Essay: Musical Analysis of Piano Piece in Sonata Form

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Musical Analysis of Piano Sonata

After careful listening and a thorough reading of the score presented, I have drawn certain conclusions related to this particular piece. While the score available only consists of a single movement of a typical piano sonata, it was still a highly interesting score to observe and evaluate. This analysis includes a full analysis of form, as well as information related to melody and harmony. The analysis concludes with a subjective opinion of my listening experience.

Form Analysis

Exposition

As stated in the assignment, the piece presented is a piano sonata -- more precisely the Allegro movement. The piece presents all the normal parts of a sonata movement, starting with the exposition of the first theme in F minor, which extends itself from measure 1 through 8, ending on the second beat of measure 8. If one wanted to go further in the analysis of this initial musical statement, the first theme could then be broken down in two parts -- let's call them part a and part B, each consisting of one measure each (part a would be measure 2 while part B is measure 3). This two-bar formula is repeated in a higher pattern reminiscent of the fifth degree (C major) of this particular tonality. The second part of this two-bar formula, the B. part, is then re-used twice one whole tone apart before leading to a half cadence resolving in C major. The cadence does not feature any similarities with the previous theme.

Moving into bar 9 to 19, the composer incorporated a transitive part, which leads into a second theme in Ab. This second theme starts in bar 20, with the melody entering the fourth beat of this bar, and is heard up until bar 48, at which point the exposition repeats itself as it should in a proper sonata form.

Development

Entering at measure 49, all the way through measure 100 is the development -- using the first theme introduced but played in the key of Ab. The second theme, which was originally in Ab is then played in Bb. From there, the composer introduced a strong repetitive bass line with descending patterns in the right hand until the end of the development.

Recapitulation

As a true sonata form would have it, enters the recapitulation at measure 101. The initial theme is brought back in its original key. However, the transitional part (from measure 109 to 118) is a variation of what was originally introduced during the exposition. From measure 119 to 139, the composer used the second theme introduced during the exposition, this time in F minor as opposed to the original Ab theme.

Coda

From measure 140 to 152, which marks the end of the Allegro movement of this piano sonata, is the coda. The final bar features a repeat, which brings the listener back to measure 49, where the Development first started. The listener is thus taken through the Development once more, then the Recapitulation and Coda.

Melody & Harmony

The harmonic analysis of this piece will focus on the exposition, as this is perhaps the most interesting part of the piece, composition-wise.

This piano sonata is written in the key of F minor. A general overview of the piece illustrates that the first 'half' of the piece features a half cadence (commonly referred to as the I-IV-V cadence) while the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Musical Analysis of Piano Piece in Sonata Form.  (2012, May 9).  Retrieved December 7, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/musical-analysis-piano-piece-sonata/7698051

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"Musical Analysis of Piano Piece in Sonata Form."  Essaytown.com.  May 9, 2012.  Accessed December 7, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/musical-analysis-piano-piece-sonata/7698051.