Suite Sonata or are Sonatas No Longer Sweet? In my blog this means is the sonata form no longer sweet or in vogue? Let’s define our two featured terms. Firstly, I must state that by sonata, I mean the sonata form. Here are the two terms with definition:
- Suite: In music, a suite (pronounce “sweet”) is a collection of short musical pieces which can be played one after another. The pieces are usually dance movements. The French word “suite” means “a sequence” of things, i.e. one thing following another. In the 17th century many composers such as Bach and Handel wrote suites. In the Baroque period, a sonata was for one or more instruments almost always with continuo. A continuo is mostly not used in the sonata form of the classical area. A continuo means a continuous base line.
- Sonata form, also known as sonata-allegro form, is an organizational structure based on contrasting musical ideas. It consists of three main sections – exposition, development, and recapitulation – and sometimes includes an optional coda at the end. In the exposition, the main melodic ideas, or themes, are introduced. After the Baroque period most works designated as sonatas specifically are performed by a solo instrument, most often a keyboard instrument, or by a solo instrument accompanied by a keyboard instrument. Quite frequently, the older baroque “sonata” was performed by a group of instruments. The term evolved through the history of music, designating a variety of forms until the Classical era, when it took on its own specific importance.
The Sonata form was, in a way, a rebellion against the musical vehicle of the suite. Styles in fashion, furniture, music, manners etc, change in cycles. The earlier Beethoven sonatas used the sonata form. His later extended sonatas are more of the freer Romantic era. Most agree that Beethoven was the transition composer that launhced that Romantic era of music.
Suite Sonata or Are Sonatas no Longer Sweet?
I predict that styles, taste and music, the Suite will rise above other forms. Suites are perfect form carrying beautiful melodies. Each number in a suite can carry its own melody. This was the practice of the romantic era. The Holberg Suite by Grieg is such an example. As a composer, I love the form of sites. Here are 2 examples of my compositions:
- The Dance of the Zodiac- with numbers for each of the 12 zodiac signs.
- The Ringling Suite- inspired by paintings at the John Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Fl.
- The Elemental Suite depicting the ancient belief in Earth, air, fire and water as elements.
Conclusion on Suite Sonata -The future will give sweets to the Suite.