Ternary develops have an ABA officially structure.A may immediately repeat and also B may instantly repeat, yet A and also B carry out not repeat together and also neither do B and also A.Repeat indications are common however not required.The B section frequently contains difference material, a new key, and may be relatively unstable.Auxiliary ar are feasible before, between, and after every section.

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Ternary is a musical type consisting that three unique sections. Similar to most musical forms, ternary involves large-scale repetition and so ternary form is typically characterized as ABA due to the fact that opening ar (A) returns after the contrasting ar in the middle (B).

Though it can seem logical, ternary form is no typically defined as gift ABC. Alphabet is more often thought about as component of the through-composed category since each section has different music.


Example 1. Summary diagram that ternary type with typical repeat structure.

Structure of Individual sections (Simple vs. Compound)

While the components of each section deserve to vary greatly concerning phrase and also form, each ar is generally comprised of multiple unit volume and very often those phrases integrate together into a complete form (very frequently a binary form). A ternary type is taken into consideration to be link (or composite) if one or an ext of its part is made up of a finish musical form. If a section does not contain a complete form, it have the right to be called simple. In numerous compound ternary creates (like minuet & trio or scherzo & trio in particular), all sections contain finish forms (often rounded binary form). In compound ternary develops of the 19th century, however, the critical A section is frequently shortened and also is simple, not compound.


Example 2. Summary diagram the a compound ternary form where all sections contain their own complete form.


Example 3. Hypothetical instance of a link ternary type where all sections contain their own finish forms.


Example 4. Diagram of a ternary form where only the very first section that the type is consisted of of the own finish form. Check out Chopin’s Mazurka in A minor, Op. 17, no. 4 for an example of this.

Contrasting attributes of B

The second section that a ternary form, usually described as the B section, is intended to administer contrast with the A section that came before it. This comparison may come native a variety of musical domain names including key, mode, texture, time signature, rhythmic ideas, melodic ideas, range, instrumentation, register, and also so on. The size of B, however, is expected to be normally proportional to that of A.

Stability of each Section

In part genres (like the minuet & trio), the A and B sections contain a reasonably similar level the stability, usually since they start and also end in the same an essential and contain phrases the aretight-knit. In various other genres (arias in particular), the B section is often less stable than A. B‘s instability is greatly due to beginning and ending in various keys and a generally looser phrase-structural organization than A.

Keys and also Harmony

Closed and also Open Harmonic Endings

As with other forms, each section can be described in terms of being harmonically open up or closed.

Modulation Within a Section

If the ternary type contains a modulation within one of the main sections (A or B), the much more likely to happen in the B ar of ternary forms discovered in arias yet is not linked with dance develops like the minuet and also trio. Modulation is feasible within each section, however is really rare in the A section and should be considered atypical when uncovered there.

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Auxiliary sections

Like other forms, ternary have the right to contain auxiliary sections. Little transitions, tiny retransitions, tiny prefixes, and small & large suffixes are common. Watch the chapter on assistant Sectionsfor an ext information.


Compound Ternary kind in a Dance kind (Chopin, Polonaise in A major, Op. 40, No. 1, polonaise)

Example1. Freder Chopin, Polonaise in A major, Op. 40, No. 1 –Click to watch Score (PDF)


Example2. George Frideric Handel, “Waft she Angels” from Jephtha –Click to watch Score (PDF) – Audio