Seminar on musical form

Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre
This seminar should be taken together with the analysis course of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. It aims at enhancing the practical experience with the analysis of compositions representing various classical forms. During the course, the student is expected to analyze a number of works as independent homework and present these at the seminar. 1st semester - Main forms of the baroque era (binary form, baroque sonata, rondo, concerto, da capo forms, basso ostinato variations) - The forms of the classical themes (sentence, period, small binary, small ternary) - Compound ternary (Minuet/Trio form) - Theme and variations 2nd semester - Slow movement forms - Rondo and sonata-rondo - Sonata form - Concerto form A concrete repertoire list for analysis will be given by the instructor at the beginning of the semester.
Knowledge of elementary music theory, classical harmony, and counterpoint
On completion of this subject, the students will be able to - Characterize and differentiate the standard musical forms of the 18th and 19th centuries; - Recognize these forms in practice, including in their repertoire; - Describe the tonal organization of a tonal composition and find out its cadences; - Describe the phrase structure of the piece; - Divide the large-scale forms into sections and define the function of each section (main theme, transition, subordinate theme etc.) - Notice the most important thematic connections and characterize the thematic process; - Differentiate the conventional techniques from the specific features of the piece; - Express the result of the analysis cohesively and logically, both in an oral and written form.

Further information

  • assessment
    Comprehensive exam CE
  • level
  • Completed Semester
  • How many semesters does the course last?
  • hours per week
    45 minutes in a week
  • Link of the course
  • Target group of course
    Music theory students, beginner
  • credits
  • Type of Course
    Seminar, Practice
  • Degree Level
  • e-learning-elements
    no e-learning elements used in this course
  • Course
  • students #
    3-6 student
  • Hours per year
    Margus Pärtlas. Muusikalise vormi analüüs (konspekt). Rein Laul, Seitseteist etüüdi Beethoveni muusikast. Scripta Musicalia, Tallinn, 2001. Mõeldes muusikast. Toim. Jaan Ross ja Kaire Maimets. Varrak, Tallinn, 2004. [Rein Laulu ja Mart Humala artiklid] William E. Caplin, Classical Form: A Theory of Formal Functions for the Instrumental Music of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. Oxford University Press, 1998.
  • evaluation grid
  • evaluation grid
    and document


Margus Pärtlas

current position



Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre


Be a part of our european project !

This European project (KA 203 Strategic Partnership) created by Salvatore Gioveni promotes cross-border collaboration in the field of Music Theory through sharing knowledge and transferring pedagogical innovation. It thus responds to a lack of centralised source and framework to deepen reflection by means of cross-disciplinary study at European and international level.

There is a significant wealth of educational practices from one country to another in this sector, especially in terms of harmonic musical notation and analysis. However, HMEI's are facing the nonexistence of a European network for pedagogical staff in Music Theory so far. To improve the situation, the project will among other things develop several intellectual outputs such as Online Platform (IO 1), an EU Bibliography (IO 2), a Repository Courses (IO 3), a Multilingual Glossary (IO 4) and an Exchange Online Learning Platform.

Besides the Conservatoire royal de Bruxelles as leader and manager of the project, the following partner institutions are involved: Music Academy S. Moniuszki Gdańsk (Gdańsk, Poland), F. Liszt Academy of Music Budapest (Budapest, Hungary), Estonian Academy for Music and Theatre (Tallinn, Estonia), HfMTh "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" (Leipzig, Germany).

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