Theory II Composition Assignment
The assignment is to write a short piece in the style of a Mozart,
Haydn, Beethoven sonata for solo instrument and piano. The more
your piece sounds like Mozart, Haydn, or Beethoven the better (without
actually stealing their ideas!). Therefore, please refer to the
examples in the book or those handed out in class as you craft your
piece. You should use the following checklist as you complete your
- Your piece will consist of at least two, eight measure periods
in binary or rounded binary form.
- You may modulate if you dare, but only to dominant (major
keys) or relative major (minor keys). Make sure you begin
and end in the same key!
- Use only instructor-approved harmonic progressions. You may
use sample progressions found in the textbook or construct your
- Without overdoing it, try to use some of the more "colorful"
chords introduced in the later chapters.
- Use inversions, including 6/4 chords, in moderation and
in appropriate ways!
- Make sure your progression includes appropriate cadences.
- Write an suitable keyboard accompaniment.
- Write a melody to fit your chord progression.
- Use non-chord tones only in the ways we have learned in
- Make sure the rhythmic basis of your melody is logical and
that rhythmic cadences coordinate with harmonic ones.
- Be attentive to providing your melodic line with a nice
contour/shape. Common shapes include the arch, the inverted
arch, ascending, and descending.
- Don't write anything that you couldn't sing! Use your ears
when you write, not your eyes!
- The composition must be performed in class. Contact performers
early and rehearse!
- Notate your composition using Notepad or other notation
software. Notepad can be downloaded for free at: www.codamusic.com
- You must provide 5 copies of your piece for the class to observe
during the performance.
- Provide an analysis of your piece. Include all of the unsual:
- roman numerals
- types of 6/4 chord
- identify variant chords where appropriate
- non-chord tones
- formal design (binary/rounded binary)
Grading will be based on the following:
- 10 points - pre-approval of chord progression.
- 10 points - notated with computer software
- 25 points - correct use of classical style features.
- 20 points - quality of performance.
- 10 ponts - overall effect! (creativity?)
- 25 points - analysis.
Study the following sample for the correct setup for your instruments,
style of analysis, and basic style and complexity of writing. Your composition does not need to have the second (transposing) instrument.