Language & Stru ures .
In the preface of Charles Rosen’s revised edition of ‘Sonatas Forms’ (
) he takes a quote from
Stephen Gould on the topic of the nature of sonata form, in which he compares sonata forms to chimpanzees.
e quote then continues to rationalise this theory, ating that there is no such thing as ‘the chimpanzee’,
and claiming that not one singular chimpanzee poſseſses the eſsence of all chimpanzees. Here is a further
extra from the preface, continuing on the subje .
learn to recognize individual chimps and follow them for years, recording their
peculiarities, their diﬀerences, and their intera ions …When you under and why nature’s
complexity can only be unravelled this way, why individuality matters so crucially, then you
are in the position to under and what the sciences of hi ory are all about.’ (Rosen,
Rosen’s intent behind such a paſsage is to accentuate the point that the term sonata form is such a broad one,
which takes diﬀerent forms over the centuries, that it would be unfair to label pieces under a archetypal form
when one does not exi . In ead Rosen preſses the intent of having multiple de nitions of sonata form to
suit diﬀerent composers throughout the centuries. Rosen also takes into account the conception of the term,
ating that—from the three sources that birthed the term with which we are familiar today—the intention
of the invention was to aid composition (Rosen,
) and how the author who created the term we use
today, Adolph Bernhard Marx, ‘helped to e ablish its nineteenth- and twentieth-century pre ige as the
supreme form of in rumental music,’ (Rosen,
by the use of Beethoven’s works, preceding
, p. ). Rosen explains the way in which Marx did this,
, as an example and, subsequently, a reason to promote the
). Rosen also points out how, in Marx’s description and generalisation of the subje , he
isolated the mo...