Tonality, Modality, and Form in Eric Ewazen's Sonata No. 1 for Flute and Piano

Samantha M. Inman, Stephen F. Austin State University

This paper examines the interaction of tonality, modality, and form in Sonata No. 1 for Flute and Piano (2011) by Eric Ewazen (b. 1954). The work combines aspects of traditional form with a twenty-first century spin on tonality. Local passages feature diatonic collections, but functional progressions appear only sparingly, modulations and changes in mode are frequent, and movements often start and end in different keys. The analysis considers form (using terms from William Caplin), motives (using transposition and signature transformations after Julian Hook), and harmony (using roman numerals and neo-Riemannian operations). Abandoning traditional key relations and stretching typical proportions, this sonata elevates the use of modal shifts, third relations, and repetition to establish direction, coherence, and resolution. This analysis illustrates Ewazen's effective combination of old and new elements, documenting one approach to form and tonality in contemporary art music.