Mozart Glossary

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Sonata Form: Also known as the first-movement form, it's generally used for the
opening movement of the Classical sonata. It consists of an exposition and a development,
followed by the recapitulation.
Exposition: In sonata form, the exposition is the first statement of the theme. Usually
there are two major theme groups in the exposition, possibly followed by a codetta.
Development: The second major division of the sonata-allegro form. The development is
based upon the themes in the exposition and elaborates on them.
Recapitulation: In sonata-allegro form, the recapitulation (or Recap) is the final
presentation of the original theme group (the first and second themes), first presented in
the exposition. Usually, the recapitulation is entirely in the tonic key of the composition.
This is the third and final main division of sonata-allegro form.
Symphony: In the early 18th century, the term "symphony" was applied to
any instrumental prelude, interlude, or postlude. In modern usage, the term is applied to a
large composition for orchestra, generally in three or four movements. The symphony may
also be defined as a sonata for orchestra.
Minuet and Trio: An A-B-A form (A = minuet; B = trio) in a moderate triple
meter that is often the third movement of the Classical sonata cycle.
Rondo: The term referring to a form of composition in which the first section recurs
after the second section is performed in an A-B-A style. Also, a rondo could have
more sections, arranged: A-B-A-B-A, or A-B-A-C-A, etc. This form is found especially in
compositions of the Baroque and Classical eras.
Ternary Form: A compositional form which consists of three major sections: an
A section which states the thematic material, a B section which presents a
contrasting theme, and a final A section which restates the opening thematic material.
Theme + Variations: A style of composition that first presents a basic theme and
then develops and alters the theme in successive statements.
Bridge: A transitional passage connecting two sections of a composition.
Subject: The theme or melody upon which any composition is based.
Homophonic: A style of composition with only one melody and all of the voices and
accompaniments move rhythmically together.

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Polyphonic: A composition that has many voices, each with their own melody, which creates a
thick texture.
Divisi: A directive in ensemble music that instructs one section to divide into two or more
separate sections, each playing a separate part.
Unison: An interval of zero; i.e., the same pitch. Two instruments playing in unison are playing
exactly the same notes.
Chromatic: Any music or chord that contains notes not belonging to the diatonic scale.
Music which proceeds in half steps.…read more


Samuel Richardson

It's important to understand the words used to describe the music of the Classical Period and Mozart, so this glossary of terms is essental reading. 

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