Yoshimatsu's 'Pseudo Sonata': Formal Organization in Takashi Yoshimatsu's Memo Flora

Jacob Farr, University of Texas at Arlington

In the program notes to Memo Flora, Takashi Yoshimatsu describes his 1997 piano concerto as a "pseudo sonata." This paper, through a diverse set of analytical techniques, will identify and describe how the musical elements of Memo Flora fit into opposing categories of "pseudo" and "sonata." I will begin by dividing the music into three conceptual layers—or musical strata: the External Stratum, Internal Stratum, and the underlying Musical Substrate. My analysis will draw on several current analytical techniques: Sonata Theory, Parametric analysis (Integrated Parametric Structures) and Neo-Riemannian theory; each corresponding to a different layer of musical strata: Substrate, Internal, and External respectively. Through an analysis of the first movement of Memo Flora, I will conclude that, while the "pseudo" elements of are reflected in the upper layers of musical strata (Internal and External), the Musical Substrate clearly references classical sonata-allegro form, completing Yoshimatsu's description of "pseudo sonata."