Sonata form is one of the more popular forms of music that is found in a variety of different works including symphonies, concertos, and sonatas. Sonata form features three distinct sections: the exposition, development, and recapitulation. Mozart was one of the early composers of this form of music. I will examine the clear distinctions between each section and how he does not stray from the typical form. In later years the form would change to become more fluent and focused on the growth and expansion of the piece.
This progression of change was led by the works of Beethoven and the changes can be clearly seen in his grandiose works. By comparing the first movement of Symphony No. 40 by Mozart and the first movement of Symphony No. 3 “Rica” by Beethoven one can begin to understand this progression and development of the sonata form. Before analyzing, It Is essential to know about each Individual composer. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born In 1756 into a musical family and was a musical genius. At the young age of three, Mozart was able to identify intervals on the keyboard (his favorite was known to be the 3rd).
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It didn’t take much time after this for him to get onto keyboard lessons or to begin writing small compositions beginning in 1761 at the age of 5 under the guidance of his father, Leopold Mozart. Between the ages of 8-10 he wrote his first three symphonies. His Symphony No. 40, was composed Just a few years before his death In 1788. Mozart Is best known for his normal use of form as well as his melodic and memorable themes. He Is certainly one composer whose music has undeniably stood the test of time. His compositions are so respected by his critics that one once stated that “Mozart is music. Ludwig van Beethoven was born in December of 1770. He was raised in a very casual family. His father was a musician who had high hopes for his son to become the next Mozart. At age 17, he made his first trip to Vienna to audition to become a composition pupil of the great Mozart. In Vienna, he studied with the all of the great teachers of the time Including Haydn, Scheme, and Saltier. In 1802, he began to lose his hearing, but never ceased writing music. He lived in Vienna the rest of his life and constantly composed for remainder of his life, even through his deafness. His Symphony No. , “Rica” was written in 1803-1804. It was originally dedicated to Napoleon Bonaparte. When Beethoven found out that Napoleon had proclaimed himself as emperor, he Immediately took away his dedication and scribbled the dedication off of the score. This seemed typical of Beethoven, as he was well known for his strange and unpredictable character. He was not afraid to do exactly as he pleased. This is especially true when it comes to breaking all the standard rules as determined by previous composers. Beethoven is a revolutionary name for the music world. He transformed the symphony into a huge work that we know it as today.
He turned the coda into something bigger than a simple ending and wrote many short f the classical style, where as his later pieces experiment more with developing new styles. These works are often considered to be something in between periods. It is not strictly classical, but had enough of the classical features to be excluded from being considered strictly romantic. The “Rica” is the first of his symphonies to feel like it is from the romantic era. By comparing symphonies from the classical era and one that borders both periods, one can see the development of sonata form.
As said before, sonata form contains three large sections, the exposition, the development, and the recapitulation. Introduction and coda are optional. We see both an introduction and coda used in the 1st movement of the “Rica”. The exposition is used to introduce the main themes that are found in the work and modulates too new key. The development uses those themes in a new key and expands on them while moving through other keys, through progressions and sequences. The recapitulation is much like the exposition, except it does not modulate.
All of these sections can be seen in the Mozart and Beethoven movements that are being analyzed and relatively easy to identify. In the Mozart symphony, sections defined by strong cadences. An easy example Mould be at the end of the exposition where there is a PACE in ms. 99. Following that is rest and then an appearance of F-sharp minor. This is the beginning of the development. The end of the development ends with a huge forte with a pedal tone and a cadence at ms. 160. The wind section quietly brings the section to a close as the strings reintroduce the primary theme back in the original key of G minor.
These large sections are not likely to be mistaken. Beethoven too has clearly defined the large sections of the sonata form. His exposition begins after two opening chords Math the theme in the cello section. The exposition closes with full orchestral chords in a perfect authentic cadence around ms. 144-148 and after a short link/transition the development begins at ms. 166. The development closes with huge orchestral chords. The big pictures for Mozart and Beethoven line up, but a closer and deeper look reveal that the small sections are quite different.
Mozart smaller sections continue to remain clearly defined, but Beethoven tends to blur it all together. In a typical exposition, we expect to find four parts: primary theme, bridge, secondary theme and closing material. Mozart presents these sections Just as one. The violins have the chromatic primary theme at the very beginning of the piece. The beginning of the bridge is in ms. 21, since the melody is changed slightly to modulate to the key of B- flat major. The bridge ends at ms. 42. The exposition of the Beethoven piece is quite the contrast from what we see in the Symphony no. 40.
His smaller sections are much less defined and lead scholars to disagree on exactly where the themes are located in the exposition. In fact, Robert P. Morgan, in his article entitled “Coda as Culmination” (Music Theory and the Exploration of the Past, peg 360) argues that From a strictly conventional point of ‘IEEE, there is no theme, that is, no fixed melodic unit representing a stable, repeatable whole. When the opening material returns, it is always fundamentally transformed (except for the repeat of the exposition), both its integrity and functional role within the sonata form thereby compromised.
This is a new kind of Beethoven ‘Beethoven’s Understanding of ‘Sonata Form’: The Evidence of the Sketchbooks”, uses Beethoven’s sketchbooks to try to understand his thought process when writing his Norms in sonata form. Beethoven is primarily dedicated to the development and expansion of his works as well as the continuity throughout the piece. Sketchbooks of his include themes used in his works, showing that he understood sonata form. However, his main concern was the growth and continuity of the work. Throughout the piece, there are numerous themes that he presents. Which ones are the important ones?
The primary theme is immediately found in the cello part in ms. 3-7. That theme is passed throughout the instruments until ms. 45. At measure 45 we see the entrance of the secondary material. It is important to take note that there are no bridges. There is also another important theme, though not primary or secondary, that enters very shortly after the second theme. This theme can be found at ms. 65 and is played by the violins. At this point in the piece one might think that it is simply an exciting rhythmic pattern and not a theme, but it returns very frequently in the development and at that point seems to be thematic.
Closing material in the exposition can be found beginning at ms. 84. The closing material starts very quietly and quickly builds up to a strong finish of the exposition at about ms. 154. The development is where the themes are developed more deeply and are woven in and out of various keys. Mozart begins his development with the primary theme in he key of F-sharp minor in the violin section. The secondary theme is found shortly after in the wind section. The development then moves to E minor and a falling fifths sequence of key areas begins. This instrumentation with the theme continues until ms. 34 when there is a half cadence in the key of D minor. We reach the final half cadence at ms. 138. At this point the focus is on the primary theme throughout both the winds and strings. The development returns to the key of G minor at ms 152 Inhere there is a strong half cadence. At this point the trumpets play a concert D for he next eight bars creating a dominant pedal point, which should make one aware that the development is coming to a close. At ms. 160 there is a strong half cadence and the winds quietly lead into the recapitulation. The “Rica” development begins at ms. 166.
The theme is rotated around the Mind section with each instrument taking a bit of the theme more than once in a short period. Later, in ms. 178, The first time the primary theme is seen is in the low strings at ms. 178. It is used in an ascending seconds sequence starting in the key of C minor and going to C-sharp minor, D minor, and E minor, which goes all the way o ms. 193. At this point there are a few bars of accidental material going between V and I in the key of G minor. The primary theme proceeds to continue on with the low strings again. Finally we approach a falling fifths progression and settle on E-flat major.
Also note that beginning at ms. 186 the third theme appears in the upper strings and is worked through all the key changes until ms. 206. Once at ms. 220 the piece once again securely in the key of E-flat major and the second theme can be found being passed throughout the wind section. Then another series of sequences and full orchestral chords lead to ms. 84, where a perfect authentic cadence brings the orchestra without the brass to the key of E minor. Here is brand new material, Inch I will call the fourth theme. It is used from ms. 284-300, although it does seem previous to it. Once we arrive at ms. 00, the primary theme returns in the low strings and the winds and with some embellishments. This continues until ms. 322, “here this relatively new, fourth theme enters yet again. This lasts until the primary theme returns, at ms. 338 and continues until accidental material begins at ms. 366 and the development closes out with full orchestral chords. The perfect authentic cadence in the key of E-flat major at ms. 398 final chord of the development section. Clearly both Mozart and Beethoven had met the criteria of a development section, to use the themes presented and develop them more complexly throughout many keys.
However, these developments are entirely different. We see that Mozart was far more traditional, essentially he only used the two themes he presented in the exposition and he visited different keys primarily through the use of sequences. Also Mozart development is shorter than his exposition. Beethoven’s development is much more expansive. The exposition in his work is 165 measures and his development is over twice as long as that. Beethoven makes his development far more complex by adding more themes, there are at least four easily identified themes as mentioned above.
He also uses sequences to move between key areas, much like Mozart did, however Beethoven seems to go to more keys, even if it is only for a few bars. As different as they are, they both had one thing in common: ending in the home key. The recapitulation, which basically restates the material presented in the exposition, stays in the home key so that the piece ends in the original key. Mozart recapitulation begins in ms. 164. In ms. 227 the material is exactly the same as the exposition, Just in a different key. There is a short extension in the secondary theme beginning at ms. 247 until ms. 251.
Then the theme continues as it did in the exposition and leads into the closing material beginning at ms. 261. A short coda begins at ms. 285, where the primary theme is heard one last time and leads into full orchestral chords and to the perfect authentic cadence at ms. 297 and the three final chords of the piece. Mozart adds this coda to bring the piece to a more secure conclusion. When comparing this coda to Beethoven’s one will see that Beethoven uses the coda for a different reason. The “Rica” recapitulation starts with the same material as presented in the exposition. The primary theme is with the celli.
This continues into an extended accidental section before it goes into the secondary material, which we see in ms. 468. Rhea closing material starts in ms. 486. This is the equivalent of the exposition’s closing material around ms. 83. After the original closing material finishes at ms. 535 the primary theme is picked up again by the trumpets and followed by the strings. The coda then begins at ms. 552. At ms. 581 the fourth theme is found again and a series of sequence and accidental material picks up and carries through to ms. 631. Here the material is similar to the third theme in rhythm, although this time it is ascending, not descending.
The trumpets pick up the primary theme again, and the full orchestra is playing through to the end to the imperfect authentic cadence at ms. 589. The next chord is still in root position, but the third is in the highest voice and then the final chord is a root position I chord with the root in the top voice, making the piece finally sound completed. Beethoven’s coda is far more expansive than words with lots of energy as a big finish. Basically, they both use sonata form, but the way that they follow the rules makes the pieces different. Mozart follows the format precisely and Beethoven breaks the rules.
Not only did Beethoven break the rules for the typical form, but he also uses different dynamics, instrumentation, and rhythm throughout his symphony. While Mozart does not neglect to use dynamic contrast, his contrasts are not as violently dramatic as Beethoven’s. An example would be at ms. 21 where the dynamic is piano, but then through the use of forte-pianos and sopranos, he makes a residence to fortissimo for eight bars and it drops back to piano immediately at ms. 45. The biggest difference is the use of forte-pianos and sopranos. In the Mozart piece there are a few sopranos at bars 34-37 and 281-284.
Beethoven uses them consistently throughout all sections of his work. The dynamics alone give Beethoven a dramatic edge that no composer had yet achieved. Mozart uses fewer wind instruments than Beethoven does. He utilizes flute, oboe, bassoon, and horns. Beethoven utilizes flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, horns, and trumpets and timpani. This change in instrumentation does a lot to the texture of the ices. Mozart essentially uses all the instruments throughout the majority of the Nor. The exception to this statement is the horn section. They are saved mostly for climactic points.
Beethoven is far more selective. The opening chords have every instrument playing and at ms. 3 the only instruments playing are the strings. Most of the winds enter again in ms. 13, except for the trumpets. Beethoven seems to avoid using the trumpets until climactic points. The texture thins out a lot at ms. 286. The clarinets, horns, and trumpets are not playing here. Perhaps this is strategically done o as if to expose the fourth theme that enters at this point in the piece. Those Instruments enter again after the primary theme is heard again, in ms. 304. When that fourth theme returns again at ms. 22 the thin texture returns and the full texture comes back with the exciting return of the primary theme. At ms. 366 there is back and forth between the winds and strings until right at the cadence before the recapitulation. The instrumentation in the recapitulation is much like the exposition, only strings for the first ten measures and then the winds begin to enter. Once the closing material begins at ms. 86 the texture thins out and the strings and winds alternate until it starts to build up at ms. 511. In the coda texture varies a lot again, starting with fairly full texture, but thinning out when the themes need to be exposed.
All the instruments are playing at ms. 647 and continue through to the end. As far as rhythms go, the two symphonies are quite different. Mozart does not do anything that stands out as curious or abnormal. He stays with rhythmic fugues that are present in his themes throughout the entire pieces. Beethoven on the other hand uses many different rhythmic patterns that are not as easily derived from themes. Starting off right away in ms. 7 he uses syncopation for a short time. Probably the most noticeable rhythmic pattern that he uses is the hemophilia. This is first seen in ms. 9 and is seen later in the piece in several spots. Beethoven also likes to emphasize beat two for many measures in a row, examples of this can be found at ms. 109-116, 512-519, and 665-670. Beethoven uses much more variety and extremes to keep the All of these attributes show the progression of sonata form between the early classical vs.. Late classical and romantic styles in composition. Mozart was a very clear UT and form-fitting composer, whereas Beethoven frequently broke the rules and expanded the symphony to become a much larger and dramatic work.