Hello everyone, I conducted an independent study this year on sonata form: in particular the theories on form proposed by William Caplin in his work "Classical Form" and by James Hepokoski and Warren Darcy in their "Elements of Sonata Theory."  The results of this study are compiled into the paper linked to below.

I believe Hepokoski and Darcy's theory are particularly useful for composers, as much of what is discussed is the aesthetic effect of form: what do particular choices in form do to the listening experience?  It treats every compositional choice as a very intentional expressive device (as opposed to a motivic or analytical device as many other theories do).  Caplin's theory is also of use, as it details the musical logic inherent in compositions in the common practice era, allowing a modern composer to understand how to mold the same logic into a different language should he or she choose to do so.

I hope the paper is informative and I invite any criticism the composers forum is willing to give!

Composed of Harshness: Dialogue, Function, and Structural Ambiguity in Beethoven's "Tempest" Sonata

Recording and Score of Beethoven’s “Tempest” Sonata(Malcolm Bilson, piano)

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  • I glanced over it. I believe you to be quite intelligent. I, however, hope that your emotions and intelligence are equal. I, in truth, would like more original thought on the topic and less derivative thought on the topic: the paper, on the whole, seemed to lack the soul of the musical references used.

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