Phrase Expansion of the Primary Theme in Domenico Scarlatti's Keyboard Sonata in E-flat Major, K.51

(Mon) leong Cheok Kai, Sam Houston State University

Domenico Scarlatti has been heralded as "the master of the phrase" in recent analytical literature (Sutcliffe 2003). Scarlatti brilliantly uses sentential repetition to generate a complex phrase design in his Primary Theme (measures 1-11) that keep the listener (and the analyst) fully engaged, like listening to a musical kaleidoscope that is ever changing. My presentation explores how Scarlatti uses embedded sentential designs (Schoenberg 1967, Forrest and Santa 2019) to construct a complex single phrase in his Sonata in E-flat Major, K.51. I ultimately argue that his employment of sentences can be understood as an elemental component of his iconic musical style.