Symphony No. 40 in G minor, Movement I

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  • Created by: Viv Leong
  • Created on: 08-04-14 16:01

Symphony No. 40

  • composed in 1788
  • part of Symphony No. 40
  • first movement on the symphony
  • originally scored without clarinets but soon rewritten with them
  • no trumpets or timpani used
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General features of Classical music (c. 1750-1830)

  • typical Classical orchestra
    • strings: violins, violas, cellos, double basses
    • woodwind: flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons
    • brass: trumpets, French horns
    • percussion: timpani
  • symphonies were one of the most important genres of the Classical area
  • a typical symphony would have four movements
  • emphasis on regular phrasing of graceful and well-proportioned melody lines (normally eight bars long) - periodic or regular phrasing
  • melody-dominated texture popular, though polyphony also used
  • musical structures were symmetrical and balanced
  • clear-cut key schemes used regular cadences
  • chords used for structural purposes (based on I, IV, V, II and VI
  • contrasts in keys, melodies and varied dynamics
  • standard orchestra established, while harpsichord became redundant
  • new instrumental musical genres emerged - sonata for a solo instrument, concerto, symphony, string quarter
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First subject

(http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/music/images/motzart_1st_subject.gif)

  • first heard in violins I and II (one octave apart)
  • begins with anacrusis
  • repeating motif of falling quavers
  • goes up a sixth
  • descending stepwise movement
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Second subject

(http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/music/images/motzart_2nd_subject.gif)

  • now in Bb major
  • some extended note values
  • begins on first beat of bar
  • calm, descending semitones
  • various cadences used
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Melody

  • two ideas: subjects one and two
  • balanced phrases
  • question and answer - balanced
  • use of sequences
  • some stepwise movement and some more jumpy movement
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Harmony/tonality

  • begins in G minor, modulates to Bb major (relative major) in second section
  • several keys used during development section (E minor, A minor, C major and F major) - modulation around the circle of fifths
  • regular use of cadences
  • largely diatonic with some chromaticism
  • triads in root position and inversions
  • some dominant 7th chords
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Rhythm/metre

  • some syncopation
  • lots of quaver runs
  • semi-quavers used
  • dotted rhythms
  • 4/4 (simple quadruple) throughout
  • different sections use different rhythms
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Texture

  • largely melody-dominated homophonic
  • some monophony and polyphony
  • imitation used quite often
  • some doubling of parts
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Tempo

  • molto allegro (very fast)
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Dynamics

  • begins piano
  • use of sforzando
  • crescendos and diminuendos used - wide range
  • used for dramatic effect
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Structure

  • sonata form (somewhat similar to ternary form)
    • exposition
    • development
    • recapitulation
  • exposition and recapitulation similar to each other
  • coda at the end, finishes off with perfect cadence
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