Author Topic: Double Function Form  (Read 2433 times)

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perpetuo studens

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Double Function Form
« on: August 23, 2013, 09:13:11 PM »
I mentioned elsewhere that I have an interest in inserting forms within a form, like making the A section of a rounded binary piece itself binary, and do on.

I ran into this today: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-Function_Form

This is is intriguing, but what a daunting idea!

Has anyone written anything this complex? Can you talk about how you went about planning and executing the composition?

Jamie
The perceived object...is not a sum of elements to be distinguished from each other and analyzed discretely, but a pattern, that is to say a form, a structure: the element's existence does not precede the existence of the whole, it comes neither before nor after it, for the parts do not determine the pattern, but the pattern determines the parts: knowledge of the pattern and of its laws, of the set and its structure, could not possibly be derived from discrete knowledge of the elements that compose it.

That means that you can look at a piece of a puzzle for three whole days, you can believe that you know all there is to know about its colouring and its shape, and be no further ahead than when you started. The only thing that counts is the ability to link this piece to other pieces...

Georges Perec - Life: A User's Manual

Michel.R.E

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Re: Double Function Form
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2013, 09:27:03 PM »
my cello sonata uses this principle.
it's a "theme" and variations, which encompass the 4 movements of a standard sonata form, but the entire thing also stands as a single sonata-allegro architecture.

the theme and first 2 variations are the "sonata allegro" for the 4-movement form, but are also the exposition of the larger sonata-allegro form.

the 3rd variation is a link to the next "movement" (and functions as the "cadenza" of a concerto), and starts the development of the single-movement form.

The 4th and 5th variations are the scherzo "movement", and are part of the development of the larger form.

then there's an "interlude" and the 6th variation which are the ternary adagio movement. this is also part of the development section of the single-movement form. This 6th variation is also the first time that the "real" theme of the entire sonata is played as one unified theme (it is split into two parts as "theme A" and "theme B" in the opening "movement" and treated as two independent themes... except in reality it is a single phrase, composed as a single phrase, and meant to be "complete" in that form).

And the 7th, final variation is sort of a rondo where material from earlier in the sonata returns, thus functioning as a recapitulation for the "larger" sonata-allegro form, and as the "stand alone" Rondo finale of the 4-movement sonata-form
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 09:29:14 PM by Michel.R.E »
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"

perpetuo studens

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Re: Double Function Form
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2013, 10:32:04 PM »
Very cool.

A comment and a question...

In the short article I read there was no reference to a requirement for reuse of thematic material across the "inner movements" if you will, so it looks to me as if you've added a third layer of form within form by making the lowest level a heme and variations (yes?)...even cooler!  :)

Q: How much of the structure did you plan before beginning to compose? Did you work out which variations would be used for which "movements" ahead of time, for example? I'm interested in learning more about the process or techniques composers use plan large scale works.

Also...any chance of hearing your cello sonata?

Thanks,

Jamie
The perceived object...is not a sum of elements to be distinguished from each other and analyzed discretely, but a pattern, that is to say a form, a structure: the element's existence does not precede the existence of the whole, it comes neither before nor after it, for the parts do not determine the pattern, but the pattern determines the parts: knowledge of the pattern and of its laws, of the set and its structure, could not possibly be derived from discrete knowledge of the elements that compose it.

That means that you can look at a piece of a puzzle for three whole days, you can believe that you know all there is to know about its colouring and its shape, and be no further ahead than when you started. The only thing that counts is the ability to link this piece to other pieces...

Georges Perec - Life: A User's Manual

Michel.R.E

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Re: Double Function Form
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2013, 12:32:02 AM »
most of my musical training comes out of the French school, so it is sort of inevitable that there will be influences of Franck (one of the first "cyclical" composers), and Debussy and other impressionists (who made immense use of a minimum of material).

most of my music makes use of a very limited set of "building blocks". so the idea of single theme carrying through the entire work was already part and parcel of my normal compositional approach.

I had planned, from the start, for the work to cover the single-movement form of a sonata allegro as well as the classical 4-movement sonata. I didn't fix any specific number of variations per "movement" however, sort of letting the whim of the moment decide. I wanted the structure to be musically satisfying without being necessarily stifled by the adherence to the form.

Here it is in its "concerto" form (I orchestrated it as a gift to a young cellist friend): Concertino for cello and chamber orchestra

scored for small orchestra:
2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons
2 horns, 2 trumpets
strings
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"

perpetuo studens

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Re: Double Function Form
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2013, 02:27:07 AM »
Thanks for the elaboration.

You make it sound so easy, like "I knew I was going for a walk and I just figured out the route as I went".  :)

The piece is wonderful, just wonderful...
The perceived object...is not a sum of elements to be distinguished from each other and analyzed discretely, but a pattern, that is to say a form, a structure: the element's existence does not precede the existence of the whole, it comes neither before nor after it, for the parts do not determine the pattern, but the pattern determines the parts: knowledge of the pattern and of its laws, of the set and its structure, could not possibly be derived from discrete knowledge of the elements that compose it.

That means that you can look at a piece of a puzzle for three whole days, you can believe that you know all there is to know about its colouring and its shape, and be no further ahead than when you started. The only thing that counts is the ability to link this piece to other pieces...

Georges Perec - Life: A User's Manual