Mozart - Symphony No. 40 G minor

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The symphony opens with the first subject played on violins accompanied by the violas, cellos and double basses.

First Subject

In the first subject. Notice the:

  • tempo marking – molto allegro (very fast)
  • 4/4 time signature
  • key signature of G minor (two flats)
  • dynamic marking p
  • melody starting on the fourth beat, a weak beat of the bar – this is known as an anacrusis
  • shape of the melody and its use of two quavers followed by a crotchet - a falling semitone motive (or motif)
  • question and answer phrasing – a four-bar phrase answered by another four-bar phrase
  • dark intense mood

A motive (or motif) is a short distinctive melodic or rhythmic idea and is used as the basis of longer passages of music.

Second Subject

Notice the way that it contrasts with the first subject. The second subject:

  • is in a different key




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