Forms of Classical Music: The Sonata

Forms of Classical Music: The Sonata

One of the other known forms of classical music is the sonata. Other than the symphony, this type of music in its basic form is enjoyed by many classical music lovers. However, not many people are able to identify what is a sonata when they are quizzed. The first sonata was written and performed as early as the 1800s. It is the least dramatic or theatrical form of classical music, because it consists entirely of music being played as opposed to the opera that contains a singer.

The sonata also has a lot of controversy attached to it as a form of classical music. Historians disagree on what is the true components of a sonata. Some say that it only refers to the opening part of a larger piece of  classical music, whereas other historians consider it as a distinct piece of music with its own characteristics. On its own, it consists of a piece of classical music that has at least three – sometimes four – movements.

Major classical composers have created sonatas. Ludwig van Beethoven and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart are well-known for their work in the sonata form. When looking at the earliest sonatas in comparison to other forms of classical music, the sonata involved one instrument. Unlike the concerto in which there is a soloist, sonatas were originally created to only highlight the sound of one instrument without the accompanying orchestra. The most popular sonatas are Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 10 and Beethoven’s Piano Sonata  No. 14. This is also known as “Moonlight Sonata”.