Definitions for "Sonata Form"
The term refers to a form used for movements of symphonies, quartets, and concertos. The form was first used at the time of Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) and is still in use today. Sonata form consists of three sections, the exposition, the development, and the recapitulation. The composer introduces the musical themes in the exposition, works with them in the development, and restates them, with some changes, in the recapitulation.
a musical form having 3 sections -- exposition and development and recapitulation; characteristic of 1st movement of a sonata or symphony
See sonata-allegro form.