Mozart - Piano Sonata in Bb - All notes

Context , Structure , Melody , Texture , Tonality and Harmony notes.

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Context

  • The piece was written in 1783, But it was not publised till 1784.
  • One of three Sonata's
  • Sonata = A instrumental work - either for a soloist or for a small group of players.
  • At the time of this being published the Piano had started to replace the Harpsichord in concerts and at home as it was capable of delicate dynamic effects.
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Structure

The piece is in Sonata Form - Do not! Get this confused with Sonata, as they are different things.

Structure of the piece:

Exposition - 1st Subject - Bars 1 - 10 (In Bb Major)

  Transition to 2nd Subject (In F Major)

  2nd Subject - Bars 23 - 50 (In F Major explores new ideas)

  Codetta - 50 63

Development - 63 (Beat 4) - 93 (Beat 3)

 Wider use of keys e.g. 1st subject is in F Major - then goes onto F Minor , C Minor , Bb Major  and G Minor.

The return to the F Major is signalled by dominant preparation in bar 87

Recapitulation - 93(Beat 4) - End

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Melody

  • Periodic phrasing – pairs of equal length phrases sounding like questions and 

answers

  • 8 bar phrase starting Bar 23 ends with an imperfect cadence in F major with an 

answering 8 bar phrase at bar 3 Ends with a perfect cadence in the same key

  • Sometimes Mozart avoids the predictability of periodic phrasing – eg. 4 bar 

opening phrase answered by a phrase that is extended to 6 bars ending on the 

3rd beat of Bar 10 

  • Frequent use of non-chord notes
  • Appoggiaturas – both diatonic eg 1stBb in Bar 88 (which clashes with the dom 
  • 7th chord beneath it) and chromatic (C# in Bar 110)
  • Spectacular descent from top F – 57-59 – highest note on Mozart’s piano
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Texture + Tonality

Texture

  • Melody Dominated Homophony
  • Ornate RH melody supported by broken chords of the LH accompaniment
  • Thin crystal clear textures
  • First 22 bars almost entirely 2 part texture
  • Full chords are used to draw attention to the beginnings and endings of important sections (Bar 23)
  • Broken chord accompaniments – delicate effect by beginning after the 1st beat of the bar (1st 4 bars)
  • Elsewhere (71-80) use of Alberti bass

Tonality

  • Regular cadences to define keys
  • Perfect cadence in Bar 10
  • Modulation to the dominant (F maj) in br11-22 is equally clear – Enat is frequent in these bars
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Harmony

  • Simple triads, especially tonic and dominant in various keys
  • Chromatic harmony in development: diminished 7th chords in br67 and 69, the minor version of chord IV (Eb minor) in br76 and augmented 6th chords on the last beats of bars 80 and 82 (Eb-C#)
  • After 6 bars Mozart moves up a third and begins a proper dominant preparation for the return of Bb major
  • Cadential 6/4 – characteristic harmonic features of the classical style: chord Icused as the approach to a perfect cadence forming the progression Ic-V7-I. br57-59.
  • Accented dissonance on the final chord of a perfect cadence as in br63 and 165, where the upper notes in the right hand are appoggiaturas and the lower ones are suspensions
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