Mozart - Symphony No.40 (first movement)

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When was the piece composed?
1788
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Where did Mozart compose the piece?
Vienna
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This is the 1st of 4 movements, describe the typical speeds of each movement in a typical symphony
A classical symphony has four movements, each with a different speed – 1st: very fast, 2nd: slow, 3rd moderate and 4th very fast indeed.
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What musical style is the piece in?
Classical
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What are some typical features of classical music?
Balanced (4/8 bar) phrases, Question and answer phrases, contrasting moods, Functional harmony( based on chords I, IV and V), Structure defined clearly using keys, Melody dominates texture
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Roughly when was the classical period?
1750-1820
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What is the tempo?
Molto Allegro (very fast)
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What is the metre?
4/4
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What is the instrumentation?
Written for small Chamber orchestra, But has no percussion,Only brass are French horn (no trumpets/trombones!), and there is only 1 flute
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What instrument in the version we are studying was not in the original version?
Original version didn’t have clarinets (they had only just been invented) but Mozart added them in a later version
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Why are there 2 horns in different keys?
to maximise the number of notes
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What do the strings play?
Quick runs, running scales, sustained notes and chords
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What do the woodwind play?
more sustained notes, not as many quick runs as strings (both strings and woodwind share second subject)
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What is the structure?
Sonata form made up of EXPOSITION (main themes first shown, first in the home key, the second contrasting to the first), DEVELOPMENT (contrasting middle section), RECAPITULATION (repeats themes from exposition-both in the tonic key) followed by coda
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What is the key of the 1st subject?
In tonic key- G minor
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Which instruments play the 1st subject?
played on violins accompanied by the violas, cellos and double basses.
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Describe the melody in the 1st subject
Falling semitone motif-SCALIC descent, Upward leap/minor sixth, Question and answer phrasing, Dark intense mood
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Describe the rhythm of the 1st subject?
Uses Anacrusis-melody starting on the fourth (weak) beat of the bar, Repeated notes quaver-quaver-crotchet
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What type of notes add tension in the bridge passage?
Extra chromatic notes
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What is the key of the 2nd subject?
Bb major (relative major of G minor)
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Which instruments play the 2nd subject?
It has reduced instrumentation, Melody shared between strings and woodwind (clarinets and bassoons)
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Describe the melody of the 2nd subject
Has a 'Pathetique' ( More lyrical and relaxed) mood, uses Chromatic notes, Like 1st subject uses semitones and falling phrases
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What is the rhythm of the 2nd subject?
Mainly uses longer note values, Uses syncopation, Starts on the first beat of the bar
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Describe the development
Modulates to F sharp minor, continues to rapidly modulate, uses altered melodies from the 1st subject ONLY, Contrapuntal, Uses imitation and the falling semitone motif
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Which instruments are used in the development?
The whole orchestra is used, then the texture thins
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Describe the recapitulation
Has both 1st and 2nd subject (in slightly shorter and altered forms) in G minor, Then ends in a coda
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How is the bridge passage of the recapitulation different to that of the exposition?
Longer and passes through more keys – provides a link
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How does the movement end?
Final bars close the movement with repeated perfect cadences played by full orchestra.
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Describe the rhythm
Simple rhythms, Anacrusis used, On beat , Scalic quaver passages, Dotted rhythms, Syncopated (creates interest and momentum), Augmentation (in codetta)
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Describe the overall Texture
Mostly homophonic, Use of imitation and octave doubling, Dialogue between woodwind and strings.
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What are the dynamics of the Exposition?
1st subject is quiet (apart from loud middle passage), 2nd subject starts quietly and gets louder towards the end ( has crescendos)
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What are the dynamics of the development?
quiet, loud, quiet
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What are the dynamics of the Recapitulation?
Similar to the exposition
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Most dynamics occur very suddenly, what is this called?
Terraced dynamics (although there are a few crescendos in the piece)
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What is the harmony of the piece?
Diatonic and Functional harmonies used, Based on major and minor chords (with some chromatic), A circle of 5ths progression is used in the 2nd subject, Pedal Notes played in alto part before the 2nd subject begins
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What type of chords does Mozart use?
root and inverted trains, dominant 7 and some chromatic chords
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Card 2

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Where did Mozart compose the piece?

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Vienna

Card 3

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This is the 1st of 4 movements, describe the typical speeds of each movement in a typical symphony

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What musical style is the piece in?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What are some typical features of classical music?

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