Music Has a Structure. Your Presentation Should Too.

By Nancy Duarte

In celebration of what would have been Mozart’s 255 birthday, here’s a look at the sonata form of Eine kleine Nachtmusik visualized.

The sonata form in classical music has a similar structure to the presentation form. A sonata has standard “rules” to follow; yet each sonata sounds unique. Just as the presentation form is a guide, but it pays to be flexible within the form.

You’ll see a clear beginning (exposition), middle (development), and end (recapitulation) in the sonata form. Also, contrast keeps the sonata interesting, just like in a presentation. Sonatas have tonal, dynamic, and textural contrasts, which are labeled along the left-hand side in this visualization, made by my son, Anthony.

Turn up your speakers and enjoy!

Mozart Sparkline from Duarte Design on Vimeo.

As an extra bonus for all the fans of beautifully visualized classical music, I came across this other example of Dubussy’s Arabesque #1, piano solo. Looks pretty similar to the presentation form once again.

Written by

Nancy Duarte