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Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90] #2146516
09/08/13 04:26 PM
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The dominant chord in a minor key is usually major, by raising the third of the chord by a half step. That is why you have the B# (G# B D# F# from the signature becomes G# B# D# F#) with that accidental. When you see a persistent accidental of the same note in a piece of music, it is often a clue that you might have a minor key and that you are looking at the dominant. Thus if a piece is in C minor, you'll see lots of B[nat] (natural sign) for G7, etc.

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But then what happens in bar 6 where the triplet changes to G#, D# and F#? (and then beneath it where there is the chord with the B#s in there.)

That is your G#7 which is the Dominant or V7 of C# minor (and of C# major).

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But instead in Bar 10 I see the theme repeated with a G natural, B, and E. hmmm. what is happening here?

He is starting to shift around in keys. He starts in Em, goes to a G7 resolving to C in m. 12, does various harmony things that you can work out by working out the chords, and then in m. 16 (starts at the pickup end of m. 15) we have theme 2. I have a note written there that it is in E minor and "C and A# in soprano are circling the B).

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I have to figure out what all these chords and keys are because I don't know off the top of my head.

I have them written in. In fact, one thing that I would do is precisely that - write in the chords. The way I learned to work on sonatas is to first find the main things if I can (as I outlined), and then to go through the chords. They will give you clues about keys and such.

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Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: PianoStudent88] #2146617
09/08/13 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
Another reason I like harmonic analysis from the score is that it shows me the notes aren't just random.


Yes, I like this aspect as well. How fun we are look at the Moonlight Sonata again. An appropriate time for me to start looking at the 2nd movement I think.

Please count me in. I'll interact as I'm able.

Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90] #2146788
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The first movement is not actually in sonata form, that is, it doesn't have the repeat bars at the end of the exposition, there isn't a strong contrast between the first subject in tonic and the second in, er, usually the tonic major in a minor key piece, and where the development section should be exploring keys we have the first phrase now in the subdominant and then moving into the dominant preparation passage, M28-41.

There are certainly elements of sonata form in the movement but it has not fully employed the sonata principle.

This is the first sonata where Beethoven has not used sonata form for the first movement but has used it (the first movement) more as an introduction to the last movement, which is very clearly in sonata form. One of the important achievements of his compositional life was to turn the focus from the first movement, as Haydn and Mozart had done, to the finale. His Ninth Symphony is the culmination of this idea. The Moonlight is the first example (that I know of).

The Adagio is slow for cut time but it doesn't drag.

The four bar introduction is marked sempre pianissimo. Note the slurs in M3-4 showing how to articulate the close into tonic as we move through the flatted supertonic in M3, stepping down through the dominant in M4 to the end of the introduction in M5 and the establishment of the tonic key.

The entry of the first theme is marked PP. This is a whisper. All the dynamic markings in the movement are P, PP or crescendo and decrescendo either in words or via hairpins.



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Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90] #2146876
09/09/13 10:17 AM
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Richard - in my mind, the reason for looking at form is practical. It allows us to orient ourselves in the music. Otherwise it is an intellectual exercise which might be good for musicologists, but not practising musicians, which many of us are trying to become.

I see three sections. In the first some themes are introduced. In the second, there is a creative development. In the third, the original theme is repeated - there is creativity, but a repeat (with the creativity) of the first is definitely there.

If you don't accept the framework that I proposed, what would you suggest instead. Being able to orient in a piece is crucial, imho.

Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90] #2146883
09/09/13 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by zrtf90

This is the first sonata where Beethoven has not used sonata form for the first movement but has used it (the first movement) more as an introduction to the last movement, which is very clearly in sonata form. One of the important achievements of his compositional life was to turn the focus from the first movement, as Haydn and Mozart had done, to the finale. His Ninth Symphony is the culmination of this idea. The Moonlight is the first example (that I know of).

I found this part interesting, for tracing the development of sonata form, and of music in general, over history.

I would think that the first movement still has the overall framework of sonata form in a general way, and that this helps us orient in the piece - but he is being more free with it. If we try to look for the very strict form, we won't find it, and that would be confusing. But I do think that seeing that form there in a general way is helpful for orienting.

Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90] #2146944
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I'm not dissenting from your proposal but making people aware, if they're going to be learning what sonata form is, that this isn't it.

It's very close and has many of the elements but it isn't what's normally called sonata form. The form is quite unique and doesn't have a name that I'm aware of. You can give it one, if you'd like, or you can continue to call it sonata form if that's how you see it; I don't mind.

But in my analysis it doesn't follow the sonata principle and certainly isn't binary form, out of which sonata form grew.

I haven't returned yet to our earlier examination of this movement but I'm sure we pointed out there that this isn't sonata form.

I prepared this before your last post then had to rush off before posting it but yes, use whatever helps you orient yourself in the music.



Richard
Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90] #2147001
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1. We know that the form of music grew out of sonata form
2. We have the general idea of something that gets introduced - a creative thingy in the middle - back to the first thing that gets introduced
3. The interest is in the PRACTICAL application. How can we use this to help us understand music?

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but yes, use whatever helps you orient yourself in the music.

I am using whatever helps me explain the general shape of the music.

Could you give an alternate explanation for the general shape of the first movement? This is neither rhetorical, nor argumentative. We need a general shape. If it doesn't have these three sections as I pointed out, what do you see? If it has to have a name, what name would you give it? Does it need a name?

What I see is that at one point there was a framework of sonata form which was rather rigid, and that composers moved on from there. Knowing of this general framework is very helpful for orienting in music.

In fact, in my studies of music history, I am finding every framework that ever gets constructed is always being changed continually.

Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: keystring] #2147025
09/09/13 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
1. We know that the form of music grew out of sonata form

Wait, what? All music? I don't agree. I would say that a multi-movement structure called sonata emerged, and eventually the first movement of that structure came to have a form which we call "sonata-allegro form", and that this form (sonata-allegro form) was used in more than just sonatas -- e.g. in string quartets, in symphonies, etc. And as time wore on, just as the sonata-allegro form had evolved from previous antecedents, so it itself evolved, so we start to find pieces that stretch and explore the limits of sonata-allegro form, and we find some pieces whose first movement is not in sonata-allegro form. This is not new with Beethoven; Mozart's Sonata K. 545 also does not have a first movement in sonata-allegro form. It may be new with Beethoven, or with his contemporaries, that composers started to frequently push the form's boundaries in the first movement, or create first movements in other forms. But I wouldn't say that just on the basis of this one Moonlight movement in one sonata.

Just as a note of clarification, because the name can be misleading: a movement in sonata-allegro form need not be part of a sonata, and need not be at an allegro tempo. I'm using the full name "sonata-allegro form" as a way of distancing from the term somewhat, to avoid any equation that "sonata" = "sonata form".

I may be misunderstanding you. An alternative that occurs to me is that perhaps you meant the form of this first movement of the Moonlight Sonata grew out of sonata-allegro form. I'm not entirely sure of that. If this is what you meant (and I'm not sure it is), but if it is, why do you say this?

Anyway, have I hit on your meaning at all above? Or can you clarify?

Quote
2. We have the general idea of something that gets introduced - a creative thingy in the middle - back to the first thing that gets introduced
3. The interest is in the PRACTICAL application. How can we use this to help us understand music?

What you describe in #2 is also related to ternary form (ABA, or in this case ABA'). The move to the dominant and then back to the tonic relates all the way back to binary form (AABB).

When we get to the third movement, which I understand (by report, not by examination) is in sonata-allegro form more strictly understood, it will be interesting to compare the use of themes and keys in that movement back to this first movement.

I find your outline of the structure to be helpful.

I also find it useful to look at places where the structure of this movement is different from what I understand to be more typical sonata-allegro form.

Typical sonata-allegro form:
Exposition:
Theme 1 introduced in the tonic.
Theme 2 introduced; contrasts with theme 1 and by the end of theme 2, is in the dominant.

Development:
Themes 1 and 2 appear in transformed ways, in a variety of keys,
working their way back to the dominant, which announces the:

Recapitulation:
Theme 1 in the tonic.
Theme 2 in the tonic.

The Exposition is (always? typically?) repeated. In earlier works, the Development and Recapitulation were also repeated (as a unit: Dev Recap Dev Recap). As the Development and Recapitulation grew in length they ceased to be repeated. The repeats are all there (or not there) in order to achieve balance in the piece.

Whether or not we call the first movement a type of, or outgrowth of, sonata-allegro form, it contrasts with the central definition in at least the following ways:
  • Theme 2 does not strongly contrast with Theme 1.
  • Theme 1 returns after Theme 2 to end the first part.
  • The first part is not repeated.
  • The first part wanders through more keys than just tonic and dominant.
  • The middle part seems to be entirely new, rather than variations and transformations of Theme 1 or Theme 2. (There may be a subtle connection that I haven't seen -- but if so it's a much more subtle connection than I'm used to seeing in Development sections.)

I'm not terribly fussed about what form to call this movement; if sonata-allegro form isn't liked I'd call it a type of ternary form with coda.

I'd need to see many more movements and look at the ways the basic structure of the sonata-allegro form structure is pushed and pulled and transformed to come to conclusions about what merits the term "sonata-allegro form." I would argue for a flexible use of the term because after all the term is meant to codify a common pattern that composers both used and (pardon the term) developed, and I doubt that only things that fit the exact pattern are of interest. For example I'd like to be able to call something a sonata-allegro form movement even if it has three themes, or if for balance for some reason it does without the repeat of the Exposition, or if the Recapitulation returns in the subdominant for Theme 1 before modulating to the dominant for Theme 2 (thus allowing the Recapitulation to be an exact repeat of the Development, except for pitch), and other such variations.


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Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90] #2147027
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Richard, could you state your definition of sonata-allegro form? Where do you see this first movement not fitting that definition? Do you agree with the parts and themes that keystring has outlined, even if you wouldn't label them Exposition/Development/Recapitulation? If not, what parts and themes would you identify instead?


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Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90] #2147038
09/09/13 02:39 PM
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I would not say that the first movement of 27/2 is in sonata form. However, an overall ternary form shape is implied. As long as one realizes what the themes are and how they are developed, it's not really necessary to attempt to break the movement down into sections. This is the Moonlight Sonata. The moonlight doesn't stop and start; it is continuous, shining down onto the ripples of water slowly moving across the otherwise still lake.


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Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90] #2147044
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Noticing sets of measures that are different from other sets of measures in various ways, does not imply that one will make a break between the sets, or treat them in other than a unififed way.

Even moonlit ripples on a lake usually experience variations in the ripples at different places in the lake, even while maintaining an overall rippled effect.


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Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90] #2147052
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The main point about the first movement is:
- We have two themes in a first section
- We have stuff happening in a middle
- The first theme comes back totally as it was in the first, in a final section

Whatever we call it, this is helpful in orienting in the piece. Other things that help is recognizing themes, watching those themes reappear, often with variations and in other keys. These broad outlines help in understanding and remember the piece, and gives an idea of what to do with it. I was trying to get at the broadest of outlines, especially for anyone who may not have done much in the area of outline. This is what I understand "form" to be, whether or not that form is given a name.

By the way, it was named "moonlight" later, but Beethoven didn't call it that.

Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: PianoStudent88] #2147076
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Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
Originally Posted by keystring
1. We know that the form of music grew out of sonata form

Wait, what? All music? I don't agree. I would say that a multi-movement structure called sonata emerged, and eventually the first movement of that structure came to have a form which we call "sonata-allegro form", and that this form (sonata-allegro form) was used in more than just sonatas -- e.g. in string quartets, in symphonies, etc.

I was probably being too general, and I have not studied every form or period at this stage. I was going by what I read - I think it was in the RCM book - that states that this general outline ended up coming into other types of music. I found the general idea that you have themes, they get developed, you go off on a tangent, you go back to those themes in some way - this helped me orient in music and get a kind of "broad picture".

Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90] #2147143
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Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
Richard, could you state your definition of sonata-allegro form?
Sonata Form, Sonata-Allegro-Form. It's not a fixed form, like binary or ternary form. It's structure is defined by it's tonality.

At the time of the Moonlight sonata and the classical period as a whole:
A sonata may or may not begin with an introduction.
It may have one subject in the tonic or a group of subjects.
It may or may not have a bridge passage to the second subject.
It may have one subject in the dominant in a major key sonata or in the tonic major (usually) in a minor key sonata or there may be a group of subjects contrasting with the first.
It may or may not have a codetta.
It will have a development section where something (usually from the exposition) will be developed through a variety of keys, expanded, contracted, modified, etc.
It may or may not have a passage of dominant preparation or other codetta.
It will recapitulate the first subject or group of subjects in the tonic key and they may or may not have changed after the development.
If there is a bridge passage it will have changed from the first half as it no longer has to change to the dominant. Schubert cannily began the recapitulation in the subdominant so that he could leave the bridge passage unchanged and still end up in the tonic!
It will recapitulate the second subject or group of subjects first heard in the dominant.
It may or may not have a coda.

It grew out of binary form, which is defined as two halves (not mathematical), each repeated.

In Bach's day it began in tonic and moved to the dominant where it closed the first half. The second half typically explored more keys usually leading to the subdominant and then the material first heard at the end of the first half (in the dominant) would be repeated (rhymed) in the tonic. This satisfies the listener.

As the composer got more adventurous in the development more and more of the material in the first half needed to be rhymed in order to for the listener to realise this is the end and the story has concluded satisfactorily, so to speak.

By the time of Haydn and Mozart the whole of the first half, now called the exposition, had to be repeated and this we now call the recapitulation.

It is the contrast in keys (and the material therein) in the expositon and their reconciliation in the tonic that form the essence of the sonata principle.

Originally Posted by Polyphonist
I would not say that the first movement of 27/2 is in sonata form. However, an overall ternary form shape is implied. As long as one realizes what the themes are and how they are developed, it's not really necessary to attempt to break the movement down into sections. This is the Moonlight Sonata.
This is good. It is a unique movement that doesn't need a name.

For the purpose of guiding newcomers through a complex piece like this it may be helpful to give it a broader structure and a loose ternary form seems to me to fit the bill.

Without trying to pre-empt the analysis by establishing the form before we've looked to see what form it has we can return to the orignal analysis (I've just worked through this again, it may differ a little, but I've not had time to go back to the first thread yet):

M1-4 Introduction
M5-8 first theme in tonic
M9-14 same theme going through E minor and C major (wow!) and closing into
M15-18 B minor then B major with a new theme
M19-25 answer/close of the second theme closing into the subdominant, F#.
M23-28 first theme in subdom. and climax at M27
M28-42 Dominant preparation passage
M42-45 recap of M5-8
M46-51 recap of M9-14 this time in tonic
M51-55 recap of M15-18 in tonic
M55-59 descent to coda
M60-69 coda.

Were this in sonata form we might expect the second theme in the tonic major, C# Major, or perhaps the relative major, E Major, but definitely not E minor or the rather remote C major.

Here the second theme is in B major after the first theme has already been developed.

None of these keys are predictable (based on the prevailing key schemes) and the long dominant preparation (not unusual for Beethoven) is required to settle the listener and prepare for the return to tonic. From the recap. in M42 it is more predictable in nature.

I'm gathering material for the Grieg Recital and coaching newbies through the tech. side. I'm tired from a long day and haven't proof read thoroughly. I've not even sat at the piano today. frown

I'm happy to field questions on this but may not answer until tomorrow!



Richard
Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90] #2147147
09/09/13 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by ZRTF90

Although there have been no dissenting voices and no-one has thus far suggested alternatives after it's being put forward ... if we are going ahead with it I think a fresh start would be in order


Will anyone be needing the score? I know I will. Here is:

Moonlight Sonata - 1st Movement Download

Time to finally secure this 1st movement and hopefully begin looking at the second. This is where it all started for me over just one year ago. Funny, it seems like it should have been much longer. Incredible to think how much has been discussed in that time.

I would enjoy looking at the harmony further. Short of labeling all the chords again. Of course we covered this in the original thread. I'm certain I could use some brushing up though, and always enjoy looking at chords.

I believe there is more to discuss though (harmony) then just the chord names. Like, how the harmony develops the drama of the movement etc.

Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90] #2147210
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Originally Posted by keystring
I had tried to give a very general sketch...Maybe it doesn't sound sophisticated and maybe even babyish, but that was deliberate to make it accessible
...The purpose of mine was to give a first point of orientation.

Yes, it did that and it seems to have helped Valencia as well. There was nothing wrong with that.

In my post I pointed out that it had elements of sonata form but didn't fit exactly. This wasn't intended as a correction or even as a qualification. In fact, I wasn't really responding to your discussion with Valencia, but simply starting off my own approach, yours having been gotten out of the way as it were.

I've read and re-read the posts and I still don't see an area of disagreement.

One of the points I wanted to draw out was the significance of this not being in sonata form. It was the first time he'd started a sonata in this way and I think this was really very important. He did this after realising his ensuing deafness, was contemplating suicide, was turning more to composer than performer and beginning to realise the elemental nature of his character and his worth in the world as a great artist. He took the whole sonata 'thing' as he inherited it from Haydn and Mozart and over the course of the next twenty five years stood it on its head. This sonata was the start of that.

Until this time the sonata began with a fast movement in sonata form, so common did it start fast that it is often still called sonata-allegro form. The second movement was usually a slow Adagio and/or a minuet (as a hang-on from the suite) and an intellectually light Rondo or fast finish. This one not only didn't start with sonata form, it didn't even start with a fast movement. It started with an Adagio. It was written more in the style of a prelude or introduction than as a sonata movement. But the last movement is in full blown sonata form with a very rare (for Beethoven) Presto indication and one powerful, intellectually involving, and tragically emotional outburst. The sonata has been stood on its head here and that is very significant. He even gave this and its sibling work the title quasi una fantasia, like a fantasy.

For the true import of this it was important for me to point out that this is not actually in sonata form, however many of the elements were present. I didn't intend to negate anything you'd said and, I repeat, I still don't see that I did.



Richard
Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90] #2147238
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Originally Posted by zrtf90
yours having been gotten out of the way as it were.

I don't understand this. I don't see that anyone's post has been gotten out of the way. I prefer to learn from and build on all the posts.


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Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90] #2147246
09/09/13 08:58 PM
09/09/13 08:58 PM
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keystring Offline
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PS88, I got out of the way. I am behind in everything, and it was getting too confusing. My own posts were not coming out so I decided to wait for if and when I can regroup.

Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90] #2147251
09/09/13 09:03 PM
09/09/13 09:03 PM
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keystring, I found what you posted about the structure to be very helpful in getting my thinking started on this movement.


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Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90] #2147257
09/09/13 09:15 PM
09/09/13 09:15 PM
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By the way, speaking of harmony - about the chord in the second half of bar 3, which was discussed briefly earlier in the thread: it is neither D major or an f#aug5, but simply a Neapolitan 6, very common in Beethoven. The chord is quite daring harmonically, for the time in which this was written, and therefore it is a way of quickly building tension, which is gradually released in the following bar.


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Polyphonist
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