Mozart key vocabulary

These cards are designed to be filled in by students to aid revision of key vocabulary associated with Mozart's Jupiter Symphony

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  • Created by: Helen
  • Created on: 12-04-11 14:47

Sonata Form

Exposition (usually repeated)

  • 1st subject themes, in tonic key, usually 'masculine' in feel
  • Transition - modulates to the dominant, using themes from the 1st subject
  • 2nd subject themes, in dominant key, traditionally gentler

Development: wider modulations using material from the exposition


  • 1st subject in the tonic
  • Transition
  • 2nd subject, also int he tonic

Optional Extras

More than 1 melodic idea in the 1st and 2nd subjects, nw ideas used in the development, varied orchestration in the recap., use of a coda

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Mozart's use of sonata form

  • Clearly uses the outlines of the sonata form - all 3 sections present
  • BUT: Is constantly developing his ideas - several themes in each subject, most of which are developed and recapped throughout
  • Varied orchestration, texture and harmonic surprises maintain interest

In an essay:

  • Must outline sonata form
  • Link it closely to the use of harmony, key relationships, and thematic ideas - these outline the sonata form clearly!
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Rounded Binary Form

Binary Form = ABAB or AABBAABB

Rounded binary form = AABA1BA1

Rounded binary features:

A = tonic key modulating to dominant (if long enough)

B = Dominant/relative minor. Modulates to wider keys before returning towards tonic for...

A1 = a return of some of the A material, in the tonic key. 

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Mozart's use of Rounded Binary Form

Rounded binary form is used in both the menuetto and trio.

(Together they create ternary form ABA because the menuetto is repeated after the trio)

Menuetto - conforms to conventional rounded binary form

Trio - the opening 'A' is short so does not modulate. The contrasting 'B' section is in the relative minor (A minor)

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Melodic techniques include

  • Melodic shapes - descending/ascending phrases, chromaticism
  • Ascending/Descending sequences
  • Canonic writing/Imitation
  • Stretto - tightened counterpoint (overlapping entries)
  • Octave displacement
  • Re-orchestration
  • Rhythmic augmentation/diminution
  • Fragmentation
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Mozart's use of melody

Mozart uses melody in order to a) outline the form of his movements, b) maintain variety by developing his ideas.

He does this by using the techniques listed on the reverse. Examples of this can clearly be seen in the transition, and development and recapitulation of the 1st movement, and the end of the 'B' section of the menuetto. 

When writing about the use of melody in an essay:

  • Always state which instrument is playing which melody - often interesting instrumental pairs
  • Focus on small areas even when discussing a whole movement
  • Consider the why - to maintain interest and a variety of effects - fanfare vs. lyrical
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Harmony and Tonality

Key - home key, relating to the key of the symphony

Modulations - changes of key, usually to the dominant

Harmonic features, including:

  • Cadences and phrasing
  • Use of diminished and augmented chords
  • Use of "unexpected" chords
  • Circle-of-fifths
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Mozart's use of harmony and tonality

1st movement

3rd movement

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Rhythm and Metre

Time signature

Periodic phrasing

Rhythmic features to create effects - fanfare rhythms

Rhythmic unision vs. complex counterpoint

Rhythm patterns that re-occur


Accented beats

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Mozart's use of rhythm and metre

1st movement

3rd movement

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Unison and Octaves

Rhthmic unison

Homophonic writing

Melody-dominated homophony

Contrapuntal writing/counterpoint



Thicker/thinner texture

Light, graceful texture

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Mozart's use of texture

1st movement

3rd movement

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The orchestra

The Classical orchestra

  • Woodwind - Flutes, Oboes, Clarinets, Bassoons
  • Brass - limited valve developments: horns, trumpets
  • String dominated - Violins, Violas, Cellos, Double basses
  • Percussion - timpnai tuned normally to I and V

Instrumental techniques and effects- pizzicato, con arco, staccato, sustained, slurred, tounged, fanfare


Textures - tutti, string dominated homophony, countermelody

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Mozart's use of the orchestra

1st movement

3rd movement

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