In baroque music, an instrumental composition in several movements for one to eight players. In music after the baroque period, an instrumental composition usually in several movements for one or two players.
sonata form
Form of a single movement, consisting of three main sections: the exposition, where the themes are presented; the development, where themes are treated in new ways; and the recapitulation, where the themes return.
First section of a sonata-form movement, which sets up a strong conflict between the tonic key and the new key; and between the first theme and the second theme.
Bridge (transition)
In the exposition of the sonata form, a section which leads from the first theme in the tonic, or home, key to the second theme, which is in a new key.
Second section of a sonata-form movement, in which themes from the exposition are developed and the music moves through several different keys.
Fragment of a theme, or short musical idea that is developed within a composition.
Third section of a sonata-form movement, in which the first theme, bridge, second theme, and concluding section are presented more or less as they were in the exposition, with one crucial difference: all the principal material is now in the tonic key.
In a sonata-form movement, a concluding section following the recapitulation and rounding off the movement by repeating themes or developing them further.
theme and variations
Form in which a basic musical idea is repeated over and over and is changed each time in melody, rhythm, harmony, dynamics, or tone color. Used either as an independent piece or as one movement of a larger work.
Melodic idea that accompanies a main theme.
minuet and trio (minuet)
Compositional form—derived from a dance—in three parts: minuet, trio, minuet. Often used as the third movement of classical symphonies, string quartets, and other works, it is in triple meter
Instrumental composition, light in mood, usually meant for evening entertainment.
Compositional form featuring a main theme that returns several times in alternation with other themes, such as A B A C A and A B A C A B A. Rondo is often the form of the last movement in classical symphonies, string quartets, and sonatas.
Compositional form that combines the repeating theme of rondo form with a development section similar to that in sonata form, outlined A B A—development—A B A.
Orchestral composition, usually in four movements, typically lasting between 20 and 45 minutes, exploiting the expanded range of tone color and dynamics of the orchestra.