BA Music and Drama / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Tonality: Form and Function

Unit code MUSC10011
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Music
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This is an analytical course principally concerned with the musical language of the Viennese classics (Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven). The course is divided into three broad areas: harmonic analysis, thematic analysis and analysis of form. It principally draws on the theories of Arnold Schoenberg, with supporting material by more recent scholars.



Available as Free Choice (UG) or to other programmes (PG)?

note prerequisite of A Level Music or Grade VIII Theory or equivalent



To increase the student's understanding of the musical language, structure and expressive content of tonal music, and so to enhance his/her response to it as a listener and performer.

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures and Workshops

Knowledge and understanding

Understand the harmonic, thematic and formal structure of tonal music.

Intellectual skills

Comprehend theoretical nomenclature, assess its relevance and apply to a specific musical extract.

Practical skills

Annotate a musical score with relevant analytical symbols and terminology and describe in prose.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Demonstrate enhanced analytical skills

Demonstrate aesthetic awareness

Use technical vocabulary for descriptive purposes

Exhibit an attention to detail

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Analysing repertoire, texts and other materials
Group/team working
Team work (collaborating with peers in workshops);
Project management
Time management skills (preparing for exam throughout the semester);
Oral communication
Oral skills (seminar discussion);
Problem solving
Creative problem solving (fulfilling set task with set resources for the workshops).

Assessment methods

Examination: 2 hours (100%)

Feedback methods

oral feedback on non-assessed formative assignments in workshops

written feedback on examination

additional one-to-one feedback (during the consultation hour or by making an appointment)

Recommended reading

The following is a list of Indicative Reading for the course-unit:

Beethoven, Ludwig van, The 35 Piano Sonatas, ed. Barry Cooper, vol. I (London: ABRSM, 2007).

Caplin, William, Classical Form: A Theory of Formal Functions for the Instrumental Music of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven (New York: OUP, 1990).

Rosen, Charles, The Classical Style: Haydn, Beethoven, Mozart (London: Faber, 1971); Sonata Forms (New York: Norton, 1980).

Schoenberg, Arnold, Fundamentals of Musical Composition, ed. Gerald Strang and Leonard Stein (London: Faber, 1961); Structural Foundations of Harmony, ed. Leonard Stein (London: Norgate, 1954).

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 11
Practical classes & workshops 6
Independent study hours
Independent study 83

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Camden Reeves Unit coordinator

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