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Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90] #1969503
10/06/12 03:55 PM
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Gary, thinking of the Classical/Baroque music ghetto, what works for me is learning simpler patterns in restricted settings first, and then learning more complicated things.  It may be that what I think of as "simpler" and "more complicated" is conditioned by the order in which I learned things.  And it's surely true that the way my mind works, and the order in which things make sense to me, can be quirky.

I really like that I learned to analyze carefully chosen Classical and Baroque pieces first.  (Actually, what I learned first was how to name the chords in major and minor keys, how to label them with roman numerals, how to make sense of accidentals as indicating secondary dominance (or a nearby key), and doing a lot of practice with four-part harmony hymns labelling every chord.  And I'm glad of that foundation, too.  But you know me, so you can probably see how that's exactly the kind of activity I would like, and since you have experience teaching, you can probably do what never occurred to me at the time, which is to understand how that may have been a difficult approach for at least some students in the class.)

Anyway, back to saying I liked starting with simple and restricted, in the Classical/Baroque ghetto.  I feel like that gave me a good grounding in fundamental harmonic language.  (At least on paper;  but I won't blame the course for my lack of aural skills; it did have an aural component, but I think I would have needed a massively remedial, slow, and one-on-one approach to start to understand what I should be listening for, and how to recognize it in new pieces even after learning how to recognize it in the initial pieces.)

The fundamental language gives me ways to understand more complex pieces.  For example, in the Chopin E minor Prelude Op. 28 No. 4.  You pointed out how Chopin is slithering through complicated chords, but fundamentally he has waypoints where we see a simpler traditional harmonic structure.  For example, B7 to Em (not sure if that's precisely one of the waypoints, but it seems like a likely waypoint in an E minor piece).  If I didn't have the previous experience in the simpler, more restricted world, the waypoints would not have helped make sense of the Prelude at all for me.  I would have just thought "so what, why is B7 and Em of any interest?". Or, with another chord, "In this sea of accidentals, why should D#dim7 be of any more interest than any of these other strange chords?"

What was disorienting to me for a while, after my course, was when I first started meeting chords that didn't fit into the neat sets of "triads and types of sevenths formed from scales," and chromaticism that wasn't drawn from proceeding neatly around the circle of fifths. I didn't have a language for them.  Eventually I was fortunate enough to meet you here on Piano World, and I am learning to have a broader language, and broader ways to look for patterns.  But I don't fault my initial course for that, because a course that had started out trying to show the whole broader world at once, I think that course would have left me feeling like there was no order to anything.  It would have left me feeling like V7-I was as arbitrary a principle as the "flat 3, 5, and 7" in the descriptions of minor keys in my flute book when I was 11.

And I should add, it was a *very* long time after my course before I started to meet music that it couldn't explain.  Mendelsohn's Elijah was one example, but that was the only example for a very long time, and everything else I met fell largely or entirely within the fundamental vocabulary that I had learned.

In the traditional way of teaching, what I regret not being able to take is a course that continued past Baroque and Classical, and taught us about Romantic and Modern music.  That would have given me the language and the practice in more complicated music, and hopefully would have also introduced me to the general idea of how to think more broadly and find ways to describe things that go even beyond whatever I would have learned in that second class.

Even that second course might leave me not knowing all sorts of things, like jazz, or the cowboy chord, or what are some of the inventive harmonies used by the Beatles, or how to achieve certain moods and effects in movie music, etc.  The list could go on.  I don't think any one course or introduction can teach everything.  So each person has to find a place to start, and be open to the idea that principles that work in one context may not be the whole story for another context.


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Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90] #1969518
10/06/12 04:54 PM
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I mentioned the Cantique de Jean Racine. Here it is on Youtube, with one of those useful videos that shows the score.

I don't mean to discuss it here, since ostensibly we're discussing Clementi, and while I like the broad amount of ground we're covering on our scenic route, introducting a whole nother piece, in a different style and period, seems like not just taking the scenic route but actually rocketing to the Moon. I did want to provide the aural connection though, in case you're wondering what it sounds like. If I get more time, I might start a separate analysis thread about it.

(That recording doesn't seem to do it justice, but I can't tell if it's the recording, or (very likely) my crappy speakers, or that it's more fun to sing it and hear it from the inside, than it is to listen to the polished work from the outside, or what. Anyway, there are lots of other recordings on youtube, if you get the Fauré bug and want to find out how it sounds with different choirs.)

Last edited by PianoStudent88; 10/06/12 05:01 PM. Reason: extra paragraph

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Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90] #1969529
10/06/12 05:33 PM
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Oh, now that I'm listening to the Cantique de Jean Racine again, more carefully, I'm liking this recording better. It's curious, that it takes (for me) careful listening from the outside to hear the things that I hear easily when singing it from the inside.

OK, I'll try really hard to keep from rabbiting on about this piece, after saying I didn't mean to discuss it here.


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Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: PianoStudent88] #1969618
10/06/12 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
Oh, now that I'm listening to the Cantique de Jean Racine again, more carefully, I'm liking this recording better. It's curious, that it takes (for me) careful listening from the outside to hear the things that I hear easily when singing it from the inside.

OK, I'll try really hard to keep from rabbiting on about this piece, after saying I didn't mean to discuss it here.

Start a thread. I think in the end you will find out that it is quite basic, just in a hard key, and it has a lot of moving things in the piano that could obscure the rather simple chords.

By the way, I don't know it, and I could not listen. I just played the video and audiated the score. My grandson was playing a video game! smile


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Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90] #1969781
10/07/12 11:11 AM
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I'm slowly getting caught up, and I want to pick up on something Richard said way back during #4 mvmt 1.

Originally Posted by zrtf90
Originally Posted by Greener
Should have listened to this more, instead of relying on the score.
The better you get at reading the less you feel inclined to actually go to the piano but when the accidentals start getting into the mix it really is worth sitting down at the keyboard and playing through, not just the printed score, but put the bass in root intervals and simple triads to really get a feel for what the composer is doing!

I'm not sure what you mean by reading.  Do you mean audiating: knowing what it will sound like just from reading the score, without playing it?  I'm good at reading, meaning playing while reading the music, but less good at audiating, and while I can audiate a general sense of how the melody goes, I need to be at the keyboard (or listening to a recording) to start to hear the harmonic colour.


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Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90] #1969796
10/07/12 11:47 AM
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I want to return to an exchange about Sonatina #4 movement 1, and particularly what is the key in mm.52-55.

Originally Posted by Greener
Recapitulation; M48-M71
Start in F Major, moving to G Minor M52-M55 to F Major M56 to M71


Originally Posted by zrtf90
M38-47 are without cadence so you can make a call on the key. The thing to do if the key is unclear is to look at what chords are being used. This might give a better idea of what's going on.

References mm.38-47, but equally true anywhere, in particular mm.52-55 (actually 56) that I want to look at.

Originally Posted by zrtf90
Originally Posted by Greener
Originally Posted by zrtf90
M52-53 = M13-14 but in Bb (subdominant, not unexpected)

Not sure what this means. In exposition we were in C Major and in recap'n, at these measures in G minor, I thought. So, where is Bb coming from.

Yes, you did say G minor and I looked briefly at the score and saw Eb and F# but in M52 the bass is F and A so it's not minor at this point, it's only M55 that touches on G minor. It's only transitional anyway. The important thing is that in the exposition it was in F and now it's not so an extra measure, M55, is thrown in to take us back to F - that's the point, and then a repeat of M56 to balance the measures.


In mm.52-55, I find the key by looking at the chords.

True, just looking at the accidentals and the final chord will suggest G minor.  The final chord on the last beat of m.55 is Gm, preceded by a standard D7/F#.  Looking at accidentals, we see both sharps and flats in m.55 -- Bb, Eb, F# -- and that suggests a minor key with leading tone F# i.e. G minor (and the Bb and Eb are right for G minor).

And we see Eb all the way back in m.52, so we might think G minor starts there.

But looking at the chords tells a different story.

m.52 F7 Bb/F
m.53 F7 Bb/F
m.54 F7 Bb/F
m.55 D7/F# Gm
m.56 C/E F

Whenever I see a (dominant) seventh chord, I expect some tonicization of the note a fifth lower.  See F7, expect to find Bb or maybe Bbm.  Sure enough, there is Bb, three times over.

This tells me we are in the key of Bb major, which is not unexpected.  The IV chord of F major gives me the nearby key of the subdominant: Bb major.

In m.55, I look ahead to m.56 and decide that we're not really in G minor at all.  The D Gm C F progression is basically a 6-2-5-1 progression, with the Dm7 that would appear in F major jazzed up into D7 to make the Gm more inevitable.  But one could think of this as a temporary fleeting visit to Gm, reminiscent of the more definitive visit in mm.38-39,  especially since it happens at a four-measure boundary where I often expect phrases or subphrases to end, and m. 56 begins a different melodic tweedly-deedly idea.


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Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90] #1969807
10/07/12 12:14 PM
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Air Suisse

C Major
Section A contains a 6 measure phrase that repeats 4 times.

Then we have a B section M25-M40 that contains two 8 measure phrases, which repeat with variations in the repeat.

Then we have a middle section M41-M48 (note F# pull in measure M47 to end on dominant G major in M48.)

In it's most basic form I would call this A B A

In this case though, we would need to include M41-M48 in the B section.

I hear this section as different from A and B. So, would either call this a middle section, a C section, or development.

A B - Development - A

Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90] #1969811
10/07/12 12:17 PM
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Last of my posts catching up on Sonatina #4 movement 1, continuing talking about mm.52-54 and then expanding a bit.

I throw in Yet Another Roman Numeral System (YARNS).  Ask if you want me to explain it.  I won't normally use this system on this thread, but I'm showing it here because part of my idea for this post came from the emotional relief it was for me to resume doing my personal score-labeling in this system which is the most familiar one to me.  I'll just say, to avoid the most obvious points of confusion with the system we normally use on this thread, that in the system shown here the numbers refer to inversions rather than added notes in a chord, and the slashes refer to key rather than inversion.

In mm.52-54 we don't fully cadence in Bb, so maybe we're just passing through Bb major rather than *in* Bb major, but I tend to really like to know what keys we're passing through.  Maybe this is because my fundamental basics are a traditional roman numeral notation which requires knowing what key a chord is in.  I've been re-working through the sonatinas labeling them in the original style that I learned, and it is actually a huge relief to me to label the pieces this way.  So for me these measures are:

m.52 V7/IV I64/IV
m.53 V7/IV I64/IV
m.54 V7/IV I64/IV
m.55 V65/ii i/ii
m.56 V65 I
m.57 V65 I
m.58 ii6 I64 V7
m.59 I

which instantly tells me key, inversion, and progressions such as ii-V-I.  It also shows me both parallels and differences from the similar passage in the exposition:

m.13 V7/V I64/V
m.14 V7/V I64/V
m.15 V7/V I64/V
m.16 V7/V I/V
m.17 ii6/V I64/V V7/V
m.18 I/V

This instantly shows me these corresponding measures:

mm.13-15, mm.52-54
and
mm.17-18, mm.58-59

The middle measure, m.16, has been replaced by three measures, mm.55-57.  Examining further, this is because mm.13-18 stay in one key, the key of V, C major, whereas mm.52-59 transition from the key of IV, Bb major, back to the original tonic key I, F major.  Mm.55-57 create and underline that transition.

I could find a lot of that correspondence by comparing note-by-note (or, more quickly, melodic and accompaniment contours).  But that can be tedious for me.  Plus it's harder when variations get thrown in: is that an essential variation, meaning something different is happening (as in mm.55-57), or a decorative variation, thrown in for creativity but in essence the same as before (as in mm.61-71)?  Plus I like seeing confirmation in two ways: both by contours and by harmonic structure/labelling.

I didn't understand the difference between m.16 and mm.55-57, and the reason for that difference, until doing this full chord analysis.


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Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90] #1969816
10/07/12 12:26 PM
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Sorry to have jumped ahead PS88, I was listening, referencing stuff in a different session, then posting, and see you already have two expansive posts during this time re: No. 4 Sonatina.

I will look over your posts now and report my confusion forthcoming ... smile

Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90] #1969817
10/07/12 12:28 PM
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I know I said that was my last post on that movement, but I had another idea. This idea was suggested precisely by doing the specific chord analysis which suggested very precise statements of key in mm.52-59, whether established (F major), temporary (Bb major), or fleeting (G minor).

It's this: it seems very clever to me for Clementi to transition from the subdominant ("I'm a Classical composer, I Must Visit The Subdominant" smile ), into its relative minor (G minor), and then turn that relative minor into part of what is essentially a 6-2-5-1 progression in the original tonic (F major).

That gives me something to be on the lookout for: how composers transition from the subdominant back to the tonic. Is this a standard method? Are there other typical methods?

Curiously, while one could see this as a general strategy for changing key up a fifth, I don't recall seeing this type of transition being used to transition from the tonic to the dominant in an exposition. Maybe I just haven't noticed.


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Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: Greener] #1969821
10/07/12 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Greener
Sorry to have jumped ahead PS88, I was listening, referencing stuff in a different session, then posting, and see you already have two expansive posts during this time re: No. 4 Sonatina. 

I will look over your posts now and report my confusion forthcoming ... smile


I don't think you're jumping ahead.  I'm the one who's jumping way back.  I have some thoughts on the Sonatina #5 Air Suisse, but let me know if you want me to hold them until after you work through my new Sonatina #4 material.

I'm catching up on the thread today, so may have comments on the rest of #4 and the first movement of #5.  Do you want those all at once, or would you like me to pace them out over a few days, interspersed with the material as we move forwards in #5?


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Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: PianoStudent88] #1969826
10/07/12 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by PianoStudent88

I'm catching up on the thread today, so may have comments on the rest of #4 and the first movement of #5.  Do you want those all at once, or would you like me to pace them out over a few days, interspersed with the material as we move forwards in #5?


You are miles ahead of me with this stuff PS88. To be honest, I am having big enough challenge digesting information as it is presented and thinking through current sonatina analysis.

Fire away with your queries for confirmation -- on any Sonatina and at any time, -- but, not sure if I can offer much help. Will try if I can, but otherwise, I am more likely to continue just learning more by your questions/challenges/observations. You will most likely need to await the experts for the answers and confirmation you are seeking.


Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90] #1969827
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Yikes! #4 movement 2 is in a major key, but sounds minor to me. What is that all about????!!!???

Ha, it turns out my comment on Fauré's Cantique de Jean Racine, about major pieces sounding minor to me, *is* relevant to the Clementi sonatina analysis smile.


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Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90] #1969828
10/07/12 12:54 PM
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Thanks, Greener, that makes sense. I'm going to try to stay caught up with the thread as we move forward, precisely because it makes my comments more useful if they come in the context at the same time everyone else is considering those movements.


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Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90] #1969844
10/07/12 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
I'm not sure what you mean by reading. Do you mean audiating: knowing what it will sound like just from reading the score, without playing it?
Yes, in this instance I'm referring to audiation. When you can audiate well there's not much need to go to the piano until it starts getting chromatic or modulating freely.

Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
In mm.52-55, I find the key by looking at the chords.
Yes, we've just covered the aspect of context when establishing key so we should expect more precision from our viridescent pioneer from now on! laugh

Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
In m.55, I look ahead to m.56 and decide that we're not really in G minor at all. The D Gm C F progression is basically a 6-2-5-1 progression, with the Dm7 that would appear in F major jazzed up into D7 to make the Gm more inevitable.
The D7 does suggest we've left Bb and the G minor is very fleeting so it could be read as a broader ii-V-I. Until we have a final cadence or deliver a phrase in a key we can't really say for sure where we are.

M56-57 are, for me, a variant of M15-16 rather than new material. Heigh-ho!

_________________________________

The Andante con espressione sounds sad and plaintive. Try flattening the D and A and see the difference a minor tonality makes.

The upper melody finishes on F rather than Bb and that helps to give it an unfinished feel.

________________________________

I've seen your analysis, Jeff, but it's on hold at the moment! I'm waiting to see where our Student is going with number 4!



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Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90] #1969846
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Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
This instantly shows me these corresponding measures:

mm.13-15, mm.52-54
and
mm.17-18, mm.58-59

The harmonic parallels in #4 are good but looking at the material rather than the harmony I see M15-16 spread over M54-57 rather than M16 over 55-57.



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Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90] #1969849
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Originally Posted by zrtf90
M56-57 are, for me, a variant of M15-16 rather than new material. Heigh-ho!

(Why does my spellchecker always want to change zrtf into Zerg? With a capital letter no less. Who or what is a Zerg?)

Well, sure, all the deedly bits going up and down are related to each other. But the rest of mm.52-59 pretty replicates mm.13-18 pretty exactly (allowing for the different keys) except for mm.54-57 which depart from m.16 much more dramatically. In particular, the precise melodic contour of mm.56-57, with the jump up to G and back down, and the two sixteenth rests, isn't met anywhere else. Nor is the half note/quarter note combination met anywhere else in the accompaniment. Also the inversions of the chords are changed from the model. This all seems like purposeful and significant variation from m.16.

Compare the variation in mm.28-30 to mm.69-70, which is much more straightforward (basically an inversion) and keeps the same chords and inversions (relative to the current key). (I would put all of mm.58-71 in the category of creative but nonessential variation, but the last three measures are most convenient to pull out for a quick comparison.)

By contrast, something essentially different is happening harmonically in mm.55-56 than in m.16.


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Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90] #1969851
10/07/12 02:13 PM
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That was cross-posted.

I see your point about melodic spread. Maybe the synthesis of both of our points is that Clementi has to do something different harmonically -- transition back to the tonic -- and he does that in a way that shows unity with the model by doubling m.15 into mm.55-55, and doubling m.16 into mm.56-57.

I see mm.56-57 as being a LOT more different from their model, than mm.54-55 are from their model, melodically. In fact you could argue (or maybe not *you*, but *I* could argue smile ) that mm.56-57 are essentially more like m.15 than m.16, or at least share features with both m.16 and m.17. The essential notes of m.15 are same-same-down (F F Eb). This same pattern is found in all four of mm.54-57: Eb Eb D, C C Bb, Bb Bb A, Bb Bb A. Mm.56-57 then each add on the upward arpeggio from the end of m.16, but abbreviated by dropping a note and starting from a lower point, with the result that the arpeggio no longer reaches the highest note in the measure, and certainly not an octave up as in m.16.


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Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90] #1969890
10/07/12 03:14 PM
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Sonatina #4, movement 2, andante con expressione.

There was some question about m.22 in the B part, with C#dim7 Dm, and a question about what the C# was doing in the middle of a passage predominantly in F major (mm.21-26). I said something about it at the time, but wasn't looking at the score or the context.

Now that I'm looking and listening, I would say that mm. 21-22 are doing exactly the same thing in F major, with a one measure feint to the sixth Dm, as mm.13-14 were doing in Bb major, with a one measure feint to the sixth Gm.


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Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: Greener] #1969893
10/07/12 03:27 PM
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From the Sonatina #4 movement 3 "Rondo" discussion:
Originally Posted by Greener
Originally Posted by zrtf90
I don't foresee a struggle finding out where the material comes from for the development section. Tying the piece up to the other two movements is a bit more of a challenge but needn't detain us if it's not obvious.
 

I'm good with the needn't detain us part. Turns out this is my least favorite aspect -- likely an indication of needing more attention -- of these analysis.  

Tying the movements together is also the most challenging part for me.  I don't think I have ever been able to see the connections that Richard makes.

Maybe I will come to Sonatina 6 in an appropriate spiritual state achieved by prayer and fasting, and will be granted a vision of thematic material across movements.


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