the ways in which they bear upon the evolution of classical style in general and the sonata forms in particular, seen primarily in terms of such issues as formal symmetry, thematic development, harmonic trajectory, cyclic integration, coherence, organicism, and motivic work.

My question is: What is cyclic integration? Does it mean that the composer added some interval that is played again sometimes in the work?


Cyclic integration is making the movements of a multi-movement work more similar to each other. This is typically done by having later movements quote themes from earlier movements--the start of the last movement of Beethoven's 9th Symphony is a great example, as it starts off by semi-quoting the first 3 movements. This paper tries to argue that cyclic integration can involve elements looser than entire themes, such as rhythmic cells (cyclic integration of that kind can arguably be found in Beethoven's 5th Symphony, where the 3rd movement and 1st movement both use relatively static short-short-short-long rhythms a la "the fate motif"), harmonies, and phrase structures.


The cycle in cyclic integration refers to the cycle of movements in a multi-movement piece. Cyclic integration is the way in which the composer relates the movements to one another. For example, a composer may wish to integrate the same thematic subject into the two outer movements in a three-movement cycle. This is cyclic integration.

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