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Title: The Classical-Period Development Section: Compositional Strategies of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert
Authors: Matthay, Christopher
Advisors: Agawu, Victor K
Contributors: Music Department
Subjects: Music theory
Music history
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: The development section has been described as the most characteristic feature of Classical-period sonata form, as that which distinguishes sonata form from related forms of the period. It has been called “the locus of variety and motion,” “the appointed field for the tournament of tonalities,” and, borrowing from dramatic theory, “the intrigue,” or “the knot.” Its function has been described variously as that of unfolding, elaboration, intensification, and digression. Of the three parts of sonata form, the development is, both tonally and in its treatment of thematic material, the least predictable and the most variable from work to work. This dissertation explores rhetorical and harmonic strategies of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert for beginning and ending the development, and, in Mozart’s early sonata-form movements, for structuring the development as a whole. The project engages with the recent theories of Classical-Period form developed by William Caplin and by James Hepokoski and Warren Darcy; with the less schematic approaches to form of Charles Rosen, Leonard Ratner, and Donald Francis Tovey; and with eighteenth- and nineteenth-century theories of form and of harmony, including those of Riepel, Koch, Reicha, Marx, and Riemann. The approach taken attempts to balance taxonomy and interpretation, and is especially concerned to describe the effects produced by the given strategies in their various realizations in particular works. Chapter 1 describes a beginning strategy often used by Beethoven in his piano sonatas, that of opening the development with a transformed, “dissolving” statement of the work’s main theme. Chapter 2 explores a contrasting strategy used by Mozart in several of his middle- and late-period works, a strategy of beginning the development with a tight-knit new theme. Chapters 3 and 4 describe modulatory pathways used in High-Classical-period works to lead out of the key of the end of the exposition, and Chapters 5 and 6 describe retransitional strategies in sonata-form movements of the 1760s–1770s and 1780s–1810s, respectively. Chapter 7 describes three of Mozart’s strategies for structuring the development as a whole in his early sonata-form movements, and compares these with related strategies of Haydn and Johann Christian Bach.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Music

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