W.A. Mozart - 1st movement from Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550

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What is the context of this piece?
The first movement in Mozart's 40th symphony (he wrote 41 in total)
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When was it composed?
1788
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What style of music is this piece?
Classical
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What are some key features of Classical music?
Simple, mainly diatonic harmonies, expression markings, balanced and repetitive melodies, musical dialogue (question and answer), often a homophonic texture, increased use of woodwind instruments and the harpsichord replaced by piano
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What key is the piece in?
G minor
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What is the time signature of this piece?
4/4
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What is the structure of this piece?
Sonata form - exposition (1st subject, bridge passage, 2nd subject, codetta), development (using the 1st subject), recapitulation, coda
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What is the tempo of this piece?
Molto allegro (very fast)
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What is the instrumentation of this piece?
Classical orchestra - no timpani, no trumpets, only 1 flute. The double bass doubles the cello
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How would you describe the rhythm?
Augmentation, some syncopation and dotted rhythms to create musical interest, on beat rhythms, scalic quaver passages,
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How would you describe the harmony and tonality?
Diatonic harmonies throughout, 1st subject in G minor, bridge and 2nd subject in B flat major (in recapitulation it is in G minor), development starts in F sharp major and explores different keys, moving through the circle of 5ths
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How would you describe the texture?
Homophonic with dialogue between strings and woodwind as well as octave doubling in violins
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How would you describe the dynamics?
Starts soft (p) and ends loud (f) and there are accented notes in the piece
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How would you describe the 1st subject?
Repeated notes and a scalic descending sequence of a quaver-quaver-crotchet 3 note motif. It moves in steps but has 1 upward leap.
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How would you describe 2nd subject?
Lyrical and smooth, moves in steps but has a few leaps. It uses chromatic notes in descending scales and longer note values (minims and crotchets)
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How would you describe the melody overall?
The phrases are balanced, contrasting 1st and 2nd subjects, 1st subject used in development section and melody is doubled in octaves
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What kind of cadences does this piece include and why?
Perfect cadences, to help define the key
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What is the relationship between the exposition and the recapitulation section?
The recapitulation recaps the exposition's 1st and 2nd subject, however in the recapitulation the 2nd subject remains in G minor. Both sections have a bridge passage
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1788

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What are some key features of Classical music?

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