Spring 2017

Form in Tonal Music

Listed in: Music, as MUSI-242

Formerly listed as: MUSI-32


John D. McDonald (Section 01)


A continuation of MUSI 241 and the second of the required music theory sequence for majors. In this course we will study different manifestations of formal principles, along with the relationship of form to harmony and tonality. We will start with pre-tonal music (through works by keyboard and vocal composers like Orlando Gibbons and Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck), leading to a focus on the understanding of musical form in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Topics to be covered will be addressed through short pieces, including Mozart minuets, Schubert dances, Copin/Paganini character pieces (mazurkas/caprices), Schumann-style lieder, and a variety of late nineteenth-century miniatures (including examples by Tchaikovsky, Grieg, Janacek, and Scriabin). Sonata-like forms and contrapuntal techniques used in these works will also be confronted. The course requires in-class analyses and writing exercises that will support five model composition projects and/or analytic paper assignments related to the above-mentioned composers. All required composition and analysis work will grow from material contained in a supplied anthology. Two class meetings and two ear-training sections per week.

Requisite: MUSI 241 or consent of the instructor. Spring semester. Valentine Visiting Professor McDonald.


Artistic Practice


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2022