Piano Sonatas - Analysis: Hybrid Themes

Updated: Aug 11, 2019

Piano Sonatas - Analysis: Hybrid Themes


Music from the proper classical period can seem simple from the surface but there is a lot of complexity hidden in its formal depths.

The hybrids are built up combining 5 of the functions used in the period and the sentence:

Antecedent, continuation, cadential, compound basic idea and consequent.

Hybrid types

The four possible continuations are:

  1. Antecedent + Continuation

  2. Antecedent + Cadential

  3. Compound basic idea + Continuation

  4. Compound basic idea + Consequent

Compound Basic Idea

The compound basic idea consists of 2-m. basic idea followed by a 2-m. contrasting idea but it does not close with a cadence; instead the underlying harmonic support is tonic prolongational.

Melodically and motivically it evokes and antecedent while harmonically it is clearly similar to a sentence.

It is an hybrid between antecedent and presentation functions

Antecedent + Continuation

Unlike a sentence this hybrid type always closes with a PAC complementing the waker cadence of its antecedent.

Its continuation usually doesn’t exhibit any harmonic acceleration as the contrasting idea already started this process. On the contrary it tends to exhibit strong signs of motivic fragmentation.

It can modulate to another key

Antecedent + Cadential

The second phrase is an ECP or “continuation=>cadential”

It very rarely modulates.

Compound Basic Idea + Continuation

It can end with any cadential type, including the HC.

The same as the sentence the continuation can end being understood as cadential (“continuation=>cadential”). It will still show continuation characteristics. If on the contrary it doesn’t show any continuation characteristics whatsoever then it should be labelled cadential.

It can modulate to another key

Compound Basic Idea + Consequent

It lacks a HC at the end of the first phrase. The return of the basic idea in the consequent is supported by a different harmony (much more often than in the period). This continuation can exhibit characteristics of harmonic acceleration.

The same as the period this hybrid can modulate.

Hybrid Themes in relation to Sentence and Period

CBI & Continuation (or cadential, or continuation=>cadential): The same as the sentence but includes a contrasting Idea in the CBI

Antecedent & Continuation: Equally similar to the sentence and the period.

Antecedent & Cadential: It can be considered more periodical as continuational features are weaker.

CBI & Consequent: It is almost the same as a period but it lacks a weak cadence.

The basic idea and its appearances

Both in the sentence and in the period the basic idea appears twice the same as in the CBI + consequent.

In the remaining three hybrid types the basic idea appears only once. The single appearance of the basic idea helps the modulation to a neighbouring key -with the exception of the “antecedent+cadential”-

#compositionlondon #composition #JuanRezzuto #Haydnproject #HaydnProject #Caplin

1,000 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
Markson's Pianos

Juan Rezzuto and/or WKMT is a member of


Since 2010 we prepare students for exams at



40 Kensington Hall Gardens,

Beaumont Avenue,

London W14 9LT

Tel: 02071014479


79 Brisbane Street,

London SE5 7NJ

242 Lucey way,

London SE16 3UG


Rua Bispo Fernandez de Castro No. 11

Mondoñedo, Lugo, 27740

  • Wix Facebook page
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn App Icon
  • Blogger
  • Wix Twitter page

© 2012 by Juan J. Rezzuto. All the tracks, scores and articles you can find in here are copyright.