An extended composition for one or two instruments, consisting usually of three or four movements; as, Beethoven's sonatas for the piano, for the violin and piano, etc.
an instrumental composition for solo or ensemble that contains three or four sections or movements. See also chamber sonata, church sonata, and trio sonata
1) An instrumental composition, usually for soloist or soloist and keyboard. Originally the term sonata (played music) was used as opposed to cantata (sung music) and toccata (keyboard music). Good examples of the modern sonata are three by Beethoven, the "Moonlight," "Pathétique," and "Appassionata" (GP 18). (2) A formal procedure common to first movements of instrumental works from the Classical period forward, involving a typical thematic and harmonic scheme of exposition , development , and recapitulation .