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Sonata Form: 2Nd Subject Group (Structure, Harmony)

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Hi, I'm new here, so forgive me if I'm doing something wrong.


I'm writing a sonata-form movement in Romantic style (Schubert, Brahms...). I've written:

  1. 1st theme (8+8 bars), ending on i (G min)
  2. transition (G min >> Eb)
  3. 8 bars of the 2nd theme (starts at bar 57), ending on V (Bb major chord)

However, I'm stuck here. :dunno:  I've just moved from a classical to a romantic style, and the proportions are bigger.


I know I should write something looser and more lyrical here, and it should be roughly 50-60 bars long for balance.

I could use more than 1 theme (?), and perfect cadences should be used sparsely.


I tend to write very "marked" self-contained themes, like the 1st one, so my initial idea was to write another 8+8 antecedent/consequent.

But I can't do this, I must include more material before the V-I and the codetta.


Thus, I've written some "continuations" after the 1st 8 bars ending on V, as well as a climax based on that tune, and a little codetta...


I don't know how to assemble all that stuff. I've checked out tons examples, but I'm kinda blocked.


Any tips? What is your experience?


Thanks!! :D

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Whatever you do, just DO NOT follow a school-type modulation process. Beethoven in his piano sonatas already progressed from classical harmonic contrasts of both themes in exposition into contrasting materials in content and did not care too much about the tonality example.

You also should not follow the classical cadenza repetition of V-I in the end of exposition. Why not using IV-I or iv-I for example? And you can also develop surprising contrast of more free tonal approach and simply end somewhere else. ;)

I think it's not exactly the best thing to do to imitate a style of 18th and 19th century. A wanna-be composer should quickly search for freshness and something of his own, despite a certain history knowledge of tonality and form. You can use tonality, but be creative in your own way. ;)

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Hi! Thanks for your comment.


Well, I already focused more on contrasting themes than on the key scheme, which I may change to Gm > Emaj > Ebmaj.

I know what you mean about the style, but I've just started composing "seriously", and I want to at least do something "standard" before venturing into bolder styles.

I still need to find my voice before I start using quartal chords and such.

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