Mozart symphony No.40 in G minor (first movement)

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structure and tonality

Movemnt is in sonata form, in key of G minor.


  • First subject: falling motif to repeated rythum played by string first.
  • Second subject: melody with descending chromatic patterns played by strings and woodwind. In B flat major (relative major)


  • Based on first subject, which is fragmented and devloped. Moves through keys, starts on F#.


  • First and second subject: repetition of respective subjects with some variation. 
  • Coda: repeated perfect cadences in G minor
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  • Most melodies are made up of balanced, four or eight-bar question and answer phrases.
  • Question phrases finish with imperfect cadences and answer pharses finish with perfect cadences.
  • Many phares are scalic(based on scales).
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Harmony is diatonic and functional, based round  major and minor traids.


  • chromatic chords eg. dimished 7th and agumentated 6th.
  • circle of fiths progression.
  • pedal notes in cello before second subject starts.
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Rhythm, metre and tempo

  • Metre is 4/4 thourghout.
  • Tempo is molto allegro=very fast.
  • short rythmic ideas repeated to create unity.
  • rythms are fairly simple although some dotted rythms and syncopation  to help keep momentum and add interest.
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Texture mostly homophonic. Also examples of:

  • Conterpint and imitation in devolpment.
  • Octave doublings, frequently used.
  • Dialouge between woodwind and strings at the start of the second subject.
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In exposition:

  • First subject is quiet apart from short passage in the middle.
  • Transition is loud.
  • Second subject begins quiet gets louder towards end.


  • Starts and ends quietly but loud in the middle.


  • Similar dynamics to the expostion.

Dynamics terressed ( occur suddenly), only a few cresendos and no dim.

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Chamber orchestra- string, woodwind and horns.

  • strings play most of the time. They play a vareity of material such as the melody, quick running scales,sustained notes and forcful chords.
  • woodwind doesnt play as much. More sustained chords and less quick runs. Share start of the second subject with strings.
  • Horns in G and Bb. This maximises the number of notes they can play between them.
  • Mostly play held or repeted notes to sustain harmonies.
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