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# Questions tagged [musical-forms]

Musical Form describes the large and small scale sections or divisions of a musical work. Use this tag for questions about the analysis, history, notation, or other aspects of musical form.

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1 answer
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### What's the best notation for musical navigation?

Lots of times I'm asked to play songs from printed notation which has been typeset to minimise the number of printed pages. It's OK when the musical structure is relatively straightforward, and the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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### What is the musical form of Kamasi Washington's "Truth"? [closed]

I'm pretty new to music theory, so I have been analyzing songs I enjoy for practice. I thought I was getting decent at it, but the length and complexity of this song has been giving me some trouble. ...
14 votes
2 answers
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### Is this entire movement by Bach really only a single measure with just two chords?

I'm spending a lot more time with early music, and as I was studying the score to J. S. Bach's third Brandenburg Concerto, I encountered something unexpected: an entire Adagio movement that's only one ...
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### What is the function of the two segnos in this score?

What is the function of the two segnos in the following score? At the start of measure 7 there is a segno, and in measure 70 there is a second segno together with a Da Capo. In the following measure ...
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2 answers
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### What do you call the short sections at the ends of pieces?

How would you characterize the short section at the end of a piece of music (climax)? What do you think is its function?
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5 answers
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### Is there a good way to denote nested repeats?

I'm arranging a song and I have a jam section in it that could be repeated an arbitrary amount of times. The problem is that the jam section itself contains repeats, so I have "nested repeats&...
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2 answers
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### What is the musical form of Saint-Saens Danse Macabre?

My first ("blind") guess was that it is in rondo form with two themes, but when I performed analysis, it somehow doesn't fit any form that I can think of. This is what I figured out: intro a b a' a ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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### What does R=2N mean?

I'm just wondering what the R=2N means. I guess it's something like "real bar = 2 notated bars," but does anyone know?
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### Why are all songs structured the same way?

Why are all songs structured the same way? verse -> chorus -> verse ... (you know the drill) Why don't any musicians try to break this structure? I suspect the answer is because this structure ...
4 votes
3 answers
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### What is the meaning of 'chorus' in terms of a 12 bar blues?

For example, its use in the phrase: to play a total of four choruses on an A minor blues progression
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1 answer
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### Developments in musical form in mid-nineteenth - early-twentieth century music

I am now studying new approaches to harmony in the Romantic and Impressionistic eras, but I haven't seen anything about formal functions. It seems like even if they were still using Sonata form (...
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35 votes
4 answers
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### What is the difference between 'chorus' and 'refrain'?

I'm trying to learn something about song structure. Reading the Wikipedia article about the subject I came across two terms that looked somewhat similar: chorus and refrain. There seemed to be a ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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### How to play "D.S. al Fine" with A and B parts

I have two pieces, in one of them there is an A part and a B part, and at the end it says D.S al Fine, (see below): My first question is: How do I play this? (In what order?) My second question is: ...
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14 votes
1 answer
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### Is there a name for the extra measure that they like to put into country songs?

The song that made me think of this is Amarillo by Morning, made popular by George Straight, but it's quite common in a lot of country and pop music. In the verse at the end of the second 4 measure ...
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15 votes
4 answers
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### What determines the overall key of a work with multiple movements and key changes?

For example, we talk about Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 in C minor, yet the movements are in a variety of keys: Allegro con brio (C minor) Andante con moto (A♭ major) Scherzo: Allegro (C minor) Allegro ...
4 votes
3 answers
345 views

### Taxonomy of themes in classical music

I am reading Dr. B.-G. Cohrs's note [C] on the (fascinating) history of the Symphonisches Präludium, now commonly attributed to Anton Bruckner. I was a little mystified by the following remark: The ...
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3 answers
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### How to notate popular/contemporary song structures?

A problem I repeatedly run into when notating (either composing or arranging) popular/contemporary (i.e. not classical) music is notating the song structure using an efficient combination of repeats ...
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4 votes
1 answer
394 views

### More than one D.S.?

Is it possible to have more than one D.S. when charting a song? if so, how would you know which segno? This would be a great tool for saving space in a chart.
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5 votes
1 answer
285 views

### What are name and other examples for the type of break/tempo change near the end of "Be our guest"

My 5 year old daughter is obsessed with the new (2017) version of "Beauty and the Beast" and we are listening to the music non stop for weeks and albeit being a musical grouch it really grew on me. ...
2 votes
3 answers
879 views

### What is the technique used in Beethoven's "Für Elise"

People say that Beethoven's "Für Elise" is in ABACA structure. What does that actually mean?
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2 answers
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### What are some other basic forms besides ABA and ABACA? [duplicate]

Edit: I took a look at the related question. The first answer illuminated me to free form ABCD... (let's not forget about free form!) and a good structure definition of Sonata. The other answers ...
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1 answer
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### How to Write Out a Round in Sheet Music

I'm trying to transcribe a song where the melody starts repeating in a round, so that after the first four eighth notes, the melody begins again. This can repeat as many as three times! What is the ...
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1 answer
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### Composition and instrumental voices

Can anybody explain to me if modern music follows a similar composition style to four part harmony. What I'm asking is just like in 4-Part Harmony where the bass voice gets the "low-range" or "bass" ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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### Is Escala's «Clubbed to Death» a passacaglia?

Escala's Clubbed to Death seems to be a passacaglia. It has a repetitive line throughout, over which counterpoint is added. In fact, it sounds similar to Biber's Harmonia artificiosa-ariosa: Partita ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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### Question on the harmony in Sweet Child o'mine

Sweet child o'mine has this progression in the intro: Db (sus4)-Db-Db(sus4)-Db-Ebm11/Cb-Gb (add2)-Db (sus4)-Db-Db(sus4)-Db And this progression in the verse: Db-Cb-Gb-Db How would you explain this ...
2 votes
1 answer
666 views

### Music Sections and Forms

I am a little bit confused about Sections: 1) Let's look at the following scheme/example: AABA Can section A have a changed melody or key? Until which point we can say it's another A section? 2) By ...
0 votes
1 answer
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### Composing a 16th note run [closed]

I have troubles composing my first Impromptu, which is in the key of Eb Major. I'm composing it in the form of A-B-A. With the A section being "Andante cantabile". I want the B section to be "Allegro ...
-1 votes
4 answers
191 views

### Terminology for determining form and harmonic structure when there are no apparent chords?

There are some songs out there, that seem to not have any chord progressions, the melody and bass line all are in sync and sound great, but there aren't any actual chords. In the song, yet you can ...
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1 answer
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### What type of form repeats the same then with slight variations each time?

I'm working on a series of simple compositions for piano and my current piece follows this formula: Begin with a simple melody that is repeated for each chord in the progression. Repeat the ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
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### What is the musical form of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring?

What is the musical form of The Rite of Spring by Stravinsky? I'd like to know the form and where each section is so I can better understand it. What sections define motifs? And what sections are ...
5 votes
1 answer
271 views

### Strange sequence of repeat signs

I am trying to learn Harehop by Sigrid Arneberg, and it has a strange sequence of repeat signs. The music has a right facing repeat sign as if there will be a left facing one to mark where to go back, ...
2 votes
1 answer
538 views

### What is the name for the disorganized part after a climax?

Particularly in big band music, a progression may culminate in a climax followed by a short disorganized part (a few bars at most), where everyone "plays what they want". After that phase of chaos the ...
7 votes
3 answers
1k views

### What is the motif used in many chaconnes in the 17th century?

Wikipedia says that a chaconne is a musical composition involving variations on a harmonic progression or melody (motif), similar to the passacaglia. In essence, it is a musical form. The motif is ...
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5 votes
3 answers
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### What are the rules of improvisation in Indian ragas?

In How does improvisation in Indian ragas differ significantly from jazz melodic improvisation? Phil states: With a Raga, there is no theme, per se. A Raga is more like a set of rules as to how you ...
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5 votes
4 answers
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### The meaning of Coda

What does "Coda" mean in music? I don't understand, and it appears in many articles about "sonata form" but I still don't know.
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2 votes
2 answers
10k views

### Composing a Piano sonata

I was wondering about composing a piano sonata. I only composed nocturnes and piano waltzes. Now I would like a piano sonata. Is there a specific rule for composing a piano sonata?
1 vote
1 answer
189 views

### Sub-canon within a canon?

In a canon, a piece usually starts from one melody and expands into several. Is it possible to create sort of sub-canons within the piece? Say I came up with an idea in the middle of the piece that I ...
14 votes
3 answers
8k views

### A,B,C,D,E,F,G and H in boxes in piano sheet music, how do I play it?

Sorry I probably just too new but all of those letters are in piece I want to play. What is that letter and how should I play it?
3 votes
1 answer
509 views

### What is state and response and modal sequence in music theory structure analysis?

So in for say a sentence structure, we have the basic idea phrase, and then it repeats the basic idea again. However, the second repetition basic idea can be either an exact repetition, state and ...
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

### How to understand a 32 bar progression

I am learning some country progressions. There is a waltz time 32 bar progression in the style of some old Tex Ritter song, I think. It's not just two 16 bar progressions (the last two 16 bars are ...
8 votes
3 answers
19k views

### How did baroque composers relate to human emotions?

Not sure whether this question really belongs here, as it is rather open-ended. Still, it's something I've been thinking about a lot lately. So I'd be most grateful if you could share your thoughts ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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### What is the most convoluted standard musical form?

In musical composition, we tend to reuse sections of a piece in patterns that are referred to as "musical forms". Some basic examples of these that I know of are ABA, AABA, ABAB, and the rondo form ...
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### Coda, segno; How to repeat chorus 3 times?

I have a song in this form: bar 1 = a bar 2 = b bar 3 = chorus bar 4 = d bar 5 = e bar 6 = chorus bar 7 = g bar 8 = h bar 9 = chorus Do I need rewrite "chorus" every time? Or can I use some ...
1 vote
1 answer
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### How to tell binary form from ternary form?

I know that binary form has 2 equal sections (AB) and ternary has 3 (ABA), but because my piece of ABA form music has 6 bars and can be divided into 3 equal sections, it means that the same total ...
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9 votes
3 answers
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### What are common analytic techniques for identifying phrases in music?

I understand that the concept of "phrase" is not always very well defined, and that there contrasting "intuitive" and "analytical" ways of thinking about music phrases and phrasing, per Wikipedia. ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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### Is there a standard musical/poetic form for the interaction between the protaganist and chorus in Ancient Greek tragedy?

Does the call and response interaction occur in some fixed ratio or absolute number of beats? e.g. The Three Theban Plays. It occurred to me to download some Greek tragedies, but what is a sufficient ...
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4 answers
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### Does "through-composed" mean a piece is disorganized?

Wikipedia defines through composed (in relation to musical form) as when "the music is relatively continuous, non-sectional, and/or non-repetative." Does this mean the piece is disorganized? If a ...
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9 votes
3 answers
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### Why is Mozart's Turkish March considered a rondo?

I read on Wikipedia Mozart's Turkish March has the form A-B-C-D-E-C-A-B-C But I read in my textbook Listening to Music by Craig Wright that a rondo form is supposed to have more "symmetrical ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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### DS or DC al coda how to tell go to 3 and 4 verses

I have a song in this format: Verse 1 Verse 2 Chorus has a 1st and 2nd ending Verse 3 Verse 4 Chorus I use repeat for V1 and V2 and then I go to Chorus easy enough. Now I want to go to Verse 3 and ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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### What are the parts of a modern song?

I'd like to learn the names of the different parts of modern music. I know there are verse and chorus, solo parts where only a certain instrument or the vocal can be heard, but what are the rest?
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