Sonata Form in the Nineteenth-Century Symphony

Steven Craig Cannon


This paper presents an analytical survey of 283 symphonies dating from 1800-1899. Features of full symphonies include the rate of compositional output over the course of the century, the number, order, and keys of movements, and the prevalence of sonata form. Individual movements that use sonata form receive greater attention, including analysis of the general proportions of internal sections (that is, relative lengths of slow introductions, expositions, developments, and recapitulations plus codas), as well as overall tonal plans.


symphonies; sonata form; recapitulation; nineteenth century

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