So, while listening to the rondo movements of Mozart's piano sonatas, I found one that has a dance-like character to it, despite its development. That would be the rondo from Piano Sonata in Bb K 333. Here is what I know formally from listening to it a bunch of times with the score:
- Bars 1-16 - A theme stated first quietly and then loudly as it arpeggiates to a cadence in Bb
- Bars 16-40 - B theme with some of the motives from the A theme like for example the arpeggio motive at the beginning of the A theme
- Bars 41-56 - A theme stated again
- Bars 56-75 - Development of the B theme
- Bars 76-84 - C theme, an example of important and new formal material in the development section before Beethoven(had this not had that C theme, it wouldn't feel as much like a rondo)
- Bars 85-105 - Development of the A theme
- 106-111 - B theme used to retransition
- Bars 112-127 - A theme again
- Bars 127-163 - B theme that then twists around, leading to a cadenza
- Bars 164-170 - End of B theme, sounds like A theme is going to come next
- Bars 171-198 - Cadenza with some material from both the A and B themes, when is A going to arrive?
- 199-206 - Finally, at last the A theme, but this time it has the middle section of the theme cut out of it.
- Bars 206-224 - Coda
So, basically, it is a rondo, but with the last B section so embellished that it sounds like it was split in half by a cadenza-like melody and with the Mozartian twist of not having the A section arrive when it sounds like it will.
Now why am I asking what it is about this rondo that gives it a dance-like character that other rondos I have listened to like for example Rondo in A minor K 511 or Rondo Alla Turka don't have? Well, it is because I had the idea to compose a Dance in Rondo, in other words a piece that on the one hand could be viewed as a dance and on the other hand is in rondo form. Most dances are in binary or ternary form. I know that I can't use just that single rondo to see how to go about writing my Dance in Rondo, I have to find at least a couple more rondos and compare them to dances like the Minuet and the Waltz and see where the similarities lie harmonically, rhythmically, and melodically and then apply those similarities to my own rondo themes. But, this rondo was the first that I found to have that dance like character.
Here is the video I kept listening to as well as the score(Rondo starts on page 13 of the PDF):
So what is it about that Bb major rondo that I found that makes it have a dance like character despite all the development that occurs? Is it the bass not starting until the second beat, making the first beat sound like an anacrusis? Is it the rhythm? Harmonic rhythm? Melodic shape?