Site-wide links

The Expositions of Haydn’s String Quartets: A Corpus Analysis

Download Article Abstract

Recent work in music cognition has demonstrated the importance of empirical analysis techniques in eliciting listener expectations. However, these techniques have yet to be applied extensively to analysis of form. While James Hepokoski and Warren Darcy’s Elements of Sonata Theory makes the promise of data-driven analysis, the data itself is often not shown in great detail. Furthermore, as several authors have already shown, Elements derives most of its norms and types from the works of Mozart. In this article, I will draw on the analytical toolset of Sonata Theory, but I will apply it specifically and more quantitatively to a corpus consisting of the sonata form expositions from Joseph Haydn’s string quartets, Op. 33 and later. In comparing Haydn to himself, so to speak, we can come to a greater appreciation and understanding of his unique approach to sonata form.*