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Topic: need recommendation on a book to study classical forms

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  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Jersey City, NJ (sort of...)
    Posts
    62

    need recommendation on a book to study classical forms

    hi everyone,

    it's been almost a year since i posted in this forum. i got a new job which kicked my behind for the last 8 months or so, but I'm slowly coming back to life and starting to write music again.

    i'm looking for a book to give me an introduction to classical forms. not really a theory book; i studied harmony & counterpoint & stuff at school, but since i was a jazz major, i didn't really learn details about classical forms & techniques, just sweeping generalizations. i'd like to start with, you know, 18th century forms, or whatever is suggested.

    since i got GPO, i've been getting more into classical music, but i find i am lacking in knowledge of form. i've learned a lot about orchestration in the last year from reading, writing, and playing with GPO. a good book on classical form will help me out.

    thanks, Nigam
    Nigam Shah

    American Songbook Project
    www.nigam.biz/songbook

  2. #2

    Re: need recommendation on a book to study classical forms

    'The Classical Style' and 'Sonata Forms' by Charles Rosen are both superb.

  3. #3

    Re: need recommendation on a book to study classical forms

    Rosen is fine, but goes into the subject in great depth. If all you want is a readable summary which gives all the facts in easy style, I can highly recommend Musical Structure and Design by Cedric Thorpe Davie. Dover publish it or you can get it from Amazon.

  4. #4

    Re: need recommendation on a book to study classical forms

    Arnold Schoenberg´s "Fundamentals of musical composition" is quite good too.(You will need a copy of Beethoven´s piano sonatas though.)

  5. #5

    Re: need recommendation on a book to study classical forms

    I have enjoyed and profited from Douglass Green's "Form in Tonal Music". It uses Charles Burkhart's "Anthology for Musical Analysis" extensively, so you really need both.

    One problem: they are quite pricey, especially since you need both. On the other hand, they have been out for a long time (my editions are over 40 years old) so you should be able to pick them up second hand.

    And yes, I just checked the AbeBooks website, and they offer them at about $8 and $4 respectively.
    Martin
    Canberra, Australia

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Jersey City, NJ (sort of...)
    Posts
    62

    Re: need recommendation on a book to study classical forms

    just picked up Rosen's "The Classical Style". It is a little more in depth than what I was looking for, but so far, it seems excellent.

    Maybe will check out other recommendations. Thank you everyone.
    Nigam Shah

    American Songbook Project
    www.nigam.biz/songbook

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