/koh"deuh/, n.
1. Music. a more or less independent passage, at the end of a composition, introduced to bring it to a satisfactory close.
2. Ballet. the concluding section of a ballet, esp. the final part of a pas de deux.
3. a concluding section or part, esp. one of a conventional form and serving as a summation of preceding themes, motifs, etc., as in a work of literature or drama.
4. anything that serves as a concluding part.
5. Phonet. the segment of a syllable following the nucleus, as the d-sound in good. Cf. core (def. 14), onset (def. 3).
[1745-55; < It < L cauda tail; cf. QUEUE]

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      in musical composition, a concluding section (typically at the end of a sonata movement) that is based, as a general rule, on extensions or reelaborations of thematic material previously heard.

      The origins of the coda go back at least as far as the later European Middle Ages, when special ornamental sections called caudae served to extend relatively simple polyphonic (polyphony) pieces. In the sonata-allegro form of the Classical symphony or sonata, the typical coda section immediately follows the recapitulation section and thus ends the movement. The coda may be quite brief, only a few measures, or it may be of sizable proportions relative to the rest of the movement. Often the coda will include subdominant harmony (based on the fourth degree of the scale) as a tonal counterbalance to the tonicdominant relationship emphasized in the exposition (based on the first and fifth degrees of the scale, respectively). A famous example of an extended coda is in the finale of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus)'s Symphony No. 41 in C Major, K 551 (1788; Jupiter), in which five previously heard independent motives are combined in a complex fugal texture. Another large coda, 135 measures long, is in the first movement of Beethoven (Beethoven, Ludwig van)'s Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major (1804); the main theme appears triumphantly transformed in the dramatic climax of the movement.

      A codetta (“little coda”) is a brief conclusion, a dominant–tonic cadence at the end of the exposition that may be repeated several times for emphasis.

Mark DeVoto

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Universalium. 2010.

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