A sonata (n.) is a long piece of classical music that's usually made up of several parts. A sonata can be played by an orchestra or just one instrument, like a piano.

  • Pronunciation: / sə'nɑtə/
  • English description: a musical composition of 3 or 4 movements of contrasting forms
  • Synonyms: symphony
  • Chinese Translation:  奏鸣曲(zou4 ming2 qu3)
  • Spanish Translation: la sonata
  • ORIGIN: If you're a classical music fan, you've probably heard sonatas played in concert halls or on recordings. Beethoven and Mozart famously composed sonatas for the piano, and modern composers continue to write sonatas for many different instruments. The Italian wordsonata has come to mean "piece of instrumental music," although its literal translation is "sounded" or "played." This is in contrast to another Italian musical term, cantata, which means "sung," or "musical piece that is sung."


  • In classical music, we’re hearing more and more performances of complete cycles: for instance, all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas in a single day.
  • Rather than offer companionship to Beethoven's sonatas, he changes the context of their surroundings.

*New word description, story and part of "EXAMPLE SENTENCE" are cited in Vocabulary


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