Discussing the 'Rosen' Sonata Theory Essay

1080 WordsFeb 21, 20135 Pages
Language & Stru ures . Discussing e ‘Rosen’ Sonata eory 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 . ‘You mu 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, , ii) 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 form (Rosen, ). Rosen

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