AS Music: Corelli: Trio Sonata in D (IV)

AS EDEXCEL MUSIC Set Works (Unit 3 - Developing Musical Understanding)

Corelli's Trio Sonata in D Movement IV - revision summary notes on Tonality, Rhythm and Metre, Performing Forces and their Handling, Texture, Harmony, Structure, Melody, and Features of the Baroque Period

These notes are based on resources from Edexcel.

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Bethan
  • Created on: 25-02-12 16:26


Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713)

  • Influential late baroque composer
  • only wrote instrumental music
  • developed the concerto grossi

Op. 3 No. 2 (Trio Sonata in D)

  • Written in 1689 (common exam question)
  • 1 of 12 Sonatas (6 major, 6 minor)
  • Sonata da Chiesa (Church Sonata)
  • ^ is often in 4 mvts - slow - fast - slow - fast
  • Contrapuntal style
  • no. 2 has 4 mvts: Grave - Allegro - Adagio - Allegro.
1 of 9

Features of the Baroque Period

Features of the Baroque Period (that can be found in this piece)

  • Basso continuo
  • Terraced Dynamics
  • Binary Form (AB/AABB)
  • One affection (mood) throughout
  • Ornamented melodies (e.g. appogiaturas within melody, even if there are no explicitly notated mordents etc.)
  • Interweaving melodies and contrapuntal style (imitative counterpoint)
2 of 9

Performance Forces and their Handling

Performance Forces and their Handling

  • Trio Sonata = 3 lines of music
  • 4 parts, as the basso continuo is shared between violone and organ
  • 2 violins 
  • Imitation between instruments, crossing parts, exchanging ideas
  • For violone - low-pitched string instrument - only Baroque, so Edexcel recording uses CELLO! watch out!
  • organ is a PIPE ORGAN, improvises around figured bass (numerical chords)
  • Violone (/cello) plays written bass part
  • Idiomatic - doesn't stretch ranges (Violins don't venture past 3rd position)
  • Violin 1 always states material first (imitated by violin 2)
  • Both violins treated with equal importance
  • violin 2 finishes above violin 1
3 of 9



  • Functional Harmony (uses cadences to define key)
  • Begins and ends in D Major
  • Monothematic (one affection throughout), so tonality helps define structure

Modulates at:

  • Bars 3-4, to A major
  • Bars 9-19, to A major (A section only modulates to A)
  • (B Section begins in A major [20-22]) Bars 23-26, to D major
  • Bars 26-28, to B minor
  • Bars 29-31, to E minor
  • Bars 32-33, to A major
  • Bars 34-35, to G major
  • Bars 36-43, back to D major
4 of 9

Rhythm and Metre

Rhythm and Metre

  • Style of a Gigue (think 'jig') - a lively dance...
  • Compound Duple time (6/8*)
  • Plays around with regularity of metre
  • e.g. syncopation in bars 26-27
  • Hemiolas in bars 27 and 31
  • Hemiolas create a feel of Simple Triple time (3/4)

* I hate writing time signatures as fractions - seems obvious but don't write them like that in the exam :)

5 of 9



  • 3 part imitative counterpoint
  • (polyphonic, each part independent, all parts based on same idea)
  • Opening is fugal
  • Some monophonic sections
  • Inverted pedals used in bars 15-17
  • Violone drops out at bar 23 - creates a more distinct bassline
  • All 3 parts drop an octave in final bars to draw movement to a close
6 of 9



  • Diatonic functional harmony 
  • Mostly root/1st inversion chords
  • Uses suspensions - dissonances left from previous chord which are resolved (usually resolved downwards) *
  • In bar 39, there is an unresolved suspension (unusual for Baroque!)
  • Cycle of fifths in bars 32-35
  • Frequent perfect cadences
  • Pedal points at ends of sections to reinforce key, e.g. bars 16 onwards

* E.g. 7-6 suspension bar 10, 4-3 suspension bar 40

7 of 9



  • Binary form (AB/AABB)
  • Two sections are not contrasting (monothematic)
  • A section is only in D major and A major
  • B section travels through related keys
  • Bars 41-43 could be considered a codetta
  • This codetta emphasises the tonic key of D major
8 of 9



Develops original motif with:

  • added passing notes
  • rising sequences
  • Inversion (as in the B section)
  • Bar 32 adds an anacrusis
  • Movement is usually stepwise
  • Some octave leaps e.g. in bar 7 

(In other performances/pieces, extra ornaments might be added on repeats)

9 of 9



These cards are so useful! Can you please/are you going to do some of these for the other set pieces? PLease? XD


I've been trying but Get Revising decided to die on me, I'll upload them as soon as I can. I have a set for each set work, might be better to scan them in and upload the scans.


I've just done the Beethoven Septet notes as a powerpoint, have a look and if you like that I'll do the same with the others


These are perfect - keep them coming please! Thanks. :)

Similar Music resources:

See all Music resources »See all resources »