Describe the Stylistic Features of Mozart’s Piano Sonata in B Flat, K.333: Movement 1, Which Show it was Written in the Classical Period

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This is an essay which was set by my music teacher.  She gave me full marks for it so I hope this helps.  Also, I have only written about some of the key stylistic features and there are loads more to talk about!

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Rebecca Wenham
Describe the Stylistic Features of Mozart's Piano Sonata in B Flat, K.333:
Movement 1, Which Show it was Written in the Classical Period
There are many stylistic features of Mozart's Sonata that show it was written in the
Classical Period which is dated around the years 17501830. This period of time in
music included certain elements such as the Alberti Bass, use of melody dominated
homophony, sonata form and many other significant components which I am going to
discuss. In this essay, I will outline the key features that are included in Mozart's
Sonata and how each factor is connected with Classical Period.
One stylistic feature includes the Fortepiano which was used in Mozart's Sonata
rather than the harpsichord. The Sonata is written for a Fortepiano with no other
instruments involved. During the Classical Period, the Fortepiano replaced the
harpsichord. This was because composers such as Mozart wanted to explore the
use of different dynamic variations. However, harpsichords provided very limited
dynamic range and could only be played either forte or piano. As a result, there was a
demand for a wider dynamic range and as a result, this led to the production of the
Fortepiano. The Fortepiano allowed the pianist to vary their finger pressure on the
keys and produce various dynamics ranging from fortissimo to pianissimo.
Another stylistic feature is the use of Alberti Bass. Mozart uses the Alberti Bass in this
Piano Sonata which can be defined as a broken chord sequence or that similar to an
arpeggio. It follows the pattern of one, five, three, five (tonic, dominant, mediant and
then dominant of a scale). During the Classical Period, the Alberti Bass was a
distinctive feature which was named after Domenico Alberti and was used as an
accompaniment pattern in the left hand. This broken chord pattern helps to create a
sustained, smooth and flowing sound on the piano. Mozart is well known for using the
Alberti Bass in many of his piano sonatas including the Piano Sonata in B Flat.
It is important to note that Mozart uses Sonata Form which is a common element of
music used during the Classical Period. Sonata Form includes the Exposition,
Development and Recapitulation. In this Sonata, Mozart includes a Codetta between
the Development and Recapitulation sections. In addition to this, the tonality of this
piece is strongly linked with the structure. During the Exposition, Mozart starts in the
key of B flat major which is also the same during the first subject. In the second
subject, the key modulates to the dominant key of F major. The key stays in F major
in the Development section but then modulates to G minor, C minor and then back to
F minor. The recapitulation then returns back to the original key of B flat major.
During the Classical Period, there was much use of modulation and this is evident in
this Sonata. In addition to this, Sonata form continued to change, develop and evolve
during this period and was used frequently in Mozart's music.
In addition to this, Mozart uses a melody dominated homophony which is evidence to
support the idea that the Sonata was written during the Classical Period. Homophony
is often defined as melody with accompaniment. During the Classical Period,
homophony dominated the classical style. New forms of composition were
developed to adapt to this style. The most important of these forms was the Sonata
Lastly, Mozart uses appoggiaturas which take half the value of the next note or the
note which it is attached to. Appoggiaturas are ornaments that were particularly

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Rebecca Wenham
common during the Classical Period. It is also sometimes described as a grace
note. Also, Mozart uses periodic phrasing which is phrasing that is based on the
number of bars and is balanced. Periodic phrasing was used in the Classical Period.
In addition to this, there is some use of syncopation in this sonata which was also
common in the Classical Period.…read more


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