Copland 「What to Listen for in Music」を読む 第10回 第10章 音楽の基本の形式 I.◯◯部形式

10. Fundamental Forms 




I. ◯◯部形式 


Two Part; Three Part; Rondo; 

Free Sectional Arrangement 

2部形式; 3部形式; ロンド形式;  



The easiest form for the listener to grasp is that built sectionally. The more or less clearly defined separation of related parts is readily assimilated. From a certain perspective, practically all music might be considered to be sectionally constructed ― even the long tone poems of a Richard Strauss. But in this chapter we shall confine ourselves to those type forms which are obviously made up of a combination in some arrangement of separate sections. 






The simplest of these is two-part, or binary, form, represented by A-B. Two part form is very little used nowadays, but it played a preponderant role in the music 

written from1650 to 1750. The division into A and B may be clearly seen on the printed page, for the end of the A section is almost always indicated by a double bar with a repetition sign. Sometimes a repetition sign follows the end of the B section also, in which case the formula would more truly be A-A-B-B. But, as I have already pointed out, in analyzing forms we do not take into account these exact repetitions, because they do not really affect the general outlines of the music as a whole. Moreover, interpreters use their own discretion in the matter of actually playing the repetitions indicated. 



In all other forms, a B section would indicate an independent section, different in musical material from the A section. In two-part form, however, there is a general correspondence between the first and second parts. The A and B seem to balance one another; B often is little more than a rearranged version of A. Exactly how the “rearrangement” is carried out differs with each piece and  largely accounts for the great variety within the two-part structure. The B section is often made up partly of a repetition of A, and partly of a kind of development of certain phrases to be found in A. It might be said, therefore, that the principle of development which became so important in later times had its origin here. The two parts of the form will be clearly heard by the layman if he listens for the strong cadential feeling at the end of each part.   



The two-part form was utilized in thousands of short pieces for clavecin, written during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The seventeenth-century type of suite was comprised of four or five or more of such pieces, which were in some species of dance form. The dances most usually included in the suite are the allemande, the courante, the saraband, and the gigue. Not so often used are the gavotte, bourree, passepied, and loure. (This early type of suite is not to be confused with the modern suite which is nothing more than a collection of pieces lighter in character than the movements of a sonata or symphony.) 



As examples of two-part form, the reader is urged to hear pieces by Francois Couperin or Domenico Scarlatti. (Recordings by Wanda Landowska of both composers are recommended.) Couperin, who lived from 1668 to 1733, published four books of clavecin pieces, containing some of the finest music ever written by a Frenchman. They often are titled fancifully, for example, The Mysterious Barricades, or Twins or The Little Fly. This last piece (Le Moucheron) is a particularly fine example of two-part form. So is La Commere, which is, besides, a brilliant example of eighteenth-century wit and esprit. Something of the sensuosity of present-day French music will be found in Les langeurs tendres. Couperin created a world of subtle feeling within the limits of this miniature form. 



Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757) is the Italian counterpart of Couperin. He composed hundreds of pieces in two-part form, all under the generic name of sonata, though they have nothing in common with the later sonata either in form or in feeling. Scarlatti's personality is strongly evident in everything he wrote. He had a penchant for brilliant, showy clavecin writing, with large skips and crossing of hands in the true instrumental style. Nor was he afraid of using harmonies that must have struck his contemporaries as darling. (Many of these harmonies were “toned down” by academic editors of the nineteenth-century.) It is difficult to choose examples from so great a profusion of riches. In the Longo edition, Sonatas No. 413 (D minor), No. 104 (C major), and No. 338 (G minor) are among his finest works.  



The second type of sectional form is three-part form, represented by the formula A-B-A. We have already seen how the small unit of a piece may be built according to a-b-a. Now it is necessary to demonstrate it in relation to a piece as a whole. 






In the case of three-part form, we are dealing with a type of construction that is in continual use by composers today. Among the clearest early examples are the minuets of Haydn or Mozart. Here the B section ― sometimes labeled “trio” ― is in distinct contrast to the A section. It is sometimes almost like an independent little piece, bounded on both sides by the first part: minuet-trio-minuet. When the return to the first section was exact repetition, composers did not trouble to write it out again but merely indicated “da capo” (from the beginning). But when the return is varied, the third section must be written out. 



The minuet, and with it three-part form, gradually changed its character, even among so-called classical composers. Haydn himself began the transformation of the minuet from a simple dance formto what finally became the Beethoven scherzo. In fact, there are few better examples of the gradual expansion of a formal pattern than this metamorphosis of minuet to scherzo. The outline A-B-A remained the same, but the character became transformed completely. In Beethoven's hands, the graceful and dignified minuet turned into the brusque and whimsical scherzo-allegro which contrasts so well with the slow preceding movement. 



One important alteration was made in the form by Beethoven himself and adopted by composers who followed him. It was usual to have, in the earlier minuets and scherzos, a complete sense of close at the end of both first and second parts. Later examples of the form, however, connect the A section by a bridge passage to the B section; and likewise, on the return, B to A, thereby creating a greater impression of continuity. This tendency will be found in most forms in music; the demarcation points of separate sections tend to melt away before the need for a greater impression of continuous flow. Definitely marked divisions are easier to follow from the listener's vantage point, but the higher development of form brings with it the need for the manipulation of an uninterrupted and longer line. 



Here is a typical illustration of the Haydn Minuet from the String Quartet, Op. 17, No. 5. The divisions are clearly marked. 

(score illustrated: the second movement [melody only]) 




For a modern example of minuet form, I can recommend the Ravel Minuet from Le tombeau de Couperin, a set of six piano pieces, which were later orchestrated by the composer. The typical A-B-A form is present, with these differences: The return to the A section is made up of an ingenious combination of both A and B at the same time; and a fairly elaborate coda is added at the end. Both nothing essential to the form of the minuet has been changed.   






Now let us see what Beethoven did with the minuet form. Let us take as illustration the same Scherzo from the Piano Sonata, Op. 27, No. 2, the first page of which was analyzed in the preceding chapter. In analyzing the Scherzo as a whole, that first page, which itself was found to be a-b-a, counts as A of the larger A-B-A formula. The B section - the Trio - is more sustained in quality, for the sake of contrast. This is almost always true of any middle part of a scherzo and makes the divisions easily distinguishable. The return to the A is an exact repetition.   



Played slowly, this particular Scherzo might conceivably be a minuet, but that is not true of the Scherzo of the Sonata, Op. 27, No. 1. The Beethoven-like, stormy character completely removes it from the stately minuet that originated the form. To have written a B section of the usual sustained and contrasted type would have dissipated the mood of the A section. It is interesting to see how Beethoven manages both to write a contrasting section and yet to keep up the hectic, seething character of the first part. The return to the A is varied by a slight syncopation in the rhythm, which serves to emphasize the stormy mood. 



Three-part form, with slight adaptations, is the generic type form for innumerable pieces, variously named. Some of the most familiar are nocturne, berceuse, ballade, elegy, waltz, etude, capriccio, impromptu, intermezzo, mazurka, polonaise, etc. These are not, of course, necessarily three-part in form, but they certainly are likely to be. Always watch for the contrasted middle part and some kind of return to the beginning. Those are the unmistakable earmarks of the three-part form. 



Limitation of space forbids the pointing out of more than one illustration: the Chopin Prelude No. 15, in D flat. This is an excellent example of “adaptation” of the A-B-A form. After a first part of quiet and sustained mood comes the B part, which is more dramatic and “threatening,” by way of contrast. It demonstrates a tendency, which later became more and more frequent, to find a way of connecting the B to the A by utilizing some element common to both, such as a rhythmic or melodic figure (in this case, a repeated note). Treated thus, the B section seems to grow out of the first part instead of being merely an independent and contrasted section, which might conceivably belong to some other piece equally well. The return to the A in this Prelude is very much shortened. It is as if Chopin said to the listener: “You remember the mood of this first part. Taking you back for a few measures will suffice to give you a feeling of the whole without bothering to play it all the way through.” That is good psychological reasoning in this particular piece and adds to both the originality, and the conciseness of the formal treatment.  






The important type form which bases itself on the sectional principle is that of the rondo. It is easily reduced to the formula A-B-A-C-A-D-A, etc. The typical feature of any rondo, therefore, is the return to the principal theme after every digression. The main theme is the important thing; the number or length of the digressions is immaterial. The digressions provide contrast and balance; that is their principal function. There are different types of rondo form, both slow and fast. But the most usual type is that found as final movement of a sonata ― light, cheerful, and songlike. 



The rondo is a very old musical form, but it has far from outlived its usefulness. Examples may be found in the music of Couperin as well as in the latest work of the American Walter Piston. In early examples ― even up to and including the time of Haydn and Mozart ― the divisions between sections were clearly marked. But here, again, later developments in the use of the form tend to break down demarcation points, so that one may truthfully say that the essential quality of the rondo is the creation of an uninterrupted sense of flow. That smoothly flowing style is fundamental to the rondo character, whether the music is old or new. 



A fine illustration of the early rondo is the outline of the last movement of the Haydn Piano Sonata, No. 9, in D major (see pages 113-114). Notice a very important feature, the fact that each time the A returns, it is varied, which makes for new interest despite the numerous repetitions. Later rondos invariably show different versions of A each time that it returns. 



Numerous examples of modern rondos will be found in the works of Roussel, Milhaud, Hindemith, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, etc. The famous example from Strauss, Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, is too complex to be grasped without special analysis. 






The fourth, and final, type of sectional build-up cannot be reduced to any one formula, because it allows for any free arrangement of sections which together make a coherent whole. Any arrangement that makes musical sense is possible, for instance A-B-B, or A-B-C-A or A-B-A-C-A-B-A. The first is the formula of the piece called Frightening from Schumann's Scenes from Childhood. It is particularly easy to follow in the Schumann piece, because each section is so short and so different in character. 



A good example of an unconventional arrangement of various sections, as used by a modern composer, is Bela Bartok's Suite, Op. 14, in the first and second movements. 



D. Scarlatti ― Selections from his Sonatas 

Igor Kipnis (harpsichord) (sony) 


Haydn ― Quartets Opus 17 

Tatrai Quartet (Hungaroton) 


Beethoven ― Sonata in E flat, Opus 27, No. 1 

Alfred Brendel (Philips) 


Chopin ― Preludes 

Arthur Rubinstein (RCA) 


Bartok ― Suite for Piano 

Bela Bartok (Angel-EMI) 




イーゴル・キプニスハープシコード) (ソニー 


ハイドン弦楽四重奏曲集 作品17 



ベートーヴェンピアノソナタ変ロ長調 作品17の1