Mozart's 1st Movement from Symphony No. 40 in G minor

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  • Created by: Julia
  • Created on: 12-04-13 19:08

Listening and Appraising Questions

1. What is unusual about the orchestra that Mozart uses in this symphony compared to the standard Classical orchestra of the time?

The instrumentation only requires seven woodwind players (one flute, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons) and two brass players (two horns). Mozart doesn't use any trumpets or drums which is different to standard classical orchestras.

2. Describe two ways in which the first and second subjects differ in the exposition section of the movement.

- The first subject has a dark, intense mood whereas the second subject has a lyrical, relaxed mood.
- There is reduced instrumentation in the second subject.

3. Mention two features of the development section.

- Reduced texture.
- Some rapid changes of key.

4. What is the purpose of the bridge section in the exposition?

Its purpose is to move the key on from the tonic to the dominant key.

5. What key is the second subject is during the recapitulation and why?

It is in G minor because in the recapitulation, the bridge does not move the key on at all, it is just there to balance the structure of the section.

6. The final section is the coda. What does Mozart develop further in this part of the piece?

He develops the three note motif from the first subject by adding augmented notes in the violas and cellos.

7. How would you describe the mood of the first movement as a whole? Give three musical reasons to back up your arguement.

- It is dramatic due to its recurring forte passages and rapid key changes.
- It has a spooky feel to it due to the minor key and prominence of the violins.
- It has quite a depressing mood due to the lack of brass instruments.

8. What is the role of the two horns in this piece and why is one the key of G minor and one in Bb major?

This gives Mozart the notes required to form the G minor tonic chord (G-Bb-D) and the Bb major tonic chord (Bb-D-F).

9. Name two different types of musical texture to be found in his work.

- Homophony (end of Coda, end of Codetta)
- Polyphony (throughout)

10. How many other movements are there…


Samuel Richardson

A great set of example exam questions with excellent answers. Read this through, and then try answering the questions yourself from memory. 


Very helpful thank you!

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