Musical form

formformsformalcompositionmusical structurestructuremusical formsformal structurechain formFormally
In music, form refers to the structure of a musical composition or performance.wikipedia
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Musical composition

compositionmusic compositioncomposing
The next level concerns the entire structure of any single self-contained musical piece.
Musical composition, music composition, or simply composition, can refer to an original piece or work of music, either vocal or instrumental, the structure of a musical piece, or to the process of creating or writing a new piece of music.

Metre (music)

metermetrepolymeter
The level of musical organisation implied by musical metre includes the most elementary levels of musical form.

Strophic form

strophicchoruschoruses
If the hymn, ballad, blues or dance alluded to above simply repeats the same musical material indefinitely then the piece is said to be in strophic form overall.
It is the simplest and most durable of musical forms, extending a piece of music by repetition of a single formal section.

Bar (music)

barbarsmeasure
A double bar line (or double bar) can consist of two single bar lines drawn close together, separating two sections within a piece, or a bar line followed by a thicker bar line, indicating the end of a piece or movement.

Minuet

MenuettoMenuetminuet and trio
A minuet, like any Baroque dance, generally had simple binary structure (AABB), however, this was frequently extended by the introduction of another minuet arranged for solo instruments (called the trio), after which the first was repeated again and the piece ended—this is a ternary form—ABA: the piece is binary on the lower compositional level but ternary on the higher.
The term also describes the musical form that accompanies the dance, which subsequently developed more fully, often with a longer musical form called the minuet and trio, and was much used as a movement in the early classical symphony.

Suite (music)

suitesuitesorchestral suite
For example, a set of songs with a related theme may be presented as a song-cycle, whereas a set of Baroque dances were presented as a suite.
In the Baroque era the suite was an important musical form, also known as Suite de danses, Ordre (the term favored by François Couperin), Partita or Ouverture (after the theatrical "overture" which often included a series of dances) as with the orchestral suites of Christoph Graupner, Telemann and J.S. Bach.

Cell (music)

cellcellsrhythmic cell
"A cell can be developed, independent of its context, as a melodic fragment, it can be used as a developmental motif. It can be the source for the whole structure of the work; in that case it is called a generative cell."

Potpourri (music)

potpourripot-pourrimedley
Medley, potpourri or chain form is the extreme opposite, that of "unrelieved variation": it is simply an indefinite sequence of self-contained sections (ABCD...), sometimes with repeats (AABBCCDD...).
Potpourri or Pot-Pourri (French, literally "putrid pot") is a kind of musical form structured as ABCDEF..., the same as medley or, sometimes, fantasia.

Coda (music)

codacodascodetta
This form is built from a sequence of clear-cut units that may be referred to by letters but also often have generic names such as introduction and coda, exposition, development and recapitulation, verse, chorus or refrain, and bridge.
The presence of a coda as a structural element in a movement is especially clear in works written in particular musical forms.

Ternary form

TrioternaryABA form
A compound ternary form (or trio form) similarly involves an ABA pattern, but each section is itself either in binary (two sub-sections which may be repeated) or (simple) ternary form.
Ternary form, sometimes called song form, is a three-part musical form consisting of an opening section (A), a following section (B) and then a repetition of the first section (A).

Variation (music)

variationsvariationtheme and variations
If it repeats with distinct, sustained changes each time, for instance in setting, ornamentation or instrumentation, then the piece is a theme and variations. Theme and Variations: a theme, which in itself can be of any shorter form (binary, ternary, etc.), forms the only "section" and is repeated indefinitely (as in strophic form) but is varied each time (A,B,A,F,Z,A), so as to make a sort of sectional chain form.
In music, variation is a formal technique where material is repeated in an altered form.

Passacaglia

pasacallePassacaillepasacalles
An important variant of this, much used in 17th-century British music and in the Passacaglia and Chaconne, was that of the ground bass—a repeating bass theme or basso ostinato over and around which the rest of the structure unfolds, often, but not always, spinning polyphonic or contrapuntal threads, or improvising divisions and descants.
The passacaglia is a musical form that originated in early seventeenth-century Spain and is still used today by composers.

Arch form

archarch (swell) form
Arch form (ABCBA) resembles a symmetrical rondo without intermediate repetitions of the main theme.
In music, arch form is a sectional structure for a piece of music based on repetition, in reverse order, of all or most musical sections such that the overall form is symmetric, most often around a central movement.

Movement (music)

movementsmovementfour-movement
The individual pieces which make up the larger form may be called movements.
A movement is a self-contained part of a musical composition or musical form.

Subject (music)

themethemessubject
Theme and Variations: a theme, which in itself can be of any shorter form (binary, ternary, etc.), forms the only "section" and is repeated indefinitely (as in strophic form) but is varied each time (A,B,A,F,Z,A), so as to make a sort of sectional chain form. Usually, but not always, the "A" parts (Exposition and Recapitulation, respectively) may be subdivided into two or three themes or theme groups which are taken asunder and recombined to form the "B" part (the development)—thus e. g. (AabB[dev.
Thematic changes and processes are often structurally important, and theorists such as Rudolph Reti have created analysis from a purely thematic perspective.

Exposition (music)

expositionexpositionalexpositions
Usually, but not always, the "A" parts (Exposition and Recapitulation, respectively) may be subdivided into two or three themes or theme groups which are taken asunder and recombined to form the "B" part (the development)—thus e. g. (AabB[dev.
In musical form and analysis, exposition is the initial presentation of the thematic material of a musical composition, movement, or section.

Rondo

rondo formRondeaurondeaux
The Rondo is often found with sections varied (AA 1 BA 2 CA 3 BA 4 ) or (ABA 1 CA 2 B 1 A).
Rondo and its French part-equivalent, rondeau, are words that have been used in music in a number of ways, most often in reference to a musical form but also to a character type that is distinct from the form.

Through-composed

through compositioncontinuous piecethrough-composition
In music theory about musical form, through-composed music is relatively continuous, non-sectional, or non-repetitive music.

List of musical genres by era

formsList of musical forms by eraMusical genres by era
The form of a musical composition refers to the general outline of the composition, based on the sections that comprise it or on specific details that are unique to a certain type of composition.

Song structure

verseversespre-chorus
The smallest level of construction concerns the way musical phrases are organized into musical sentences and "paragraphs" such as the verse of a song.
Common forms include bar form, 32-bar form, verse–chorus form, ternary form, strophic form, and the 12-bar blues.

Developing variation

continuous variationevolutionary
In music composition, developing variation is a formal technique in which the concepts of development and variation are united in that variations are produced through the development of existing material.

Craig M. Wright

Craig Wright
In his textbook "Listening to Music," professor Craig Wright writes,