A2 Music - Beethoven


Beethoven - Melody


  • Mainly diatonic, e.g. first tune of 2nd subject.
  • Contains brief chromaticism, e.g. lower auxiliary on 2nd note of 1st subject (bar 18). Also, bar 26 where there is a chromatic scale of first subject.
  • First subject begins with a rising sequence based off of a 4-note motif.
  • Melodies often repeated, e.g. melody of bar 10 immediately repeated in fuller instrumentation.
  • Ornamentation e.g. turn at end of first subject tune.
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Beethoven - Rhythm


  • Slow intro which is rhythmically complex and contrains demisemiquavers and sextuplets.
  • Accompaniment of first theme has a distinctive repeated quaver pattern in viola. This is replaced by a new syncopated idea in violin and viola over constant crotchets in the ‘cello when the tune is repeated – b29.
  • Many themes begin with an anacrusis; first theme begins with three upbeats, first theme of second subject uses just one.
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Beethoven - Texture


  • Slow introduction contains full tutti chords e.g. bar 1.
  • Bar 2 contains monophony due to only solo violin playing.
  • Use of melody dominated homophony, for example in the exposition where broken chord accompaniment supports the melody in the violin.
  • At bar 128 the bassoon and clarinet play in octaves, and at 140 play in 6ths.
  • The texture in the coda becomes more complex due to imitation between strings and woodwind, e.g. 258-264.
  • Varied number of instruments playing at different times e.g. tutti at 90-92, contrasts with 3 part passage immediately preceding it.
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