Learn to Develop Your Musical Ideas Using Sonata Form

Bring together all of your skills and learn to finish pieces

  • Advanced Techniques

    Master advanced harmony, melody, and musical form.

  • Guided Modelling

    You’ll compose a new piece modeled on Beethoven's first Piano Sonata.

  • Confidence in Your Ability

    Grasp what goes into a highly developed and integrated piece of music.

For Intermediate to Advanced Composers

  • Bring together all your skills and see how melody, harmony, and form truly come together to create a masterpiece.
  • Learn to expand your short pieces into longer forms. Just three basic ideas creates a whole piece.
  • Master advanced techniques of harmony, melody, and musical form.
  • Learn through guided modelling. You’ll compose a new piece modeled on Beethoven's first Piano Sonata.
  • Gain confidence in your ability to compose anytime, anywhere, without needing inspiration.
  • Grasp what goes into a highly developed and integrated piece of music.


This course was truly designed around understanding what makes those great, large scale movements so powerful.

Inside the Course

Course Curriculum

    1. Overview of Sonata Form

    2. Sonata Form Workbook

    3. The Use of Harmony in Sonata Form

    4. Thematic Loosening Techniques

    5. Melodic Development Techniques

    6. Ex. 1-3-1 Audio - Transcribe this melody by ear

    7. Ex. 1-3-1 - Melody only

    1. Hybrid Theme 1 - Antecedent + Continuation

    2. Hybrid Theme 2 - Antecedent + Cadential

    3. Hybrid Theme 3 - Compound Basic Idea + Continuation

    4. Hybrid Theme 4 - Compound Basic Idea + Consequent

    5. Compound Theme 1 - Compound Period

    6. Compound Theme 2 - Compound Sentence

    7. Framing Functions

    1. The Exposition Overview

    2. The Main Theme

    3. The Subordinate Theme

    4. The Transition

    1. The Development An Overview

    2. The Pre-Core and Augmented 6ths

    3. The Core

    1. An Overview of the Recapitulation

    2. The Recapitulation Main Theme

    3. The Recapitulation Transition

    4. The Recapitulation Subordinate Theme

    1. The Coda and Slow Introduction

    2. The Slow Introduction

    3. The Coda

About this course

  • $100.00
  • 33 lessons
  • 7 hours of video content

FAQ

  • What do I need to know to start?

    You need to understand the concepts from Music Composition 101 and be able to read and write music notation. Be able to play the piano is not required but it helps a lot.

  • Will it work for my style of music?

    Yes. While sonata form is a classical form, the loosening techniques and your ability to craft a long piece translate to any style or genre.

  • Are lessons downloadable?

    Yes. All the lessons are downloadable. The course also has a download workbook and comes with a podcast version so you can listen to the audio from the course on the go.

  • Do I need a membership if I purchase the course?

    No. Purchasing the courses will give you access for life. The membership allows access to the courses on a month to month basis, but you lose access after you cancel (once your month runs out).

  • Can I get direct feedback on my music?

    Yes! I host a weekly zoom meeting where I can answer your questions and give you feedback on your music. I also answer questions in the Q&A section of each lesson.

What Students Are Saying

5 star rating

Best Teacher

Neeraj Kumar

Sir, the courses are great! But dont leave me hanging here. There is so much to learn from you Sir. I look forward to your new course. Thank you so much for...

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Sir, the courses are great! But dont leave me hanging here. There is so much to learn from you Sir. I look forward to your new course. Thank you so much for growing and inspiring a musician in me!!

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5 star rating

Excellent Course!

John Dorfman

It took me a while to get through it, but at the end, I had composed a complete sonata (using another sonata as a guide) along with various other exercises t...

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It took me a while to get through it, but at the end, I had composed a complete sonata (using another sonata as a guide) along with various other exercises that were done before the sonata. And if you ask me at least, my sonata sounds pretty good for doing this the first time. Anyway, I learned a lot in this course!

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A Deeper Look at the Course Syllabus

See what you'll learn in each module.

Build Your Development Skills: Module 1 lays the foundation for really diving into the techniques of composing in sonata form. We will do some analysis, some ear training, some score copying, and then a lot of paraphrase exercises. After this module, you will be ready to tackle the different formal sections of a sonata form piece with confidence.

Using Unconventional Themes: Module 2 is about expanding your ability to write different thematic types. We look at the four hybrid themes, the two compound themes, as well as framing functions.

The Exposition: In Module 3, we will begin modeling Beethoven’s 1st movement. The goal is to emulate and integrate the tools, techniques, and stylistic choices Beethoven makes. This means you may feel overly restricted. That is a good thing. Later on in the course, you will have plenty of opportunities to modify your work, making it more your own. For now, focus on learning.

The Development: Module 4 is going to take us deep into the heart of our piece. You will walk away with a complete development section - and you will understand how everything works inside.

The Recapitulation: Module 5 brings us to the end of the model - the recapitulation. We’ll learn how to wrap things up, harmonically and formally. But this won’t be the end. We still have an optional module on the slow introduction and coda.

The Slow Introduction and Coda: Module 6 covers the last two sections of standard sonata form - the slow introduction and the coda. Just because Beethoven didn’t add them to his piece doesn’t mean you can’t. This is where you start to break free from the model and compose what you hear in your head.

Fine Tuning Your Piece: Module 7 looks at all the aspects of getting a polished, final version of your piece. This is often overlooked, and makes a huge difference for how performers interpret your music. We look at critical information on your score, layout, text, dynamics, articulations, spacing, and notational issues.

More Student Reviews

5 star rating

K Frimpong

Kwadwo FRIMPONG

I'm really happy to have signed for this course, I have gained the insight of what Sonata Form is all about. Thanks Jon, for the insight.

I'm really happy to have signed for this course, I have gained the insight of what Sonata Form is all about. Thanks Jon, for the insight.

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5 star rating

Excellent!

Miyoko Di Placido

I learned a lot. After completing this course, I feel I can really compose pieces in sonata form.

I learned a lot. After completing this course, I feel I can really compose pieces in sonata form.

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5 star rating

Five Stars!

Elvis Goldin

Very well done! Clear and simple with great content! Bravo!

Very well done! Clear and simple with great content! Bravo!

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5 star rating

Excellent mid-level composition course

Stephen Gilbane

Missed learning about Sonata form in my Berklee studies. This filled that in nicely!

Missed learning about Sonata form in my Berklee studies. This filled that in nicely!

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5 star rating

Review of Composing in Sonata Form

Chris Kanaris

Super informative and enjoyable. Strongly recommend to any budding musician.

Super informative and enjoyable. Strongly recommend to any budding musician.

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5 star rating

Outstanding course

Graeme Hammond-Tooke

Outstanding course - little else quite like it on the internet. Breaks things down into manageable chunks that don't seem quite so overwhelming.

Outstanding course - little else quite like it on the internet. Breaks things down into manageable chunks that don't seem quite so overwhelming.

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Instructor

Creator of Art of Composing Jon Brantingham

I've composed for over twenty years, and I am passionate about teaching and learning composition.