Suggested Learning Resources


2) Video Lesson: Binary Form  , Bill Carmondy Channel

3) Online Reading: Simple Part Forms, Douglass Green,

4) Interactive Lesson: Binary Form in Music (Video, Examples Quiz) ,

Music Theory QuickThink: 

-      Binary (two-part) from is one of the historically known “small forms” although they appear in several variations with some very specific details: the variants are “binary form,” and “rounded binary form.”

-      Binary form is diagramed as ||:A:||:B :|| -- where the A and B sections may be repeated or not repeated.

-      Often the sections are symmetrical in length, and easily recognized by repeat signs or double bar lines.


-     In major keys, binary form is marked at the first part with A (uppercase letters are used for sections), typically above the first measure of the phrase or phrase group.

-     The A-section most frequently has a cadence in the dominant key (V).

-     The second phrase/phrase group is marked with B (upper case letter) above the first measure of the second formal section.

-     The B section typically contains a cadence back in the tonic key.

-     In minor keys, the section indications are similar to the major keys, with uppercase A marking the first section, and upper case B marking the section, again, above the top staff.

-     In contrast to the major binary compositions, the A section in minor binary form may cadence in the relative major (III) instead of the dominant (V). Of course there are other, less common, variations, but these patterns occur very frequently.

Objective 33.1: Examples in Music: YouTube

Objective 33.1: Define Binary Form and Diagram a real music example in Binary Form