Beethoven No.5 in C minor 1st movement

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  • Sonata Form

(Introduction)             EXPOSITION             DEVELOPMENT             RECAPITULATION         (Coda)

And introduction or a coda was optional. Although introductions were not very common, most composers rounded off with a short coda. Beethoven extended its significance (and length) considerably.

Exposition:

  •  A first subject (theme) in the tonic
  • Transition to the dominant (or relative minor/major)
  • One or more themes in the new key = the second subject or second subject group
  • Always ends in the dominant key with a repeat sign.

Development:

  • Composers could play with the themes presented in the Exposition, or even introduce new ones. They often fragmented themes, passing them from instrument to instrument. The music would modulate, sometimes several times. The return of the tonic key would be prepared, often by means of a dominant pedal.
  • To 'develop' a theme is not the same as to 'vary' one. In a Development section wide-ranging modulation is expected. Beethoven does not confine developing his themes only to that named section; he takes the opening rhythmic motif and embeds it in the texture throughout the exposition. Nor does he stop developing his material when the music reaches the recapitulation.

Recapitulation:

  • First subject, as before, in the tonic. (scoring and dynamics might differ)
  • Transition - might give the illusion of modulation but would be altered to end in the tonic.
  • Second subject, now in the tonic key. (A movement in a tonic key might now be in the…

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