Dissertation Index

Author: Ludwig, Alexander R

Title: Three-Part Expositions in the String Quartets of Joseph Haydn

Institution: Brandeis University

Begun: September 2004

Completed: August 2010


In his article “Sonata Form Problems,” Jens Peter Larsen was the first to note that many of Haydn’s sonata-form structures were incompatible with the textbook type of sonata form. In this dissertation, I seek to illuminate the presence and purpose of one such structure, the three-part exposition. In an early investigation of the three-part exposition, Michelle Fillion determined that thirty percent of Haydn’s piano sonatas included a three-part exposition. Building on this work, I found that an even larger number of Haydn’s string quartets include a three-part exposition.

The chief difference between the three-part exposition and its more conventional counterpart, the two-part exposition, is the addition of a large middle section. Called the ‘expansion’ section, this section is characterized by a dramatic intensification. I discovered that two-thirds of Haydn’s three-part expositions for string quartet manifest this intensification in an unusual harmonic modulation that both avoids and anticipates the entrance of the new key; the remaining works accomplish the same goal through alternative processes such the prolongation of subdominant harmonies or the inclusion of numerous authentic cadences.

In the following dissertation, I examine and analyze twenty-five different three-part expositions in order to shed light on the role of the three-part exposition in the development of the classical style. Up until now, these works have been largely misunderstood. I believe that a greater understanding of the three-part exposition will expand the inherent possibilities of what we know about the classical style.

Keywords: Haydn, Sonata Theory, Sonata Form, String Quartets, Hepokoski, Classical Style


1. Three-Part Expositions in the Literature
2. Theory/Methodology
3. Three-Part Expositions with a \"Purple Patch\"
4. Three-Part Expositions without a \"Purple Patch\"
5. Concluding Remarks


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