Classical Form

Department of Music, School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music

College of Arts and Law


Code 21895

Level of study Second Year

Credit value 20

Semester 1 or 2

Pre-requisite modules N/A

Other pre-requisites N/A

Module description

The study of late eighteenth-century form is of seminal importance not just for understanding the music of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and their contemporaries, but for much music of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, which is in continual dialogue with this repertory. Nevertheless, the nature of 'classical form' is still under dispute. This course introduces the two main traditions of thought in the area. The first is German-American, professional, codified in textbooks, and oriented to the early music of Beethoven and to Mozart. The second is Anglo-American, 'amateur' in both good and bad senses, and more oriented to Haydn. By studying both points of view, we can gain insights into some of the remarkable subtleties of late eighteenth-century music. The main text for the course will be William Caplin's Classical Form (which is recommended for purchase). Charles Rosen's Sonata Forms will also be studied.

Teaching and learning methods