What is a sonata?
A sonata is piece of instrumental music, usually for a solo instrument, or a small group.
Structure and form
In the Classical period (roughly 1750-1810) 'sonata' came to mean a work in several movements, usually three.
The first movement is in a special sonata form made up of:
During the Classical period the harpsichord had been largely replaced by the piano.
Many piano sonatas were written and many composers wrote sonatas for a solo instrument and piano. Violin, cello and flute sonatas were all popular.
Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven all wrote piano sonatas, violin sonatas and cello sonatas.