Beethoven's Ninth Symphony
- Binary Form
- A two-part form in which each part repeats immediately after
its first statement. The trio to the scherzo in the third
movement of Beethoven's Ninth uses a binary form.
- Closing Area
- The phase of the Exposition or Recapitulation that rounds out
these sections with a series of closing themes.
- The Coda is a series of emphatic cadences that create a sense
of finality in the movement. In Beethoven's Ninth, Coda's also
act as "Second Developments" whose lengths sometimes rival or
even exceed the other sections.
- Da Capo
- Meaning "to the head", it indicates a return to the themes of
the beginning of a movement.
- The Development is the most unstable section in the sonata
form, expressing the greatest degree of conflict in the
theme. It's purpose is to elaborate or develop the material
from the Exposition. This development frequently involves
fragmentation, in which the Exposition theme is broken
down into smaller units for elaboration.
- The embellishment of a theme by substituting several notes for
what had earlier been a single note.
- The Exposition introduces the principal themes of the
movement and sets up the long-range harmonic conflicts.
The exposition consists of four phases: the primary area,
the transition, the secondary area, and the closing area.
- The process by which a theme is broken into smaller units
for separate elaboration. Fragmenation is basic to creating
conflict and instability in the Development section.
- The designation given to each of the stand-alone units in a
- Primary Area
- The first phase of the Exposition, establishing the tonic
key using one or more themes
- The Recapitulation provides symmetry for the movement as it
resolves the harmonic conflicts existing between the Exposition
and the Development. The Exposition material is restated but
usually in different tonic key.
- The passage in the sonata form that prepares the return to
the recapitulation. Retransitions often create a sense of
- A recurring section that frames a movement. In the fourth movement
of Beethoven's Ninth, an opening ritornello is used to introduce
the main themes.
- A rapid dance-like movement usually found as the third movement of
a symphony or chamber work.
- Secondary Area
- The phase in the sonata form that introduces the contrasting or
secondary key of the movement using one or more themes.
- Along with the concerto, the most prestigious form of public
instrumental music in Beethoven's era.
- The phase in the Exposition of a sonata form that makes a modulation
from a primary to a secondary key.
- The contrasting middle section in a dance-like movement such as a
scherzo. Originally indicating a reduction to three voices, a trio in
Beethoven's time could use any number of voices and was simply a
contrasting middle section.