Musical Forms - Periods

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    A Binary Piece

    The Minuet

    Baroque Suite








    A Ternary Piece

    Another Example

Compound Ternary

    An Example

    The Minuets

    Another Example


    A Rondo Example


    A Sonata

Forms Summary

Contrapuntal Compositional Techniques

    The Canon

    The Invention

    The Fugue

      After the Exposition

      Other Techniques

Phrases, Periods and Motives

    What is a Phrase?

    What is a Period?

    Parallel Period

    Contrasting Period

    Double Period

    Other Periods

    What is a Motive?

Other Tutorials:

Reading Music




Harmonic Functions

Parallel Period

In a parallel period the two phrases are very similar. The first four measures of the second phrase in Bach's minuet are identical to those of the first. Measures 5 and 6 are also similar harmonically and melodically to measures 13 and 14. This is a parallel period:

In this other example. the phrases are even more similar:

Differences between the first and second phrase are shown in red. The first phrase ends with a half cadence and the second one with a perfect authentic cadence.

© 2011 J. Rodríguez Alvira

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