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cyclic form

in music, any compositional form characterized by the repetition, in a later movement or part of the piece, of motives, themes, or whole sections from an earlier movement in order to unify structure. The need for such a device arose during the 19th century, when the traditional classical restraint of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Joseph Haydn yielded to ever greater extremes, emotionally as well as formally-when, in fact, the romantic novel superseded classical drama as the basic model for instrumental music.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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