Sentential Cycling: Structural Layering in the Baroque Era

by Smith, Jennifer M.

Abstract (Summary)
In his book, Classical Form: A Theory of Formal Functions for the Instrumental Music of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, William Caplin developed a model for describing formal structure from the level of the phrase to that of an entire piece. Scholars such as James MacKay, Matthew BaileyShea, and Per F. Broman have expanded Caplin's discussion of phrase structure to encompass works by composers outside of the Classical era, including William Byrd, Richard Wagner, and Béla Bartók. Little scholarship has bridged the gap between the Renaissance and Classical eras, however. This document considers the applicability of Caplin's model to the motivic and canonic Baroque phrase structure. After an overview of Caplin's terms and ideas, it discusses the primary ideological and compositional similarities, as well as the obvious differences, between the Baroque and Classical periods, drawing upon the perspectives of historical writers including Johann Mattheson, Joseph Riepel, Johann Philipp Kirnberger, and Heinrich Christoph Koch. Then, it illustrates the Baroque sentence, using examples from Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivaldi, and Arcangelo Corelli, and introduces the concept of sentential cycling in relatively simple movements by Corelli and Vivaldi. It culminates in the application of this concept to a complicated piece by providing a multi-level analysis of the Andante con moto section of J.S. Bach's Motet II, "Der Geist hilft unsrer Schwachheit auf," BWV 226.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Bowling Green State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:caplin sentence structure form baroque phrase j s bach vivaldi corelli koch


Date of Publication:01/01/2008

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