Forks in the Road - Teaching Scarlatti's Sonata in C Major (K.159, Longo 104)

Author(s): 
Stephen Slottow
Volume: 
21
Year: 
2007
Material: 
Abstract: 

I have twice taught Scarlatti's Sonata in C-Major towards the end of a first-semester Schenker course. This sonata, unusually for Scarlatti, restates the opening material in the tonic at the beginning of the final section. Thus the piece approximates a simple sonata form: an exposition that modulates from tonic to dominant, a development that prolongs the dominant, and a recapitulation that restates the opening theme in the tonic and transposes the following material from dominant to tonic. These terms--exposition, development, and recapitulation--are anachronistic, but I use them partly because students relate easily to them, and partly because they seem to apply well to this particular sonata.