A composition for one or more solo instruments, one of which is usually a keyboard instrument, usually consisting of three or four independent movements varying in key, mood, and tempo. (noun)
American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Use "sonata" in a sentence
"The term sonata was originally used in two senses: in its larger sense it indicates an extended musical composition with three or four movements, all which taken together form the sonata."
"By the term sonata-piece, however, is meant the particular movement of the sonata which gives the name to the whole piece."
"The term sonata in common usage can have one or more of three different meanings:"