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The Sonata

A show with an exposition, development, and recapitulation... a show about "The Sonata"!

The storied history of the most popular music form!

This week, the Ether Game Brain Trust is exploring the storied history of one of the most popular instrument genres. Yes, it’s a show that’s also the namesake of a sensible mid-size sedan from Hyundai, a show we’re calling “The Sonata.”

Did you know…

  • The popular “Moonlight” sonata by Ludwig van Beethoven was given its namesake by music critic Ludwig Rellstab, who likened the first movement to the serenity of Lake Lucerne in the moonlight.
  • Sonatas are typically solo instrumental works, like the many piano sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti or the famous Violin Sonata in A by César Franck. However, symphony and concerto movements can also be written in sonata form, a three-part form with an expositiondevelopment, and recapitulation.
  • Arcangelo Corelli wrote many solo and trio sonatas (sonatas for two soli instruments, plus continuo accompaniment). These were written da camera (chamber works) or da chiesa (sacred works).
  • Sonatas continued to be written into the 20th-century and beyond, often taking on interesting forms. John Cage wrote a set of sonatas and interludes for prepared piano (piano with nuts and screws placed on the strings), inspired by the aesthetics of Indian music.

See the full playlist below:

And don’t forget to check out our sonata podcast for more musical fun and frustration!

Music Heard On This Episode


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