A Practical Guide to Musical Composition by Alan Belkin

By Alan Belkin

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39 Piano Sonata: In m. 81, after a sequential rise, the music stops abruptly on a climactic high note. This common tone becomes the first note of a contrasting section. The rising line and the crescendo create tension; the new section resolves it, but in an unexpected way. (repertoire example) Beethoven, 5th Symphony #5, transition between the 3rd and 4th movements: The buildup into the finale via a long rising sequence, over a dominant pedal, creates great tension, which is released by the arrival of the finale's main theme.

53 The essence of this design lies in its sophisticated playing with listeners' expectations; transitions may also become more elaborate. Sonata Sonata form is an outgrowth of the rounded binary form. The drama and richness, typical of the form, result from: breadth: substantial duration, and the integration of strongly contrasting material. stable initial presentations of the material, linked by a transitional section. long term suspense engendered by an open cadence at the end of the the second group.

For example: Do not change register at the same time as changing rhythm. While this rule is not absolute, the principle is useful, in that it can help the composer to gauge where a given transition needs to be compressed or expanded for smoother effect. The result is like a musical game of telephone: At each individual stage, change is easy to follow, but the final result can be very far removed from the original idea. Quartet #3: From the elided cadence in m. 115, the music evolves by gradual stages towards a climactic presentation of the work's main theme, in m.

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