cyclic form

views updated

cyclic form. Formal structure of a comp. in which one mus. theme is heard, sometimes in a varied form, in more than 1 movt. Early examples occur in Handel, Vivaldi, Mozart, and Haydn, but it was developed by Beethoven e.g. in his Pathétique Sonata and 5th Sym. The idée fixe of Berlioz and Leitmotiv of Wagner are akin to cyclic form, as are the thematic transformations of Liszt and R. Strauss. But the most emphatic uses of cyclic form occur in the works of Franck and in the sym. No.1 of Elgar.